Private health insurance is optional, but the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority’s latest quarterly figures show that by the end of March 2021 more than 11.3 million people had some form of hospital cover. That’s about 44% of the population.
There is a steady increase in the number of people over 50 taking out such cover.
It’s important private health insurers do what they can to keep their existing members and attract new people.
Canstar surveyed more than 2,350 health insurance policyholders to find out which fund is keeping its customers the happiest.
Respondents were asked to rate their overall satisfaction with their health insurer, as well as their satisfaction in specific areas, such as value for money and comprehensiveness of cover. Only those providers who received more than 30 responses were considered, in accordance with Canstar’s methodology, with 12 health insurers qualifying.
Health Partners wins the Award for a third year
This year’s winner is Health Partners, which scored highly for customer service, ease of claiming, communication and overall satisfaction. The company won the award in 2020 and 2019.
Canstar analysis shows value for money was rated the most important factor for customer satisfaction, accounting for 29% of people’s overall satisfaction with a provider. That’s up one percentage point from last year’s rating of 28%.
People’s rating of customer service also improved this year, at 20%, up from last year’s figure of 16%. Communication and comprehensiveness of cover were also important for policyholders who were surveyed, while ease of claiming was a relative driver of satisfaction for some consumers.
How satisfied are Australians with their health insurer?
The Canstar research revealed some interesting findings when it came to a breakdown of the results by age, gender and location.
Old versus young
The over 70s were the most satisfied with their health insurer. They rated their provider the highest in most categories apart from value for money and cost of premiums. It was the 18–29 year olds who rated their provider the highest in these two categories.
The 50–59 age group were the least satisfied with their insurer, especially when it came to the cost of premiums.
Men versus women
There were few differences in the ratings given by men and women. Men valued comprehensiveness of cover slightly more than women in general. Against the other factors, both were least satisfied with their cost of premiums overall in their health insurance policies.
People in the Western Australia seem to be the most satisfied with their health insurance in general, having the highest overall satisfaction score with their provider. People in the ACT seem to be the most dissatisfied with their health insurance providers overall in Australia.
But keep in mind these assumptions are only indicative from averages in Canstar’s survey results. The majority of health insurance policyholders surveyed were from Australia’s more populous states of NSW, Victoria and Queensland.
Here’s how the states and territories ranked in overall satisfaction, from most satisfied to least.
- Western Australia
- South Australia
- New South Wales
Note that the Northern Territory did not have a sufficient sample size in the research and were not included in the results. To learn more about how Canstar’s Customer Satisfaction Awards work, you can read the methodology.
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