Are Higher Premiums On The Way Due to Medibank's Privatisation?

8 September 2014


The Federal Government has announced that Medibank Private is to be floated on the stock exchange prior to Christmas this year. Does this mean that premiums will now be higher than before?

Competition Will Ensure Prices Stay Relatively Equal

While there are no guarantees as to how complete privatisation of a business will affect the quality or price of services provided by that business, the fact is that there are currently 35 private health insurance funds in Australia, the large majority of which are open to all members of the public. It is a competitive industry and fully privatising one of those health insurance providers will logically have little impact on overall price.

Over the past 13 years, the total average increase in Medibank health insurance premiums has been 80.3%. This compares to the industry average of 79.3% – almost exactly spot on.

Average premium increases and Medibank Private increases, 2002-2014
Year Industry average annual premium increase (%) Medibank Private annual premium increase (average for all products, %)
2002 6.9 8.9
2003 7.4 4.9
2004 7.6 9.0
2005 8.0 7.9
2006 5.7 5.9
2007 4.5 4.9
2008 5.0 4.6
2009 6.0 5.7
2010 5.8 5.7
2011 5.6 5.4
2012 5.0 4.7
2013 5.6 6.2
2014 6.2 6.5
Average 6.1 6.2
Sources: & Parliament of Australia. Rounded up to nearest decimal place.

Not Satisfied? Shop Around!

The recent publicity over privatisation, though, is a timely reminder to shop around for a health insurance product that suits your age and stage of life. Each year CANSTAR researches more than 900 health insurance products and awards star ratings to products of merit. We research products suitable across age groups and life stages and without a doubt the cost and value can differ enormously – so check the five-star rated products for your lifestyle here.

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