Rate rise

Premium change 1 April 2021

You should’ve heard from us by now about a change to your membership payments from 1 April.

What’s new?

Did you miss your new premium info?

If you can’t find anything in your inbox or mailbox from us, open your secure inbox on our app, Larry, and all the key info will be there.

Pay by card on our app

You can now pay your premium by credit card or debit card on our app, Larry.

Telehealth benefits extended, again!

You can claim telehealth benefits on your extras cover until 1 April 2022. We know you love using extras and we want to help you use them safely. Telehealth consultations are a way to claim one-to-one video and phone consults, based on your existing extras cover benefits.

Claimable telehealth services include:

  • physiotherapy
  • occupational therapy
  • psychology
  • speech therapy
  • dietetics

Learn more about how to use telehealth benefits here.

We can help. We’re here for members in financial hardship. Call us on  1800 808 690 to talk about options for your personal situation.

No one likes paying more and we don’t like to either. As a member-owned not-for-profit health fund, if we didn’t need to pass on a premium increase to keep our finances stable, we wouldn’t.

At Peoplecare, we only charge what it costs to pay claims and run our business, and around 88% of our premium revenue is paid back to members in claims. Our aim is to make sure Peoplecare’s financially sustainable into the future, so we can look after members when they most need us.

As a not-for-profit fund we only charge you what it costs to pay member claims and run the fund.

The good news is that last financial year we paid over $128 million for member benefits out of $146 million in premiums (or 88% of our revenue).

We try to keep our costs down in other ways too. Like:

  • running as efficiently as possible so we have low administration costs (just 10.01% of the premiums we received in 2019/20)
  • working with the Australian Health Service Alliance (AHSA) to have more bargaining power with hospitals and doctors
  • working with industry bodies to lobby the Government for changes that make healthcare more affordable for everyone

Not only that, but we also find ways to make money that we can put back into services for our members. We do that by managing two other health funds and Allianz Care Australia’s Overseas Visitors Health Cover.

But we get it, it can be a tough balance between looking after your health and looking after your hip pocket. If you’re wondering whether your cover is still right for you, we’re happy to talk you through your options and see if we can save you $$$. Just give us a buzz on 1800 808 690 – we’re here to help!

With Peoplecare you can.

Prepay in March 2021 (see dates below) and you won't have to pay this year's rate increase for the length of time you prepay for. You can prepay for up to 12 months. You can do it right now on Peoplecare’s app, Larry by card or give us a buzz.

  • Direct debit – by Monday 29 March 2021
  • BPAY – before your bank's close of business on Friday 26 March 2021
  • Credit or debit card – by Wednesday 31 March 2021 5pm (or before midnight on Peoplecare’s app, Larry)

If you get a Government Rebate on your cover, the overall increase to the amount you pay for health cover is made up of two things – an increase to our premiums and a decrease in the rebate percentage the Government pays towards your cover (which we don’t have any control over).

If you’re wondering about the exact percentage of your premium increase, it’s important to take the Government Rebate into account:

New rebate (from 1 April 2021)

 

Income threshold

 

Age & Rebate amount
(age of the oldest person on your cover)

Under 65 years

65-69 years

70+ years

Base Tier

Single
$90,000 or less

Family*
$180,000 or less

24.608%

28.710%

32.812%

Tier 1

Single
$90,001 – 105,000

Family*
$180,001 – 210,000

16.405%

20.507%

24.608%

Tier 2

Single
$105,001 – 140,000

Family*
$210,001 – 280,000

8.202%

12.303%

16.405%

Tier 3

Single
$140,001 or more

Family*
$280,001 or more

0%

0%

0%

*If you’re a family with children, the income threshold for each tier is increased by $1,500 for every child after your first. Family includes single parent families.

Old rebate (1 April 2019 to 31 March 2021)

 

Income threshold

 

Age & Rebate amount
(age of the oldest person on your cover)

Under 65 years

65-69 years

70+ years

Base Tier

Single
$90,000 or less

Family*
$180,000 or less

25.059%

29.236%

33.413%

Tier 1

Single
$90,001 – 105,000

Family*
$180,001 – 210,000

16.706%

20.883%

25.059%

Tier 2

Single
$105,001 – 140,000

Family*
$210,001 – 280,000

8.352%

12.529%

16.706%

Tier 3

Single
$140,001 or more

Family*
$280,001 or more

0%

0%

0%

*If you’re a family with children, the income threshold for each tier is increased by $1,500 for every child after your first. Family includes single parent families.

All health funds have different increases and different products have different increases too. Peoplecare’s average increase this year is the second lowest in the last 14 years (last year was the lowest in 14 years). To be able to keep paying claims, we have to base our increase on what our members claim for – not the overall claims across the industry.

While we do everything we can to keep our prices competitive, we want to make sure that we don’t cut costs by taking away any of the benefits or services we offer.

And you can rest assured that we don’t just pick any old price when we increase our premiums – all health fund increases have to be checked over and approved by the Government.

When it comes to rate rise time, we look at every level of cover individually and work out how much we need to increase the cost by to keep people covered. There are a few things we look at when we’re doing this review, including the cost of claims for members on the cover.

We’ll keep doing everything we can to keep our costs as low as possible while still giving you great quality cover.

We only ever increase premiums by what it costs to pay claims and keep our fund running, and any increases we make have to be closely looked at and approved by the Government. This is the same for all health funds.

We can’t charge people less if they don’t use their cover and more if they do. This is a rule made by the Government to make sure that everyone has the same access to private health insurance (it’s called ‘community rating’).

You don’t need to start paying the new premium until your next payment is due. For example, if you’re paid up to 31 May 2021, you’ll start paying the new amount from 1 June 2021.

There are plenty of reasons private hospital cover is important. Things like:

  • knowing you can have access to private hospitals with state-of-the-art facilities
  • being able to choose your doctor
  • not having to spend months (even years!) on a public hospital waiting list by going into a private hospital
  • if you earn over the threshold for Medicare Levy Surcharge (currently $90,000 for singles and $180,000 for families), you may save tax by not having to pay the Medicare Levy Surcharge
  • avoiding a Lifetime Health Cover loading (by having hospital cover before you turn 31)

When you think about health insurance it’s important to think about more than just the cost – it’s about giving you more choice for your healthcare, less time waiting for the services you need and (most importantly) the peace of mind to know that you’ll be looked after when you need it most.

Besides, hospital can be frighteningly expensive and that’s why there’s value in having health cover just in case the worst should happen. Here are some examples of claims we paid for individual members in the 2020 financial year:

Top 5 hospital claims
Admission reason Total benefit paid
Digestive system $129,327
Heart and vascular system $124,624
Joint replacements $122,859
Back, neck and spine $119,784
Gynaecology $116,082

Again, it’s completely up to you, but you might want to get that money tree planted just in case.

There are a number of things Peoplecare does to control premiums for our members:

  • Keep our administration expenses as low as possible (measured as a % of premiums)
  • Create a stable suite of products that are designed to be sustainable into the future
  • Increase external revenue. At a time when members are feeling premium pressure, it’s nice that we have money flowing into Peoplecare that helps to relieve that pressure.

We’re a not-for-profit, so you only pay what it costs us to pay benefits and run the fund.

We do our best to keep hospital and doctor expenses as low as possible. To try to reduce your out-of-pocket costs as much as possible, we have Access Gap arrangements with over 36,000 doctors across Australia. This means you will have either no gap (where we pay the full cost of your treatment) or a known gap (where you’ll know your out-of-pocket costs before you have treatment). Read more on our Access Gap page.

No. We are a proud not-for-profit, member-owned fund. The fairly narrow surpluses we earn help sustain us as a fund and enable us to pay the expensive claims our members rightfully deserve towards their health.