One Big Switch delivers 10 per cent off ahm health insurance policies
John Rolfe, Cost of Living Editor
News Limited Network
April 07, 2013 12:00AM
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ahm is offering 10 per cent off a range of health insurance policies.
PEOPLE power has succeeded in creating the first discount health cover open to all Australians, saving families hundreds of dollars a year.
News Limited can today reveal consumer network One Big Switch has delivered – as promised – 10 per cent off a wide range of policies with ahm, which is part of publicly-owned Medibank Private, the nation’s largest health insurer.
Until now, discounts of this size have only been available to people who pay to be a member of a union or motoring group, or staff at large workplaces such as banks, universities and government departments.
For everyone else, the best saving available has been about 4 per cent.
Under the terms of the ahm offer, singles on top hospital and extras cover can save as much as $347 in NSW, $379 in Victoria, $375 in Queensland, $364 in South Australia, $313 in Western Australia, $358 in Tasmania and $228 in the Northern Territory annually on the insurer’s normal premium.
ahm value for money for Stubbs family
Singles seeking budget insurance could save up to $154 in NSW, $151 in Victoria, $153 in Queensland, $144 in South Australia, $116 in Western Australia, $162 in Tasmania and $90 the Northern Territory a year.
Families wanting budget hospital and basic extras cover would be better off to the tune of $308 in NSW, $303 in Victoria, $306 in Queensland, $288 in South Australia, $233 in Western Australia, $325 in Tasmania and $188 in the Northern Territory annually when compared with the ahm rack rate.
The potential annual saving ($695 NSW, $757 Victoria, $749 Queensland, $728 South Australia, $625 Western Australia, $717 Tasmania, $455 Northern Territory) is for families on top cover for hospital and extras.
All of the savings figures assume the policy holder is not eligible for a government rebate.
However, those on a rebate would still get the full 10 per cent off ahm’s rates.
Two ahm policies are not covered by the deal – Lite Cover and Family Hospital.
According to ahm, its top hospital policy is superior and, for many households, more affordable than Family Hospital.
The joint campaign between One Big Switch and News Limited for better-value cover attracted support from 93,000 people – nearly four times the original goal.
OBS campaign director Christopher Zinn said the ”sheer force of numbers” had helped deliver the deal.
”When Australians are prepared to take consumer action, for example by signing up for an experiment such as this, they can literally move markets with people power,” Mr Zinn said.
Those who have joined the campaign will receive an email from OBS this week with details of the offer.
People who have not registered are still able to do so at BigHealthInsuranceSwitch.com until Saturday.
Registrants have until the end of May to decide whether to accept the offer.
Mr Zinn recommended people weigh up the coverage and discounted price in the offer against their current insurance at the official comparison site, privatehealth.gov.au.
Federal Health Minister Tanya Plibersek said it was important that people knew they had got the best-value policy.
”Just as you wouldn’t buy the first fridge you saw, it’s important to shop around and that’s where the government’s website can really help,” Ms Plibersek said.
Shadow Health Minister Peter Dutton said many Australians were concerned about ”the increasing cost of private health insurance following the Gillard Government’s chaotic changes”.
”While price is an important consideration and a saving welcomed, families and individuals also need to make an informed decision about the most suitable type of policy,” Mr Dutton said.
Medibank group executive of private health insurance and head of ahm Laz Cotsios said the 10 per cent discount was ongoing and applied to a ”range of policies that cater to individuals and families at all life stages”.
”There is no secret that there is upward pressure on premiums with recent legislative changes and rising health costs,” Mr Cotsios said.
”We see ahm as our key weapon in the fight for affordable health insurance.”