Health insurers have the option to offer Australians aged 18-29 years of age a discount of up to 10% on their private hospital insurance premiums.

see-u understands that affordability is a major factor in many young Australians being able to take out private hospital cover – so, depending on your age, you may be eligible to receive a 2% discount for every year a member is under 30 years of age, up to 10% for 18-25 year olds who hold eligible see-u hospital products.

The Under 30's Discount does not apply to extras products.

For see-u members, the discount will automatically apply If:

  1. A member chooses (or already has on 1 April 2019) a see-u hospital product that is eligible for discounts; and
  2. Is of eligible age (18-29),

The rate of discounts depends upon;

  • The age the person locked in their discount when they first received discount (if switching)
  • The age that they joined an eligible see-u hospital product that offers am Under 30's Discount.
  • The age the person on an eligible see-u product, on the day the insurer first offered discount (E.g. 1 April for see-u members)
Person's age when they first purchase a hospital product offering discounts Applicable discount
18-25 10%
26 8%
27 6%
28 4%
29 2%
30 0%

Once a policy holder has a youth discount they will retain that discount rate until they turn 41 if they remain on a policy that is eligible for the discount.

If, for that period, the person is aged: Applicable discount
18 or older, but under 41 Person's base percentage
41 Person's base percentage minus 2%
42 Person's base percentage minus 4%
43 Person's base percentage minus 6%
44 Person's base percentage minus 8%
45 or older Zero

When more than one adult is eligible on the policy, the average rate between the two will apply.

A key concern for consumers was the complexity and difficulty of understanding and comparing private health insurance products.

Before the reforms, health funds usually name the hospital benefit category themselves, for example: Heart and Artery related services, Heart conditions, Cardiac Procedures, Cardiac and Cardiac related procedures. This created confusion for consumer as the scope of treatment and benefits paid varied from health fund to health fund.

This is the reason why a standard set of clinical categories has been introduced to define what different products do and do not cover, helping consumers make an informed choice about private health insurance.

From 1 April 2019, all health funds are required to use the standard clinical categories to inform customers of treatments and services included in their hospital insurance policy, making it easier to understand what different products do and do not cover.

A clinical category is defined as a group of hospital treatments/services that must be covered by a Medicare Benefit Schedule (MBS) item number. This means that if the category is covered, all health funds must cover the same treatments/services for each clinical category.

This will eliminate the confusion of the treatments covered under each product available in the market making it easier to compare and choose the cover that’s right for you.

Starting 1 April 2019 hospital policies will be categorised into tiers with minimum requirements of cover for each level of cover: Gold, Silver, Bronze and Basic.

Hospital products must now cover certain standard clinical categories depending on the tier it fits into. The higher the tier, the more it must cover.

If a clinical category is covered under a tier, then a health insurer must ensure that all MBS items of the category are covered. Policy names must include the tier category to easily identify the tier.

In addition, an insurer may use the word ‘Plus’ (or symbol ‘+)’ e.g. ‘Silver Plus’ to indicate that the policy covers the minimum clinical categories for a Silver tier hospital product, but it has some additional inclusions.

The new product tiers will give consumers greater certainty about the services covered by each type of hospital treatment product

Following a review chaired by the former Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer, some natural therapies will be excluded from the definition of private health insurance general treatment, as there is no clear evidence demonstrating their efficacy.

From 1 April 2019 private health insurers will no longer be able to pay benefits for the excluded natural therapies services.

    Not covered from 1 April 2019

  • Alexander technique
  • Aromatherapy
  • Bowen therapy
  • Buteyko
  • Feldenkrais
  • Herbalism
  • Homeopathy
  • Iridology
  • Kinesiology
  • Naturopathy
  • Pilates
  • Reflexology
  • Rolfing
  • Shiatsu
  • Tai chi and yoga

In the case where health professionals provide excluded natural therapies as an element of other treatment, health insurers may pay benefits if the services provided are within the accepted scope of clinical practice. For example, a physiotherapist providing Pilates services.

For additional information on eligibility of services please visit the Department of Health.

Consumers are concerned with the premium increases and affordability. To assist with this, insurers will be able to increase the permitted excesses for private hospital insurance.

Maximum excess levels allowable by the government, will increase from $500 to $750 for singles and from $1000 to $1500 for couples/families.