Health funds accused of offering best deals to new customers, meaning loyalty doesn’t pay


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AUSTRALIANS have spoken — and they’ve had enough. More than 10,000 households have signed up to our One Big Switch campaign to get a better health insurance deal.

The news comes as many like Julie Michael had always been extremely diligent with health insurance, believing you can’t put a price on your health.

She was even into the idea at a young age, leaving her family health plan to find her own cover shortly after leaving school.

Once she found the suitable cover, she became a loyal customer, spending more than 15 years with the same provider.

But after having a child and deciding to leave her full time work in hospitality to run a business from home, she knew she had to be careful with costs.

That was when she discovered the damage she was about to sustain as part of Australia’s annual health premium price hike.

“I got an email from my current health fund saying the premium would go up around 6.5 per cent and I freaked,” Ms Michael said. “I started doing some research and found a company that suited me for $500 cheaper a year.”


After making some inquiries at the new fund, Ms Michael thought it would be the right thing to do to give her current fund the chance to match their offer. She was surprised and disappointed when they made little effort to retain her business.

“They put me through to customer relations and she was very pleasant, but not once asked what they could do to stop me from switching,” Ms Michael said. “They kept telling me what the other company wouldn’t do for me, but not why I should stay with them.”

This sort of scenario is all too common according to Laura Crowden, iSelect spokeswoman.

“Unfortunately, health insurers generally put more effort into attracting new customers than they do trying to keep existing customers,” she said. “Don’t let loyalty to your old fund get in the way of getting a better policy elsewhere.”


Ms Crowden said people often “set and forget” their health cover and neglected to review it regularly, which resulted in years of paying for things they did not need. Others were enticed by introductory offers that may not be beneficial in the long run.

“There is no point getting a free pair of running shoes if it means you’ll end up paying more for the policy each month, as this will quickly add up over the years,” she said. “Always choose the policy that offers the best level of cover for your needs, at a price you can afford.”

Online Source: The News

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