The Private Health Insurance Intermediaries Association (PHIIA) has released its annual survey that shows its members now account for approximately 25 per cent of the Australian private health insurance market.
The association says its survey shows intermediaries helped more than two million Australians with their health insurance last financial year resulting in 191,000 sales.
More than one-quarter of these sales - 53,000 - were to consumers new to private health insurance.
The survey, which is now in its second year, is based on metrics tracked and shared by PHIIA members including iSelect, Compare the Market, Health Insurance Comparison and The ItsMy Group.
“New enquiries were up in the first half of the year by 9% on the same period in FY 2019, but we then saw a decline from March 2020 onwards due to the ongoing uncertainly generated by COVID-19,” said PHIIA CEO Christopher Zinn.
“Of the millions of consumers our members deal with every year the 15% increase of sales in the 20-24 age group underlies how important PHIIA members are to engaging with this and other crucial age brackets.”
PHIIA chairman Gerald Brown said, “Despite an understandable decline in enquiries in the second half of the financial year, we saw an increase in enquiries to purchase and our overall sales rise year on year.
“Comparing your policy to ensure you have appropriate cover and at the right price is more important than ever and we’re grateful for the trust Australians have placed in PHIIA members to help during these testing times.”
PHIIA said its members also advised on a significantly higher number of hospital and combined policies than the market average.
“Our survey shows the contribution intermediaries make to the integrity of the whole health insurance market especially when issues around the value are understandably even more top of mind,” said Mr Zinn.
“The members’ service is free to consumers and provides them with both a high level of expertise and a far wider range of options to choose from than can be provided by any individual fund. We also believe it’s usually better for consumers to switch to more suitable offers rather than ditch and leave the system altogether.”