nib has announced that its premium increase for private health insurance members will be delayed further, coming into effect on 1 October 2023.
The 2023 increase, at 2.72 per cent, is nib’s second-lowest premium price rise in 20 years, after a 2.66 per cent increase in 2022.
The company said deferral, which affects more than 651,000 members, is one of a range of measures it has provided following a slowdown in claims due to the impact of COVID-19.
It said the deferral brings its COVID-19 support package to around $181 million since March 2020.
“Our premium deferral is part of our compensation package for members after lower claims volumes through the pandemic,” said nib CEO and managing director, Mark Fitzgibbon.
“The deferral complements our two very low premium increases – at 2.66% last year, which was our lowest rise in 20 years, and 2.72% this year.”
“We continued to support members through the pandemic, but we acknowledge that access to healthcare services was restricted,” continued Mr Fitzgibbon.
“Ancillary claims are returning to normal and hospital claims are rising slowly,” he said.
The company also announced that $5 million will be provided to the nib foundation, to programs that generate broad health benefits to the community. Since inception, the foundation has invested about $25 million in community health programs.
The 2023 increase, now deferred to 1 October, was initially expected to take effect 1 April, 2023. The premium postponement means about $35.5 million in savings for members and will be recognised in nib’s operating earnings for the 12 months to 30 June 2023.