nib postpones premium increase for additional two months

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nib has announced it will postpone increasing private health insurance premiums for its Australian customers for an additional two months until 1 November 2022.

The company said its 2.66 per cent increase was approved for 1 April 2022. However, it was initially postponed for five months in response to the impact of the pandemic. It has now been postponed for a further two months.

Managing director Mark Fitzgibbon said the company fully appreciates that many of its members have encountered difficulties in accessing hospital and other healthcare treatment during the pandemic.

“In some cases, treatment will no longer occur but in others it has simply been deferred until a later time. So, while nib’s claims experience throughout the pandemic has been lower than what would otherwise have been the case, inevitably there will be a catchup. This likelihood is reflected in nib’s balance sheet provision for deferred claims,” he said.

Mr Fitzgibbon said how much treatment has been lost versus simply deferred means that estimating any actual savings remains challenging.

“Since the pandemic we have been proactively returning savings back to members in a variety of ways including premium increase deferrals, premium credits, expanded cover for COVID-19 related treatment and additional benefits (including psychology Extras benefits) at no additional cost,” he said.

“We’ll continue to monitor our position and as we have done throughout the pandemic, consider if any further support is warranted,” he added.

nib said the seven-month premium postponement will see around $40 million in savings returned to members. It total COVID-19 member and community support package now totals almost $100 million.

The company said it will notify eligible members of the premium postponement with the changes automatically applied to their health cover policy.