Teachers Health makes lowest premium increase in 20 years

Teachers Health makes lowest premium increase in 20 years | Insurance Business Australia

Teachers Health makes lowest premium increase in 20 years

Teachers and nurses have been struggling since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, pushing not-for-profit private health insurance (PHI) provider Teachers Health to deliver one of the lowest average premium increases this year.

Since the pandemic started, Teachers Health has provided around $26 million in savings for members. As a way to further recognise the challenges that its members have faced over the years, it delivered a 2.17% premium increase, marking the PHI provider's lowest premium increase in 20 years.

Teachers Health's 2.17% is one of the lowest average premium increases in 2022, considering the industry average of 2.70%. Unsurprisingly, it is lower than the largest health funds, including Bupa (3.18%), HBF (3.62%), HCF (2.72%), Medibank (3.10%), and NIB (2.66%).

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on our members – Australia's teachers, educators, nurses, and midwives,” said Teachers Health Group CEO Brad Joyce. “They have adapted and found new critical ways of delivering their services and care. They've put our communities first at considerable personal risk, and we're committed to putting them first in everything we do.”

Read more: APRA seeks more feedback on private health insurance capital framework

Teachers Health has introduced other ways to further support its members, many of whom are frontline workers.

The PHI provider announced it will defer its premium increase until October 01, 2022, noting that the deferral of this year's premium increase alone is estimated to provide $13.1 million in savings for its members. In addition, it will roll over unused 2021 Extras annual limits (which came into effect on January 01, 2022).

“As a not-for-profit health fund, our members are at the heart of everything we do. From the outset, we made a commitment not to profit from the pandemic. Today, we're delivering on this promise to give back savings that been realised to provide a genuine benefit to our members,” Joyce said.

“We know that affordability is a key issue that many Australians are facing. The decision to freeze premiums at current rates is designed to ease financial pressures as we continue to navigate the pandemic. The rollover of unused 2021 Extras benefits annual limits into 2022 means that our members have another year to utilise any unused benefits to focus on improving their health and wellbeing.”

Teachers Health has also announced new Extras benefits improvements from April 01, 2022, permanent telehealth benefits for selected services, and an expanded optical preferred provider network.