The Rate Rise Cometh – tactics to save your hip pocket
For those of us who have a family, we can safely say people without children have no idea how much a family truly costs. Sometimes it feels like your wallet has an actual physical hole in it. But, without a doubt, having a family is truly a priceless gift that knows no bounds; I love my kids.
Learning how to manage an income (combined or otherwise) and provide for everyone in your family (including yourself) takes a lot of training and rewiring in the brain, something aspiring couples can only learn through experience.
On the topic of saving money, here’s my tip: look at the regular payments; the monthly transactions that are out-of-sight, out-of-mind.
Health cover alarm clock
As you’ve all no doubt seen, there’s a mother lode of advertising for health cover and comparison services on right now. On 1 April every year, all private health funds are able to raise their prices to adjust for the ever-increasing cost of health care products and services. This affects 13 million Australians with private health cover.
This year, the government has approved an average increase of 5.59% across private health fund premiums effective 1 April 2016 – a figure that says little to consumers and is more useful for selling newspapers than anything else. Some products will see no rise at all, while others could rise by significantly more than the average.
You can’t avoid the rate rise forever; health cover just costs a lot of money. By being more aware of this cost, you can make sure you have the best arrangement to suit your family and get the best value for money. So use this time to check your health cover.
Family situations change over the years and you don’t want to be paying for something you don’t need. For example, have your kids been through the orthodontist phase? Well, perhaps you don’t need that anymore. Claiming for wellbeing Extras but haven’t been to the gym in 5 years? Get rid of that.
Taking a few minutes to compare your health insurance during the month of April is a great idea, says Andrew Davis, Managing Director of Choosewell – a free, online health fund comparison service.
“Whether the average goes up 5% or 7% each year, it’ll still hurt. What matters more is that over time people’s circumstances and requirements change, and products change. The relative pricing of health funds also changes. So it’s important that people make sure what they’ve got is what they need and they’re insured by the fund that offers them the best price for the cover they need.”
Compare health funds
Without performing a proper product comparison across different funds, most consumers never know if they’ve got the best deal for their needs. If you think the cost of your health cover is too high, or your friends have mentioned some cheaper options, get online and use a free comparison service to compare your current plan to everything else out there. These services often have consultants you can speak to that will help make sure you have the right product at the best price.
Also, many choose the same health fund as their parents without contemplating their own situation. Your parents might stay with that fund because it has suited their needs and budget over a period of 20, 30, 40 years… but it might not be the best for you. You could find much better cover just by performing a simple online comparison.
The rate rise is an annual event and there’s nothing we can really do about it except find the most suitable arrangement at an affordable price. But by being curious and performing a simple, informed review of your family’s needs and your cover, you can make sure this regular payment will make that hole in the wallet seem a little smaller.
Brought to you by Choosewell