More than 250,000 people did not renew their private health insurance during the 12 months to March this year, according to the latest annual Roy Morgan survey involving 50,000 face-to-face interviews with consumers, including 20,000 private-health-insurance-fund members.
The 256,000 finding was up on last year’s 182,000, making it the highest level of cancellations in five years.
Being “too expensive” is the main reason that consumers give for dropping out of health insurance, which has risen to 53.3% over the year, up from 47.1% in the previous year.
The second major concern among those who didn’t renew is to do with the gap in coverage by their fund. In the current year there was a big increase in the proportion saying that their major reason for leaving was “too much out-of-pocket expense” with 19.1%, up from 12.8% last year.
Nearly one in six (15.5%) of members who didn’t renew said “Medicare suits my needs”, up from only 5.3% last year. It appears that there are an increasing number of people seeing no real value in having private health insurance, given its cost and perceived benefits over simply relying on Medicare.
Over the year there was also an increase in concerns regarding service, with 11.6% saying that they didn’t renew because of “poor service’”, up from 2.3%
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