Health insurance costs on the rise

Health premiums are set to increase by as much as seven per cent this year, it has been revealed.

Nicola Roxon, the health minister, is set to reveal the 2010 private health insurance premium rises next week and has already warned customers about the scale of the hikes, the Herald Sun reported.

"We’ve been able to go through a negotiation process of saying ‘no, that’s too high’. But I do, unfortunately, have to say to the public there’s never really good news in these," she said.

Rising premiums are the result of higher costs for insurers after companies saw a 10 per cent rise in health-related payouts during the past financial year.

Michael Armitage, chief executive of the Australian Health Insurance Association, told the news provider that premium rises are always kept to a minimum when compared with rising costs.

Higher health insurance premiums may encourage some Australians to compare savings accounts as everyday living costs rise. Last week, the Herald Sun reported that financial advisers are expecting to be overwhelmed with debt concerns as households struggle to pay higher water and power bills this year.

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