Recent research has revealed that generation Y is the most ignorant age group about the benefits they can receive from private health insurance.
The comparethemarket survey also shows they are the least likely to take advantages of any benefits offered.
Although accidents are the most likely reason those aged between 18-24 would require hospitalisation, almost one third of respondents (28%) do not have hospital cover.
Furthermore for those 18-24 year olds who do have health insurance, nearly half of them haven’t made a claim in two years (48%) - the highest of any age bracket.
Comparethemarket spokesman Grant Waldeck said he is concerned about the results.
“Firstly, while young people are considered ‘more healthy’, they can be at greater risk of injury from sporting activities, vehicle accidents, and alcohol related incidents,” he said. “It’s likely they are failing to match policy benefits to their level of risk and significantly increase their chances of medical bill shock.”
Waldeck said young people who opt for cheaper policies with the trade-off being a higher excess may also be dissuaded from claiming.
And even though most 18-24 year olds are likely to be earning less than $88,000, making them eligible for the full Australian Government private health insurance rebate on their tax returns, a whopping 56% where unaware of the rebate while 84% were unsure of how it works.
“Feedback from our customer service team shows that this age group is also unaware that they can claim the 30% government rebate on an extras only policy,” Waldeck said. “Opting for extras only cover provides lower health insurance costs with the benefit of receiving services such as dental and optical for low to no out of pocket expenses.”
He is deeply concerned that with an average 6.2% increase in premiums taking place from 1 April, costs will only increase more for the group who is benefiting the least.
In response, the website has launched an interactive health portal to educate consumers as to how health insurance impacts them at various stages of life.