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Southern Cross changes retirees' premiums

Southern Cross Health Society is changing the age at which older member shift to a “common rating”.

Thursday, October 27th 2016, 6:00AM

by Susan Edmunds

A spokesman said the move was designed to make health insurance more affordable for longer.

Most of the society's health insurance premiums are calculated based on age.

Those who are older are seen as more likely to claim, so pay a higher premium.

Southern Cross has until now had a system under which members, when they turned 65, switched to a common rating, or standard premium.

The spokesman said that was intended to provide certainty for people through retirement.

But he said there had been problems, which prompted the adjustment.

“When members reached 65 years their premium increased significantly. Members told us this large jump wasn’t easy to manage. So, we’re making this transition smoother by gradually increasing the common rating age from 65 to 75 years from November 1, 2016 onwards.”

Southern Cross is also expanding its affiliated provider programme, to include medical oncology and chemotherapy treatment.

As of November 7, Southern Cross members will only be able to see providers who are part of that programme if they want their treatment covered by their policy.

The affiliated provider programme is another way that Southern Cross is trying to combat rising healthcare costs. Providers agree to offer their services for Southern Cross members at a pre-agreed price.

Tags: Southern Cross

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