How I obtained $400 in cold hard cash from my Private Health Insurer and also save 48% of my original private health insurance premium

Private Health Insurance premium keeps rising every year. Yet most wages and salary do not. Especially those in public sector who are still fighting very hard for increase in salary in the last 2 - 3 years

So, saving for a few dollars here and there is crucial to me.

This is how I managed to reduce one of my highest expenses that is Private Health Insurance expenses by 48%  all add up.
The breakdown is:
  • $96 or 9.4% initial discount on premium
  • $150 gift card plus 1 month free ($77) initial incentive to sign up
  • $100 gift card plus 1 month free ($77) to stay in the current cover
  • A total saving of $496 a year or 48%

Step 1
  1. Call your current insurance company to lower down your current premium.
Why calling? You hold the bargaining power with the sales operator who has certain responsibility to get sales (that is insurance sign ups)
  1. The purpose of calling them is to try to lower the premium that you are paying right now. So come prepared. Always know what is the best and most competitive rate out there for your type of cover.
Handy tip: if you know some people with similar needs as you, ask. I spent 2 weeks looking when I could have just asked around. (I researched because I wanted to be thorough).
  1. When you are speaking with the sales rep, use these bargaining points to lower down your current premium:
    1. Your loyalty with the company ~ the longer the better.
    2. Historical on time payment. Ensure that you are always paying on time.
    3. Competitive rates from the cheaper insurer.
    4. If you haven’t already applied yet ~ the Corporate program.
If your employer has liaison with the insurance company, mention it to insurance company. You will normally obtain another discount from this.
Tip: if your employer is a subsidiary to a bigger company and is not listed as the liaison, try mentioning the other subsidiary companies or the head company. The insurance company will accept this.
  1. The results I obtained from bargaining were
    1. 10% lower premium
    2. 1 month free of premium
  2. Once you obtained the result, get the quote, the reference and ask for time to think.
Step 2
  1. Call the other cheaper insurance company in my case, it has always been Bupa.
  2. You know that this company offers competitive rates, try to get them to give you an even more competitive rate by using the following points:
    1. Competitive rates from your current company
    2. Corporate program
    3. Incentive to sign up
Tell them something along the line of: how very reluctant you are to leave your current insurer (because they are very good and you are loyal), but how expensive your current insurer are (even with the price match and the incentives). Ask them if they can give you incentives to switch to them. Mention to them the lowered premium and the incentives you have obtained from your current provider.
  1. I used similar bargaining script and I obtained the following results:
    1. Price match that is 10% discount on premium
    2. $100 gift card (cold hard cash)
    3. 1 month free
  2. Once you obtained the result, get the quote, the reference and ask for time to think. If they ask you to sign up, please do sign up. You have a 30-day cooling off period anyway.

Step 3
  1. Call the first company and haggle for a better incentive to stay. Tell them that you are honestly loyal and reluctant to leave, because of the (genuine) good service. Since they will most likely be wanting to keep a good customer, the sales rep always gives in (most of the time).
  2. My results were:
    1. $150 gift card (extra $50 cash)
    2. 1 month free
    3. Price match on stays (10% lower premium)

So total results for initial haggle were $150 cold hard cash, 1 month free (equals to $77) and lowered premium by 10% (or $96 per annum) = $323 savings.

Final step
During the year, I experience billing hiccups which genuinely bothers me. This hiccups caused bookkeeping hassle to me because they are not billing on time (sometimes early and sometimes late). This bookkeeping does not work well with my budgeting technique.

So I complained to them and want to get it fixed or else, I will (genuinely) leave.  

The result is, since the problem cannot be fixed, they offer me another 1 month free and $100 gift card.

In one year, through hassling and haggling to lower my premium, I get 10% lower premium and $250 cold hard cash plus 2 months free (worth $150).
In total I have saved $496 or 48% of the original premium if I didn’t haggle.

Another way to lower your premium that works for the Americans is paying 1 year’s premium all at once. However, it doesn’t work for the Australian insurers that I’ve gone with.

I hope you like this tip and tell me if it works. Or if you have any other tip, please leave a comment below.

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