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Favourable attitudes toward private health insurance

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia). 12 months to December 2017, n=7,709. Base: Australians 14+ with private health insurance.
New research from Roy Morgan shows that people with private health insurance have generally positive attitudes towards the industry.

These latest results are from Roy Morgan’s Single Source survey of over 50,000 consumers per annum, including detailed interviews with over 8,000 private health insurance members. The data used covers the 12 months to December 2017.

Purpose of private health insurance is generally understood

The majority of private health insurance fund members agree that ‘it gives me peace of mind’ (71.3%), ‘It’s knowing that you’ll cover the cost of big medical expenses’ (74.3%) and ‘It’s essential to have’ (60.7%).

Attitudes toward Private Health Insurance


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia). 12 months to December 2017, n=7,709. Base: Australians 14+ with private health insurance.

In addition to these major positive attitudes, there are some areas of concerns including; ‘difficult to understand what you are covered for’ (43.9%); ‘I want the cheapest and don’t care provider’(23.3%); ‘I don’t see much value in having it’ (16.1%); and ‘ the only reason to have it is to avoid paying extra tax’ (14.9%).

Millennials have different attitudes towards private health insurance


There are some major generational differences in attitudes towards private health insurance that must be taken into account when marketing to this very diverse group. Millennials for example are a major growth area for private health insurance as they enter the life-stage where they generally have more responsibilities with families and mortgages. This is reflected in the fact that they are well above average in agreeing to issues that relate to the cost of private health, such as; ‘I want the cheapest and don’t care provider’; ‘only reason to have it is to avoid paying extra tax’; and ‘I don’t see much value in having it’.

Generational Differences in Attitudes to Private Health Insurance 

 

Highest Agreement

Lowest Agreement

It's knowing that you'll cover the cost of big medical expenses

Pre-Boomers (85.0%)

Gen Z (52.9%)

It gives me peace of mind

Pre-Boomers (84.1%)

Gen Z (50.2%)

It's essential to have

Pre-Boomers (76.9%)

Gen Z (37.9%)

Extras and hospital cover equally important

Baby Boomers (64.2%)

Gen Z (41.6%)

Difficult to understand what you are covered for

Millennials (51.7%)

Gen Z (29.4%)

Gives access to preventative services

Pre-Boomers(43.6%)

Gen X (28.8%)

I want the cheapest and don’t care provider

Millennials (29.0%)

Pre-Boomers (18.2%)

I rely on recommendation from friends and family in choosing fund

Gen Z (31.4%)

Baby Boomers (8.6%)

I don't see much value in having it

Millennials (23.7%)

Pre-Boomers (5.7%)

Only reason to have it is to avoid paying extra tax

Millennials (24.3%)

Pre-Boomers (3.4%)


Source:
Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia). 12 months to December 2017, n=7,709. Base: Australians 14+ with private health insurance. Pre-Boomers: 72+. Baby Boomers: 57-71. Gen X: 42-56. Millennials: 27-41. Gen Z: 14-26.

The group that are most aware of the purpose of private health insurance are the Pre-Boomers (aged 72 and over) who are mainly focused on areas such as ; ‘it’s knowing that you’ll cover the cost of big medical expenses’; ‘it gives me peace of mind’; and ‘It’s essential to have’.

As would be expected, it is the youngest generation who are the least interested in private health insurance. Gen Z who are aged 14 and 26 in this analysis, have very low levels of concern when it comes to health issues and are in fact ‘rely on recommendations from friends and family in choosing a fund’.

Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan says: 

“The attitudes towards private health insurance by fund members are generally favourable, but the current widely publicised premium increases are likely to make growth more difficult.

“This research has shown that there are considerable differences in attitudes towards private health insurance across generations, it is not a homogeneous market. Understanding what motivates different age groups and generations to take out and stay in health insurance is important in this industry.

“The data highlighted here is only a small part of what is available on the full database that covers private health in-depth and trended over many years. With a great deal of competition in this industry it is important to understand the relative strength and weaknesses of all the major funds. The results shown in this release for example can be produced at the individual fund level, enabling unique competitive insights.”

For comments or more information please contact:
Roy Morgan - Enquiries
Office: +61 (03) 9224 5309
askroymorgan@roymorgan.com


About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate

40%-60%

25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%

5,000

±1.4

±1.2

±0.8

±0.6

7,500

±1.1

±1.0

±0.7

±0.5

10,000

±1.0

±0.9

±0.6

±0.4

20,000

±0.7

±0.6

±0.4

±0.3

50,000

±0.4

±0.4

±0.3

±0.2