Those for whom a lower level of cover will still be too expensive could be forced to drop private insurance completely.
So what are the hikes we can expect, and how can you minimise the costs for you and your family?
Medical industry experts say you can make private health insurance and medical services - including your GP visits - lots cheaper, and even free.More stories from Today Tonight
However there are hidden catches that could cost you a bomb.
According to Canstar's senior analyst Mitchell Watson "there are definitely ways to cut costs dramatically with your private health insurance."
He says "you can receive a policy for around $60 a month, which will actually provide you cover for both hospital treatment, as well as extras treatment, so it isn't out of the reach of the everyday Australian."
Getting the best and cheapest policy means carefully assessing your specific needs to match the cover: choosing whether you need hospital plus certain extras, or just hospital, or just certain extras.
You need to make sure to use those benefits, and avoid crippling gap payments - charges that are more than the size of the benefit payable.
Saving money is not just about the cost of premiums. You have to keep out-of-pocket expenses on claims to a minimum. So you need to choose a provider in your health fund's preferred network of suppliers. Your fund has a list of dentists, physiotherapists, chiropractors, optometrists, acupuncturists and so forth, that can give the largest rebates on claims.
BUPA has over 5800 dentists, HCF has over 4500, Medibank has over 4000 and Australian Unity has 380.
"If you utilise both your preferred networks, as well as choose the right policy, there is no reason why you can't receive all these services with no out-of-pocket payments," Watson said.
"If you do hold private health insurance and you are going to a provider who is outside of that that insurer's network, you may be paying more for the same service than what you would actually by using one of their own preferred providers."
Canstar compared the gap, on out-of-pocket expenses, between the major funds on their top or ultimate cover products.For dental, a full crown veneer lowest out-of-pocket expenses were from:
- Australian Unity - $165
- Medibank - $206
- NIB - $341
The highest out-of-pocket expenses on a full crown veneer (note that their premiums are amongst the cheapest):
- BUPA - $565
- HCF - $730
- Australian Unity - $15.50
- NIB - $19.30
The highest gap:
- HCF - $24
Generally, the cheaper the premium, the more you pay out of pocket.
However according to Watson, "even if you are paying more month to month, just by making claims you may be getting more back from your health insurance than what you are paying out."
According to Byron Kaye, health journalist for the Medical Observer, savings can easily be made by seeking out GPs who bulk bill. Otherwise for a $60 consultation Medicare might rebate $45, leaving you $15 out-of-pocket.
"If you go to a doctor who bulk bills you don't have to pay a cent for that service," Kaye said.
"It's not just your general practitioner - you can also get blood tests, radiology, pathology, anything like that. All doctors have the right to bulk bill outside of the hospital system, and it's really up to them."Contact details