Health insurance fees to rise by 5%

People will be paying more for their private health insurance from April after federal Health Minister Tanya Plibersek approved an average hike in premiums of 5.065.

That translates to $70 a year for individuals with average hospital cover and $140 a year for families, based on 2011 health department figures for average fund costs.

Ms Plibersek said on Tuesday the 5.06% rise was lower than would have been the case if she hadn't asked 24 of the 34 funds to resubmit their applications for a rise.

"This resulted in seven insurers reducing their