A byproduct of Australia’s fractured federalism is that both the Commonwealth and state governments fund public hospitals.
Leaked documents of a secret 'taskforce' to reform public hospital funding reveal some controversial proposals. So how are hospitals funded and why might this need changing?
Consumers continue to view private health insurance as poor value for money.
The 30% subsidy for private health insurance was predicted to be a bad and costly policy many years ago. And 20 years later, the only thing that's changed is the $6 billion-plus hole in the budget.
It’s basically impossible to tell the difference between various policies and levels of cover.
For the first time in 15 years, as premiums and complaints rise, the proportion of the population with private health insurance is declining.
After days of waiting, Malcolm Turnbull will form a government.
What did the Coalition promise during the campaign in 11 key policy areas, from health to infrastructure to jobs?
Health is the most important election issue for Australians aged over 50.
Health is always a key factor in deciding which way to vote. So what have the major parties promised in health? And what could these changes mean for consumers?
Would you put a heart in a machine’s hands?
robot heart via www.shutterstock.com
A key goal of the Affordable Care Act was to lower health care costs, but first we have to help individuals make better choices.
The most common reason for choosing private hospitals is shorter waits for elective surgery.
Around a quarter of people with private health insurance still choose to use the public system. Why?
The 2016 increases range from 3.8% for the Doctor’s Health Fund, to just under 9% for CUA health Fund.
The 5.6% increase amounts to the average family paying about $300 more a year for an average policy.
The scene for change has been set. But will the health minister act?
We start 2016 with big challenges for the health system and uncertainty as to how governments will meet them.
The scheme would be mandatory but consumers would be able to choose their preferred provider.
All insurers would have to provide a comprehensive set of health services to its customer, covering all aspects of their health care.
Ancillary cover, otherwise known as ‘extras’, includes the likes of dental, physiotherapy, optical care and natural therapies.
Removing subsidies for the 50% with private health insurance is politically unpalatable. But scrapping rebates for ancillary services can be a good place to start.
Medicare exists to ensure all Australians have fair and equal access to health care regardless of risk factors. Private health insurers don’t necessarily have the same objective.
A new survey, which is part of a widespread government consultation on private health insurance, has caused a stir by suggesting health insurers might be able to set premiums based on health risk factors…
Consumers face significant out-of-pocket costs when using their insurance.
The private health insurance is complicated and difficult to navigate. Here's what we need to do to better protect consumers.
Consumers are often unclear about the benefits and exclusions.
Anyone who has purchased private health insurance or thought about changing policies knows the system is complex and confusing.
Picking the right plan can be tough.
Woman via www.shutterstock.com.
Picking a plan that provides the coverage you need at a price you can afford is tough. It's even harder when you don't have a great understanding of the language that insurers use to describe plans.
Pre-hospital care matters.
MRI via www.shutterstock.com.
But not in the way you think. Insurance isn't just about getting care when you are really sick. It's also about the care you get before that.
The government is effectively undermining the power of Medicare as a single payer and the role of Medicare as a universal provider.
In the final instalment of our series, Lesley Russell asks whether Australians need private health insurance, and what a two-tiered systems means for quality, access and equity.
Private health insurance is an expensive way to fund health care.
Image Point Fr/Flickr
Private insurance, by its very nature, suppresses price signals and encourages over-servicing and cost escalation.
The relationship between private health insurance and Medicare has been a problem since the Whitlam government introduced universal health care.
Some people balk at the cost of private insurance – especially the relatively young and healthy – because they don't see the value of it when they are already covered under Medicare.
How much do Australians pay for private health insurance?