This year’s premium increase is small in comparison to previous years – but it still outweighs wage inflation.
A raft of changes to private health insurance in Australia will come into effect on April 1. Here's what you need to know.
Some people choose private health insurance for shorter wait times.
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Private health insurance premiums will rise from April 1, leaving consumers wondering if they should give it up or downgrade to save money.
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.
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.
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.
Medicare and private health insurance partly overlap for hospital entitlements. But nobody can purchase full coverage for health-care costs.
Any new such financing system would need to carefully balance competition and choice, with affordability of coverage and equal access to quality care.
Private health insurance is an expensive way to fund health care.
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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?
The increase in benefits paid out by health funds far exceeds the approved increase in premiums.
The half of Australians who have private health insurance will be face higher bills from Wednesday, as insurance premiums increase by an industry average of 6.18%.
Some insurers are testing opportunities to expand their involvement in primary care.
AAP Image/Mick Tsikas
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Health care cost image from www.shutterstock.com
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The loading paid by people over the age of 30 who are insuring for the first time no longer attracts a government rebate.
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