Yes, savings from increased participation in private insurance outweigh the costs the government incurs by subsidising private health insurance rebates. But rebates can be better targeted.
We found rebates don’t do much to encourage older people to sign up for private health insurance.
As more young people drop their private health cover, premiums go up for everyone.
Young people don’t see the value in private health insurance and are dropping their cover in droves. Allowing under 55s to pay lower premiums, based on their lower risk, could keep them in the system.
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.
l i g h t p o e t/Shutterstock
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
Prompted by the government’s Commission of Audit, health policy analysts have spent the first weeks of the year vigorously debating ways to rein in Australia’s rising health budget and to make the system…
Countries relying on private health insurance, such as the United States, pay far more for health care.
Kate Ter Haar
We have come to see private health insurance as an essential part of the national health funding mix, but it’s actually quite a costly way to fund health care. A well-designed system with a single national…
Are claims about private health costs exaggerated, or right on the money?
Health care cost image from www.shutterstock.com
“The changes to lifetime health cover will increase [private health insurance] premiums by up to a reported 27.5%. This is hitting many local residents very hard, with some struggling to find the money…
The loading paid by people over the age of 30 who are insuring for the first time no longer attracts a government rebate.
The government will no longer refund 30% of the cost of the loading paid by people who take out private health insurance after the age of 30. The removal of the rebate from the lifetime health cover loading…
Last night’s budget edges closer toward equity but a broader view of health is required if we are to make real progress.
Health took a back seat in this year’s federal budget. While the proportion of money being spent on health is increasing in 2013-14, the bulk of it is due to spending commitments made in previous budgets…