More than 1600 members responded to our annual satisfaction survey earlier this year. Members said we’re performing strongest in payment of claims, telephone service and reliability, resulting in 95% of our members saying they are satisfied with their membership.
Your feedback in action
There’s always room for improvement and thanks to your feedback, we have delivered or started work on these initiatives:
Better benefits - we increased some extras benefits in April, such as some common dental items, occupational therapy and podiatry.
New benefits - many of you asked for benefits towards gym membership, exercise physiology and acupuncture. With the approval of your GP, you can now claim these services through the Health Management Program benefit in Total Extras (benefits are subject to limits).
Access to information - Members asked for more information about the cover and entitlements, so we’ll be revamping our website with more content and easier navigation.
Doctors’ Health Fund app - some of you reported problems with claiming through the app. These problems have been fixed and it’s the easiest way to make your claims and check your membership.
Value - as health costs rise, the affordability of health insurance is under more pressure. Our premium increase in April was the lowest in the industry and we cover more hospital services with no gap than the industry average.
Hot topics in private health insurance
With increasing Government and media attention on private health insurance over the last year, we decided to ask a few additional questions to make sure we stay aligned to doctor’s needs.
Hospital Cover with exclusions
Health insurance is complex, so we’ve always kept our product range quite simple. We thought it was time to check in with members and asked, “Do you think that Private Health Insurance companies should offer Hospital Cover that excludes multiple services for certain life-stages of their members?” Our members were evenly divided on this issue; however, support for exclusionary cover was far stronger in members under the age of 45. As an entry-level product, our Smart Starter hospital cover caters for a large proportion of this group. Our product design will continue to focus on ‘quality cover’, in contrast to the ‘junk policies’ in the market, that cover a small proportion of procedures or offer very limited choice of provider.
Preferred providers for extras
We asked you if you would switch from your current allied health provider if you could access the service for a lower cost through a preferred provider network. More than two-thirds of members would not make the switch, supporting the importance we place on choosing your own provider and continuity of care.
Private patients in public hospital
Respondents were almost evenly split in their views on this question: “If you are admitted to a public hospital, should the hospital be allowed to charge for that admission? i.e. that Private Health Insurance companies should pay.” Private health insurers are receiving an increasing number of claims from public hospitals. Transferring these costs to health funds puts pressure on your premiums, so we will be informing our members on their rights and options when considering an admission in a public facility as a private patient.
Access to medical provider data
Consumer groups have been calling for transparency around medical providers’ charges and performance. When we asked members about this issue, nearly three-quarters of you support publishing data about patient satisfaction and medical provider charges. Most respondents felt that that it was appropriate to provide this data directly to consumers. The survey provided some valuable insights including the importance of normalising data to recognise the varying scope of practice.
Finally, many thanks to all the members who took the time to participate in our survey and we hope to hear from you again next year. You can also provide us with your feedback throughout the year by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, 25 July 2016
Categories: From Your Fund