In October last year, Health Minister Greg Hunt announced a number of reforms to Private Health Insurance which will be implemented progressively from 2018 onward. The objectives of the reforms were to improve the private health insurance system across three dimensions:

  • Affordability
  • Complexity, and 
  • Sustainability

Private health insurance plays a vital role in Australia’s healthcare landscape and maintaining affordability is important to its take-up across the population. We were very pleased that the Government included some reductions to the prostheses price list  in the reform package which will allow health funds to pass on future cost savings. 

The industry has been calling for such changes for some time now, and continues to advocate for reinstatement of the Government rebate arrangements. Since 2013, the rebate percentage has been reduced annually, which has contributed between 1% and 1.5% of annual premium increases, for those members who are eligible to claim the rebate.  

We also advocate for a more informed dialogue between the Government and the public. Whilst policy settings are important, there are fundamental demographic and other changes which inevitably lead to healthcare cost pressures. These include our aging population, increased incidence of chronic disease and medical technology advancements. We believe these influences should feature more prominently in the public discourse.     

Whilst improved affordability is a paramount objective, we at Doctors’ Health Fund have always aimed to provide quality products and services with proven efficacy. Our track record of premium increase, as shown below, has been below the industry average for the past six years. 

Published average premium increases at 25 January 2018:
  2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
  % % % % % %
Doctors’ Health Fund 3.78 4.23 3.98 3.76 3.54 2.28
Industry 5.60 6.20 6.18 5.59 4.84 3.95

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here for the full report on private health insurer average premium increases – 2010 to 2018.