At last, good news on health insurance

The wide-ranging health insurance reforms announced today deliver a welcome response to consumer dissatisfaction with the current pitfalls of private health cover, the Consumers Health Forum says.

“The Government’s health insurance reforms appear likely to deliver not only lower premium increases in the medium term but hopefully clearer consumer-friendly policies. This should be a breath of fresh air for families and individuals under pressure and contemplating dropping their cover after years of above inflation premium rises each year,” the CEO of the Consumers Health Forum, Leanne Wells, said.

“The Government has set an ambitious target of around $1 billion in savings over several years for health funds resulting from changes to prostheses pricing. We expect that consumers should receive the full benefit of these price reductions.

“Measures including the introduction of simpler categories of policies, and the exclusion of treatments for which there is no evidence are all steps in the right direction.

“The significant improvement in access to cover for mental health care is a much-needed provision given the demand for these services and their greater availability in the private sector.

“A further positive development is the plan to boost the powers and resourcing of the health insurance ombudsman to assist people to make more informed choices about their policies, and to investigate claims of wrongdoing by health funds.

“Enabling improved inclusions in policies for people in rural and remote communities will support those patients needing to travel to the cities for treatment.


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