Six billion reasons to make health insurance rebate work for consumers

Suggestions that the Health Minister wants to deploy the $6 billion health insurance rebate to drive a better deal for consumers represent an exciting breakthrough in Government thinking, says the Consumers Health Forum.

The Consumers Health Forum welcomes the comments by the Minister, Sussan Ley, that she wants the rebate to deliver a greater benefit for consumers.

“For too long taxpayers have subsidised health insurance rebates to the tune of tens of billions of dollars and all the while health fund premiums have continued to grow rapidly,” the CEO of the Consumers Health Forum, Leanne Wells said.

“It is time for the rebate to be used to drive effective competition among health funds and to leverage a simpler, higher value, easy to navigate set of private health insurance arrangements.

“We have put a solution to the Government. It’s called MyCover.

“Under MyCover, in order to qualify for the rebate, health funds would have to offer comprehensive and clear hospital policies which would be easy to compare with rival policies.

“The current mishmash of over 40,000 different health policies is frustrating and mindnumbing, and importantly, it stifles real competition because polices are so difficult to compare.

“Improved competition would not only stimulate simpler choices for consumers, it would also spur greater scrutiny of charges and conditions imposed by providers, hospitals and doctors.

“At the moment it is the consumer who is missing out on the benefits of the buoyant business conditions enjoyed by many funds, private hospitals and specialists,” Ms Wells said.


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