Step in the Right Direction on Private Health Costs

The announcement of cuts to the costs of some medical devices is a welcome first step towards containing costs of private health insurance says the Consumers Health Forum.

“Consumers consistently tell us that they think that private health insurance as it currently operates is poor value, with high premiums and in many cases high out of pocket expenses. Many are voting with their feet and leaving or downgrading their cover. It is welcome that the Government has recognised this and initiated a reform agenda to make private health insurance affordable and better value for individuals and to deliver better outcomes for the health system as a whole.” says Leanne Wells, CEO of Consumers Health Forum.

“If these announced cuts lead to a lower level of premium increase in 2017 then consumers will benefit. However, to get longer-term and more sustainable reductions in premiums the government needs to take a broader more systematic approach with a robust price disclosure regime across all medical devices that would hopefully ensure Australians no longer pay higher prices for medical devices than in other countries. We look forward to seeing the new Prostheses Listing Advisory Committee take this agenda forward.

This is only part of the picture and we are pleased that the Minister reiterated her commitment to more systemic reform via her Private Health Ministerial Advisory Committee which we have a representative on. Our expectation is that the Committee’s advice will be taken seriously as there is an urgent need for reform which will restore consumer confidence in private health insurance as a product that works for them when they need it.
We have a mixed private and public health system in Australia and we need both parts to be working efficiently to ensure Australians have access to high quality health care.”

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Jenna Gray

E J.Gray@chf.org.au
T:  02 6273 5444 
M: 0429 111 986