Fed Govt Open Health Insurance Discussions to the Public

Following from her October announcement of health insurance roundtable discussions, Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley has launched an online survey that asks voters if premiums should be charged according to a person’s smoking status, age, gender or “health risk factors”.

“Private health insurance is a fundamental part of our health system for Australians of all ages and income types, with half the population having some form of cover,” said Minister Ley, announcing the survey.

“This Government is committed to recalibrating the private health system so that value for money for consumers returns to being its core focus and we’re interested in the views of everyday Australians on how best to do that.”

Medicare Needs to Remain Universally Accessible

Ms Ley said any changes needed to be delivered with the starting point that the Medicare and public hospital systems remained “universally” accessible to all Australians and private health was seen as complement – not a substitute – to services.

“It’s important we’re able to ask consumers what they expect from their private health insurance and there’s plenty of room to do that without moving towards US or UK models that exclude sick people and make it only available to the rich, which we don’t support.

Your Opinion on The State of Health Insurance in Australia

Consumers can have their say via the online survey: www.health.gov.au/PHIconsultations2015-16.

The percentage of population with hospital cover flat-lined in 2014-15 at 47%. Consultation will run for four weeks from Sunday 7 November until Friday 4 December 2015.

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