Federal Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson MP is encouraging residents across O’Connor to have their say on how the private health insurance sector can deliver better value for money.
The Turnbull Government this week launched an online survey after Australians dumped or downgraded half-a-million ‘all-inclusive’ private health insurance policies last year, with record numbers flocking to cheaper cover with exclusions and excesses.
Mr Wilson said the survey is open now until 4 December at www.health.gov.au/PHIconsultations2015-16.
“As well as asking private health customers, our government is holding consultations with insurers, hospitals and doctors to discuss structural reform to the system,” Mr Wilson said.
Official 2014-15 results* from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) follow successive cuts by the former Labor government to the value of the private health insurance rebate in the 2012 and 2013 Budgets, including means-testing and restricting indexation to the CPI.
In response, hundreds of thousands of Australians prepaid their policies for up to three years in 2012, just before the first of Labor’s cuts came into effect.
“Private health insurance is a fundamental part of Australia’s health system, with half of our population having some form of cover,” he said.
“Any changes need to be delivered with a starting point that Medicare and the public hospital systems remain ‘universally’ accessible to all and that taking out private health insurance was a complement – not a substitute – to those services.
“The Turnbull Government is committed to recalibrating the system so that value is the core focus and we want views from a broad section of our population on how best to achieve this.”