PHI reforms good news for all Australians

16 October 2017 - for immediate release

 

The APA strongly supports the federal government’s announcement on a reform package for private health insurance (PHI), which will improve affordability for all Australians and provide simpler package choices.


The government’s decision to reform pricing arrangements with manufacturers of pacemakers and prostheses will also benefit consumers, with the reduction in expenditure by private insurers on devices - estimated to be $1 billion over four years - being passed onto consumers.


The introduction of Gold, Silver, Bronze and Basic PHI categories will not only provide additional choice for consumers, but reduce the complexity of previous package options while also keeping cost pressures down, particularly for those Australians who use basic cover for chronic conditions, and young Australians who choose basic cover options to avoid the Medicare Levy Surcharge and Lifetime Health Cover loading. Discounts for 18 to 29 year olds makes PHI a much more attractive option for this cohort.


APA National President Phil Calvert welcomed Friday’s announcement, saying “The government’s move to make insurance policies easier for consumers to understand and more affordable is a really positive move, especially for younger Australians who now have real incentives to take out private cover suitable for their health needs and life stage. The reforms will also allow a larger proportion of Australians to access private health cover, with subsequent reduced waiting times in public hospitals.”


Other reform measures that the APA supports include:

  • improved access to travel and accommodation benefits for patients in rural and remote areas, who have long struggled with additional cost burdens while accessing necessary city-based hospital treatments.
  • constraints on rebates for natural therapies for which there is no or low evidence for clinical effectiveness.

Phil said, “The APA, on behalf of physios across Australia, has been active in trying to bring better value to the private health insurance sector. Physios are expert evidence-based, ethical professionals. Our members will welcome these reforms that will make a real difference for rural Australians by giving them access to rebates for the cost of their healthcare-related travel and accommodation. This will provide better value for the system and consumers.”

 

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For further information, please contact: Julie Dwyer, Communications Manager
T 03 9092 0810 M 0419 176 075  E Julie.Dwyer@physiotherapy.asn.au