The federal government today approved an average premium rise for Australian Unity health insurance policies of 3.89 percent, to be applied from 1 April 2018.
Australian Unity’s average increase is below the industry average of 3.95 percent, and its lowest premium rise since 2007. Australian Unity has done a lot of work to keep its premium increase as low as possible, and this has been helped by broader health reforms.
Australian Unity understands affordability of private health insurance is a critical ongoing concern of its members, and has recognised this in health insurance premium negotiations with the federal government, which regulates premium prices.
“We are acutely aware that our members want value for money from their health insurance policy, whatever the level of coverage,” Australian Unity Retail general manager commercial, finance and strategy Paul Ryan says. “We are committed to providing this value for money both in hospital cover and extras, but further reform of our health system is required to keep costs in check.”
Healthcare costs such as hospital accommodation and provider fees charged by specialists and allied health providers are rising faster than the overall economy, putting pressure on premiums. Some of this is driven by an ageing population, more chronic disease and higher usage of expensive medical technology. But inefficiency and waste in the health care sector also contribute to health inflation.
“We have been supportive in recent times of the federal government’s reforms to private health insurance as a positive step on the path to improving affordability and value for consumers,’’ Mr Ryan says. “In particular, the moves to rein in prostheses prices is welcomed.”
“But the job of health reform is not done. Further work is needed, notably in the area of transparency of health information such as clinician costs and outcomes data, to drive effectiveness and efficiencies in the cost of health care for Australians,” he says.
Australian Unity’s approved premium increase of 3.89 percent is an average only, and the increase applied to individual policies will vary.
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About Australian Unity
Australian Unity is a national health, wealth and living mutual company providing services to almost one million Australians, including 300,000 members. Australian Unity’s history as a trusted mutual organisation dates back to 1840. It has grown organically—by continually evolving to provide the services and products needed by the communities it serves—as well as through successful strategic mergers and diversification in to new business activities.