The federal government regulates private health insurance premiums and today approved Australian Unity’s premium rise, which is below the weighted industry average of 4.84 percent.
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.
Not since 2007, when average premiums rose by 3.84 percent, has Australian Unity’s annual increase been as low.
Across Australia, healthcare costs continue to rise significantly faster than the rest of the economy, driven not just by an ageing population, growth in chronic disease and advances in medical technology, but also by inefficiency and waste in the health care sector.
“We are committed to providing our policyholders high quality, affordable insurance and extras that they value. This premium increase allows us to continue to provide such an offering,” Australian Unity Healthcare Chief Executive Officer Amanda Hagan says.
“To make health care costs more sustainable over the longer term, we as a country need to sharpen our policy focus on reducing waste and inefficiency in the health sector, and prioritise preventative health measures to keep people out of hospital, where costs rise sharply,’’ Ms Hagan says.
“The federal government’s re-examination of its outdated pricing schedule for medical devices such as artificial hips and knees is a small step in a long journey to better value health care for Australian consumers.”
“Australian Unity is urging federal and state governments to support greater transparency of information in the healthcare sector as a way to improve efficiency and cut waste. As an example, patients should have greater access to data about both hospital and clinician performance.
Australian Unity’s corporate health fund Grand United Corporate Health also received approval for a 4.11 percent increase, down from 4.26 percent last year.
Andrew Scannell, Head of Public Affairs and Communications
Telephone: 03 8682 6777
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.