Private Health Insurance – Enhanced choices

A new Budget measure will see a number of information products, including a national campaign, to assist consumers make informed choices about their private health insurance status and coverage.

Page last updated: 09 May 2006

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Why is this important?

  • Consumers can find it difficult to understand private health insurance and to compare and select from the range of private health insurance products on offer. Better information about private health insurance will assist people with, or looking to buy, insurance.
  • A general communication campaign promoting the benefits of private health insurance, and the changes being introduced, will be run next year.
  • In future, Medicare Australia will notify consumers who inadvertently miss their Lifetime Health Cover deadline and incur a loading on their private health insurance premiums.
  • Health funds will be required to publish standard information that will include: premiums; waiting periods; exclusions; hospital and medical gaps; and excesses. In addition, a website will be developed and managed to allow consumers to make product comparisons using this information.

Who will benefit?

  • Improved information will assist more than 10 million consumers with private health insurance to make better choices about their private health care.

What funding is the Government committing to the initiative?

  • The Government will provide $50.4 million over four years for the information and communication campaigns, and for development of the website.

What has been done in the past?

  • Consumers have had to work their way through material published by health funds to compare products. Market research has indicated that this has constrained consumers from fully understanding private health insurance. Health funds will be required to publish standard information for each product and this information will be available on a website managed by the Ombudsman.

When will the initiative conclude?

  • The initiative is ongoing.

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