Private Health Insurance – Appropriate regulation

Regulations around private health insurance products will be tightened as a result of this year’s Budget giving consumers additional protection.

Page last updated: 09 May 2006

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Why is this important?

  • Existing regulation of private health insurance is based upon legislation that was first developed in 1953. It has not kept pace with significant changes to the private health insurance sector and needs to be revised.

Who will benefit?

  • The ten million consumers who currently hold private health insurance will benefit from additional protection.
  • The industry will benefit because the legislation will be the minimum necessary to achieve Government policy objectives.
  • Easy to understand legislation will also benefit consumers and the private health sector by clearly setting out the requirements of a private health insurance product.

What funding is the Government committing to the initiative?

  • This reform will cost the Government $3.3 million over four years.

What has been done in the past?

  • Existing legislation is focused on tightly controlling health fund activity rather than the products they sell and what they provide to consumers. The current legislative provisions applying to private health insurance will be consolidated, where practicable, into a single Act with clear objectives and a structure that focuses on all of the private health sector.

When will the initiative conclude?

  • While the initiatives are ongoing, funding ceases in 2009-10.

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