Private Health Insurance Consultations

Scope of Consultations

Page last updated: 03 December 2015


Australia has a mixed public and private model of health care funding and service delivery. Private health insurance offers members greater choice in the provision of treatment, coverage for some services not included under Medicare arrangements, and may offer shorter waiting times for some services. The Government is committed to ensuring consumers can access affordable, quality and timely health services through private health insurance alongside universal access to Medicare.

In common with public health funding, private health insurance sustainability is being impacted by:
  • the growth in chronic disease;
  • increasing patient expectations about access to services;
  • the number and range of health services provided;
  • the increasing cost of those services; and
  • an ageing population.
The Australian Government is undertaking consultations to identify how private health insurance may be improved to deliver better value for money for consumers by building a stronger and more sustainable private health system.

Scope of consultations

The consultations will consider ways to:
  • enhance the value of private health insurance to consumers;
  • encourage increased efficiency of private health insurance;
  • increase the effectiveness of Government incentives for private health; and
  • improve the sustainability of the private health sector.
The consultations will consider potential future roles for PHI within the context of broader changes being considered by the Government. These include the White Paper on the Reform of the Federation, and the Government’s reviews of primary health care and the Medicare Benefits Schedule.

Consultation process

The consultations will commence in November 2015 and will include the following activities:
  • online consumer survey (open from 8 November to 7 December 2015); and
  • roundtable discussions, hosted by the Department of Health, with key industry and consumer representatives (commencing 16 November 2015).
Interested stakeholders may also provide submissions to the Department of Health. These submissions will be accepted until 4 December 2015 through the following email address: PHI Consultations 2015-16 inbox.