PurposeAustralia 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.
Scope of consultationsThe 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.
Consultation processThe 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).