Stability for families with private health insurance

The Minister for Health, Peter Dutton, has announced changes to private health insurance.

Page last updated: 23 December 2013

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23 December 2013

More than 10 million Australians with private health insurance deserve certainty, sustainability and stability in their private health insurance and the Australian Government today moved to provide that outcome.

Health Minister Peter Dutton said private health insurers had seen promises made by Labor swept aside over the past six years and found themselves constantly under attack.

“I have moved to end the uncertainty created by Labor by finalising the approvals process and today announce premium changes after all 34 insurers applied for increases for next year,” Mr Dutton said.

Mr Dutton said he had approved premium increases after examination of each application by the private health insurance regulator, PHIAC.

The weighted average annual increase in private health insurance premiums for the 2014 premium year will be 6.2 per cent.

“There is no doubt this increase could have been lower had it not been for the pressures placed on the sector by Labor.

“Each application has been closely scrutinised to ensure the increases sought are fully justified.”

During 2013 premium year the industry experienced a higher than expected level of claims with the overall cost of benefits going up by 8 per cent, increasing the pressures on insurers.

Mr Dutton said the premium increase would assist the industry to absorb those costs and move into another year of effectively assisting their members.

He said he was confident that the continued growth in competitive pressures in the industry would play a key role in ensuring that premium increases were kept as low as possible.

Earlier this month the Government introduced legislation to simplify changes to government rebates on private health insurance made by the previous Labor Government.

“We moved to make the changes easier for consumers to understand and to lower implementation costs which would only have increased cost pressures on the industry,” Mr Dutton said.

Consumers can compare the coverage and costs of individual hospital and extras insurance products at the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman website.

The average premium increases for individual insurers (1 April 2014 to 31 March 2015) will be published at the Department of Health's website.

Media Contact: John Wiseman – 0401 776 108

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