20,000+ Australians voice their views on private health

More than 20,000 Australians have voiced their views on how to make private health insurance better value for consumers just five days after it was launched.

Page last updated: 13 November 2015

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13 November 2015

More than 20,000 Australians have voiced their views on how to make private health insurance better value for consumers just five days after the Turnbull Government launched its landmark consultation.

Minister for Health Sussan Ley said there had been a “phenomenal” public response to the Government’s online consumer survey since it was uploaded on Sunday (8 November 2015).

And with three weeks left, Ms Ley said there was still plenty of time for Australians to have their say at the Department of Health’s website.

“In the past 12 months we’ve seen half-a-million top cover private health insurance policies dumped or downgraded,” Ms Ley said.

“Many consumers are unhappy with their private health insurance and if people needed proof it was a barbeque stopper, here it is.”

The 20,291 responses to the Turnbull Government’s consumer survey to date comes as targeted consultations with a variety of stakeholders – including private health insurers, hospitals, doctors and consumer and health representatives – begin on Monday.

Ms Ley said the unprecedented consumer response had set a clear expectation that Government and stakeholders needed to work constructively together to deliver them better value cover.

“Continuing to chip away at the private health rebate like Labor did without looking at the bigger picture will only see more people dump or downgrade their policies,” Ms Ley said.

“We need to be open in our thinking if we’re to deliver long-term improvements to private health that not only benefit consumers, but also maintain the integrity of Medicare and our public hospital system.”

As such, Ms Ley said an issues paper aimed at generating ideas and discussion about how to deliver consumers better value for money would be released today on the Department of Health website.

“We’re using this consultation to ask the tough questions of consumers and stakeholders and look outside the square for answers,” Ms Ley said.

“Doing the same will ensure nothing changes.

“We recognise that every lever we may pull will have an impact elsewhere in the system and we therefore must develop a well-balanced reform package that is centred on consumers.

“For example, it’s important we consider regulatory issues that may be adding unnecessary costs to consumer premiums whilst maintaining necessary protections for patients.”

ENDS

Media Contact: Troy Bilsborough 0427 063 150 or Kay McNiece 0412 132 585

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