Private Health Insurance Premiums Predicted To Rise
Just when you thought private health insurance couldn't get any more expensive, there's speculation premiums will go up once again.
The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that an increase of double the rate of inflation - 3.2 per cent total - is being considered.
Insurers will need to get approval from the Federal Government next month, with a decision to be announced in December, 2019. Any granted price hike would take affect from April 1, 2020.
Private Healthcare Australia has told the newspaper they need to increase premiums to meet the cost of devices like knee and hip replacements, which have gone up 8.6 per cent.
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The news comes after The Department of Health reported Australia's average out of pocket health costs to be at a record high.
Patients paid an average of $38.46 in out of pocket costs at the GP in 2018-19, a Senate estimates committee was told Wednesday.
Australians were also paying record out of pocket costs for specialist treatment, costing an average of $83.77 in 2018-19.
Health Department secretary Glenys Beauchamp said these numbers had grown over the years.
Department representatives also said there were record highs of bulk billing rates, with 86.2 per cent of GP services were being bulk billed.
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners has recently criticised using the figures of bulk billing rates as in indication of patients' access to such services.