Photo by Artur Tumasjan on Unsplash
New research has compounded a miserable year for the private health insurance sector, with 2.23 million Australians dumping their cover in the past five years.
The research of over 1,000 Australians was undertaken by YouGov Galaxy for the Medical Technology Association of Australia (MTAA), and found reasons for leaving included:
- ‘cost of premiums’ (64%)
- ‘lack of value for money’ (50%)
- ‘out of pockets’ (31%)
- ‘prefer the public system’ (21%)
- ‘do not believe in private health insurance’ (11%)
MTAA CEO Ian Burgess said that for the 11 million Australians still covered by private health insurance, premiums were set to increase by $50 – $300 in 2020.
Mr Burgess said the research was further proof the ‘Big 4’ health funds (Medibank, Bupa, HCF and NIB) were not passing on savings from recent medical device price cuts, which fell on average 14% in recent years, saving insurers $390 million.
“Over the past decade the ‘Big 4’ health insurers increased their premiums at a faster rate than national house prices, while banking billions in profits,” Mr Burgess said.
“This is despite the fact private health funds have not paid one extra cent for medical devices in recent years.
“Each of these two million Australians dumping their private health cover is an extra person joining our already overcrowded public hospital system.”
Mr Burgess added that the findings gave a rare insight into the real “churn and…