Patients in health funds are losing out as rates rise while rebates lessen, the Consumers Health Forum states.
The CHF says consumers are being fleeced and not getting the rebates they should.
The latest rise in out-of-pocket costs that private patients pay is yet more evidence of the need for serious reform in health insurance, the CHF says.
It says that recent Australian Prudential Regulation Authority figures highlight the graphic rise in the private health insurance revenue-benefit gap.
“Patients paid an average 4.4% rise per episode for hospital treatment last year compared to the year before,’’ says CEO of CHF, Leanne Wells.
“That out of pocket impost was on top of heavy health insurance premium rises borne by consumers and at a time when some health funds are shrinking what they will cover.
“The APRA statistics in recent years show that the gap between the premium revenue health funds receive and what they pay out in benefits has risen significantly and reached an all time high of $3.1bn in surplus revenue to the funds as at December last year.
“This is unacceptable particularly given that taxpayers already finance health insurance to the tune of $6 billion a year through the health insurance rebates.
“This is why the Consumers Health Forum has proposed the MyCover plan which would drive more competition and transparency in the industry by requiring that only health fund policies meeting set standards of comprehensiveness and comparability qualify for the health insurance rebate,” says Wells.