Shake-up for pri­vate health ben­e­fits youth

The Chronicle - - NEWS - Tom Gille­spie tom.gille­spie@thechron­i­

SAM Robin­son didn’t know the rules around health in­sur­ance were chang­ing when he took out his first pol­icy this week – but he’s glad he did.

The mu­sic teacher and his part­ner Laura John­son yes­ter­day wel­comed the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment’s over­haul of pri­vate health in­sur­ance, which will en­cour­age peo­ple un­der 30 to take out poli­cies.

Un­der the changes, young peo­ple who take out a pol­icy for the first time will be en­ti­tled to a two per cent dis­count ev­ery year for five years un­til they hit 30.

Mr Robin­son, who has needed treat­ment for is­sues with his eyes, teeth, feet and back this year, said he wanted to take out in­sur­ance ear­lier, but found it too ex­pen­sive.

“I just took out a claim (on Thurs­day) night, not be­cause of this up­date but be­cause I needed to,” he said.

“I have glasses, I need to go to the den­tist and when I was look­ing at it at the start of the year, it was all $20-$30 more (than Laura’s).

“I hurt my back at the start of the year quite badly, and at that time I couldn’t af­ford physio and I had to just let it be.”

On top of the dis­count for young peo­ple, health in­sur­ance prod­ucts will now be split into gold, sil­ver, bronze and ba­sic cat­e­gories to help peo­ple un­der­stand the level of cover.

While he wel­comed any re­forms that made health in­sur­ance more af­ford­able, Mr Robin­son ad­mit­ted he was un­sure how ef­fec­tive the changes would be.

Pa­tients who en­ter a hospi­tal with a men­tal ill­ness will also be of­fered an im­me­di­ate up­grade of their pol­icy with no wait­ing pe­riod.


I hurt my

at the start of the year quite badly, and I had to just let it be.

— Sam Robin­son


READY TO CLAIM: Toowoomba teacher Sam Robin­son and his part­ner Laura John­son are set to be among the thou­sands of young peo­ple across Aus­tralia who will ben­e­fit from changes to pri­vate health in­sur­ance.

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