Fears of fund hikes
HEALTH funds are refusing to guarantee that premium rises will not soar higher than inflation despite winning over $1 billion in savings under health reforms.
And health fund groups claim the reforms will shave just $34 from an expected $200 a year premium hike next year.
The government is also facing a major backlash over its decision to end health fund subsidies for natural therapies with a social media protest over the move read by more than 70,000 people.
The Your Health Your Choice campaign led by natural therapy practitioners says it’s ridiculous that at the same time it is discounting premiums to attract young people into insurance the government is axing subsidies for the very treatments they want to use.
In other developments insurers have revealed that unless health funds get an extra 50,000 young members as a result of a new 10 per cent price discount older health fund members will have to pay higher premiums to cover the cost of the incentives.
And while health funds have won the right to keep offering public hospital only insurance policies they are actively campaigning to stop paying for treatment in public hospitals.
More than 560,000 Australians have these so called “junk policies” that only cover them in a public hospital even though they can get free public hospital treatment under Medicare.
The government reneged on its election promise to axe the policies but health funds now want their members barred from using the policies in public hospitals unless the fund is given 24 hours notice.