Health Insurance

More Australians see health insurance’s value

More Australians see health insurance’s value | Insurance Business Australia

Report covers figures related to hospital treatment and extras cover

More Australians see health insurance's value

Life & Health

By Roxanne Libatique

More Australians are seeing the value of health insurance, with the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority’s (APRA) latest data showing an increasing number of private health insurance (PHI) members.

From June to September 2023, the number of people with cover for hospital treatment ballooned by 89,000. Meanwhile, the number of people with extras cover for services such as dental, optical, and physio rose by 86,000.

Members Health Fund Alliance (Members Health) CEO Matthew Koce said the latest data reflects Australians’ appreciation of the fast, dependable high-quality healthcare delivered through the private system.

“Health insurance membership has gone from strength to strength, reaching an all-time high of over 14.66 million, reinforcing the indispensable role that the private system plays in caring for the health of Australians,” Koce said. “The more than 55% of all Australians who are members of a health fund get peace of mind over fast access to high quality care with a doctor of choice – but just as important, they also help ease pressure on our overstretched public hospitals by freeing up beds for those who need them most.”

Reflecting on the continued rise of PHI membership, Koce highlighted Members Health’s main concern with the Australian healthcare system.

“Members Health funds are not for profit and member-owned, so are entirely consumer driven. One of our biggest concerns is the enormous pressure primary healthcare is experiencing,” Koce said. “To help improve sustainability, affordability, and accessibility of primary healthcare, we would like [the] government to urgently start a conversation about how to draw on assistance from the private health insurance system.

“It makes no sense that health insurance funds can assist with covering highly successful dental, optical, and physio services but are prohibited by [the] government from supporting their members with a trip to the GP.”

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