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Health Minister defends private healthcare price rises

Consumers are facing yet another rise in private health insurance premiums this year, despite major government reforms designed to bring costs down.

An average 3.9% rise is expected to come into force on April 1 this year.

Steve Price speaks with Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt about what the government is doing to shake up the industry.

“There are two big things. The big shock for many people is when they discover something which they thought had been covered isn’t covered.

“So we’re creating a really simple system, gold, silver, bronze, basic. That will include a one-page statement as to what’s in and what’s out.

“Secondly, to continue to drive to keep premiums as low as possible. We’re likely to have the lowest increase in 17 years off the back of the biggest reforms in over a decade.”

When asked why prices continue to rise well above the rate of inflation, the minister insisted the government is doing everything it can.

“It’s a private industry so we don’t regulate the prices. What we can do is put enormous pressure on, which we’ve done.”

Click PLAY below for the full interview