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New private healthcare packages ‘fairer for older and sicker’ Australians

The Private health insurance industry claims changes introduced this week are actually fairer for older and sicker Australians.

Premiums rose this week by an average of 3.25 per cent, which is the lowest increase since 2001.

But when the cost of living jumps 1.8 per cent and wages are only going up 2.3 per cent, every day Aussies are feeling the pinch.

The average single will pay $62 more per year, while families will have to pay $135 more a year.

A new tiered system was also introduced with basic, bronze, silver and gold packages that have a minimum level of cover each.

But there are complaints people are paying for things they don’t need, like seniors and even men being covered for pregnancy.

Private Healthcare Australia is the peak representative body for the industry which has more than 20 funds as members.

Its CEO Dr Rachel David tells Alan Jones the new system actually reduces the costs for older and sicker Australians.

“It’s a way of helping consumers understand what they’re covered for and also to select the right cover for them.

“This system is actually fairer for older and sicker people because if everyone was able to get cover, only for the areas they wanted, that would actually put premiums up massively for older people.”

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