Government to reform regulation of private health insurance
The Federal Government will reform the regulation of the private health insurance industry to ensure that Australia's nine million health fund members continue to get maximum value for money.
2 April 2002
Government to reform regulation of private health insuranceThe Federal Government will reform the regulation of the private health insurance industry to ensure that Australia's nine million health fund members continue to get maximum value for money.
The Federal Minister for Health and Ageing, Senator Kay Patterson, said a high-level working party chaired by the Department of Health and Ageing would report to her by the middle of the year.
The private health insurance industry would be fully consulted.
Senator Patterson said: "We are about making a good product even better. The review is considering if the current rules and regulations are delivering the best outcomes for fund members.
"The review will consider ways of ensuring that health funds are as efficient and as competitive as possible and continue to deliver affordable premiums to members."
Senator Patterson said the Government would maintain its right to veto any private health fund premium increases that were not in the public interest.
"I have announced my review to ensure that health fund members continue to get maximum value for money from their 30% discount on health fund premiums," she said.
"The time has come for the Labor Party to come clean on its review which is considering getting rid of the 30% discount on premiums. Mr Smith, despite his admission that the rebate was an important part of the family budget, announced the review on February 8, saying its abolition was a real possibility.
"We see Opposition health spokesman Stephen Smith shedding crocodile tears on health insurance premiums while Labor is considering abolishing the 30 % rebate and thereby slugging the average Australian family with private cover with an additional $750 a year."
Senator Patterson said the review would look at a range of issues, including whether the regulatory environment encourages or inhibits competition between funds.
Media Contact: Randal Markey 0417 694 520