The Coalition has again shown its complete lack of concern for struggling families by waving through the 2nd highest increase in private health insurance premiums in a decade.
The 6.18 per cent rise approved by new Health Minister Sussan Ley is almost three time the inflation rate, and will add around $200 to the cost of annual premium for family hospital cover, and over $250 for those not eligible for the tax rebate.
The rise comes on the back of last year’s decision by the Abbott Government to approve a decade high rise of 6.2 per cent in premiums.
The two rises approved since the 2013 election are the two highest increases since the coalition was last in power, when then Health Minister Tony Abbott ticked off three successive rises exceeding 7 per cent.
Both of the rises approved since the Coalition returned to power exceed any of the six annual increases approved under Labor, when the former Labor Government put pressure on the health insurance sector to ensure the lowest possible premium rises.
Labor also provided $1.4 million to increase the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman’s capacity to manage complaints and respond to consumer enquiries and $2.3 million to establish the Private Health Insurance Premiums and Competition Unit.
These successive above six per cent increases are yet another slap in the face for families from a government determined to do anything it can to make health care more expensive.
This is a government which has slashed more than $50 billion from hospital funding, and then sought to hit families with a tax on visits to the GP, and extra charges for essential medicines.
Now it has waved through the biggest rises in private health insurance premiums in a decade, adding to the increasing burden on family budgets.