TURNBULL’S PRIVATE HEALTH COVER-UP TO PROTECT BIG INSURERS
Reports today that tens of thousands of Australians have private health policies that don’t currently comply with the law are extremely concerning – especially when Turnbull hasn’t even had the decency to own up and inform Australians about the bungle.
This is another example of Turnbull putting his big business mates ahead of Australian consumers – the Government wrote to insurers but hid it from the Australian public. It reeks of a cover-up.
Three weeks ago, the Government wrote to insurers about the serious concerns for consumers:
“The premium rebate ought not to have been paid on these policies; people subject to the Medicare levy surcharge were not exempted by buying these policies; and people buying these policies were still subject to any applicable lifetime health cover loadings.”[The Australian, 29 March 2018]
These are serious consequences and there are unanswered questions about what happens next.
The fact is that Turnbull has given a rubber stamp to insurers increasing exclusions – the number of private health policies with an exclusion has soared to more than 2,000,000 under Turnbull, leaving Australians increasingly caught out when they go to use their cover. Since 2014, the number of policies with an exclusion has soared by 65%. More than 40% of policies now have some kind of exclusion.
Labor has consistently warning that more action needs to be taken against junk policies but the Government hasn’t acted.
This will be another test for Turnbull – will he stand up to private health insurers, or will he defend them again and put consumers last?
Families are paying $1000 more every year for private health insurance under the Liberals, complaints are soaring and value is falling. This cover up is just another blow and shows why Australians don’t trust Turnbull on health.
Only Labor has a plan to shift the balance back to consumers – we will cap private health premium increases at 2% for two years and undertake the first root and branch review of the industry in 20 years. If Turnbull doesn’t adopt Labor’s policy immediately it will be more proof he only cares about protecting big insurers – not Australian consumers.
THURSDAY, 29 MARCH 2018