The 13 million Australians with private health insurance will be slugged with another above-inflation private health insurance hike next year because Scott Morrison’s Liberals have failed to stand up to the insurers and get prices under control.
Premiums have already risen more than $1,000 a year under the Liberals – up 27 per cent since 2014.
A reported 3 per cent price increase in 2019 would be well above inflation – and cost families more than an extra $100 a year.
If Scott Morrison expects the Australian people to thank him for another huge price increase it shows just how out-of-touch he really is.
It’s clear now the Liberals’ so-called private health insurance “reforms” – designed hand-in-hand with the industry while Mr Morrison was Treasurer – have failed to get prices under control.
This latest Liberal health hike will be a major hit to the family budget and force more people to abandon their cover.
It will do nothing to slow the private health insurance exodus, which is putting the entire industry at risk of collapse.
Already, Australians are downgrading or ditching their private health cover in record numbers in response to relentless price rises, soaring out-of-pocket costs and growing exclusions.
A recent ACCC report found that as of June 2018, 45.1 per cent of the Australian population held hospital-only or combined health insurance cover – the lowest level since 2009.
Wage growth is low and family budgets are already under strain given the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government’s failure to rein in living costs, from health insurance to electricity. The Liberals promised to make insurance more affordable – but all they’ve done is make it more profitable for the big insurers.
Today’s news shows why Labor’s policies are so sorely needed.
Labor knows that private health plays an important role in Australia’s health system – but it will only continue to do so if we get prices under control.
Labor will cap premium price increases at 2 per cent for two years, delivering families an average saving of $340. We will also task the Productivity Commission with a sweeping review to identify long-term sustainable ways to bring down costs and improve quality.
Only with these policies can we shift the balance back in favour of consumers and get this industry back on track.
Based on Canstar averages for combined hospital/general cover, an average* 2.9% increase will mean an extra:
- $57 for young singles
- $109 for couples/families with obstetrics
- $142 for older couples
* These are only average increases, with costs set to rise by much more for many people
SUNDAY, 9 DECEMBER 2018