AUSTRALIANS SLUGGED WITH MORRISON’S NEW PRIVATE HEALTH HIKE
Millions of Australians will be slugged with another above-inflation private health insurance hike today because Scott Morrison has failed to stand up to his insurer mates and get prices under control.
The latest Liberal price increase will force up annual premiums by $64 for singles, $122 for couples with obstetrics and $160 for older couples.
This means premiums have risen more than $1,100 a year under the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government – up more than 30 per cent since 2014.
Health insurance has just become the number one cost concern for Australian families, overtaking energy bills for the first time.
When everything is going up except people’s wages, soaring private health insurance premiums – coupled with rampant out-of-pocket costs for care – are putting too much pressure on family budgets.
The Liberals promised to make insurance more affordable but all they’ve done is make it more profitable for the big insurers.
Their so-called private health insurance “reforms” – designed hand-in-hand with the industry while Mr Morrison was Treasurer – have clearly failed to get prices under control.
That’s why more and more Australians are ditching or downgrading their cover.
In February, regulators confirmed another 12,370 people had dropped their cover in the December quarter.
As a result, the proportion of the population with hospital cover has dropped to 44.6 per cent – the lowest level since September 2007. If enough people do the same, the whole industry will be at risk of collapse.
The Government’s changes to the tier system is also creating confusion and concern among consumers, many of whom will be forced to pay higher premiums today if they want to keep the same level of coverage they had yesterday.
This is yet another major change to our health system that the Government has failed to explain to the Australian people.
Only Labor has a real plan to fix private health insurance.
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.
Labor has already released an issues paper and is now examining submissions to inform the terms of reference and structure of the Productivity Commission inquiry.
Only with these policies can we shift the balance back in favour of consumers and get this industry back on track.
MONDAY, 1 APRIL 2019