HCF responds to Health Minister’s Private Health Reforms.
Sydney, Friday 13 October 2017 – HCF, Australia’s largest not-for-profit health fund, welcomes the private health insurance reforms announced today by the Minister for Health, Mr Greg Hunt. The raft of proposed reforms demonstrates the government’s commitment to make private health insurance fair and transparent for everyone.
HCF CEO, Sheena Jack, said: “There is no question private health insurance has been in need of reform to ensure we’re all focused on the best outcomes for patients. Today’s announcement from the Minister for Health is good news for our members and we’re pleased by the commitment to make private health insurance fair and transparent for consumers. We are encouraged that this is a step in the right direction, with more reform expected to follow.
“The Prosthesis List reforms signal that the government understands the cost pressures for health funds and this will represent real savings for consumers. As a not-for-profit health fund, we will be passing on the cost saving to our members as we review premiums for next year.
“A review of low value admissions is exciting for patients – health care needs to be reset to focus on patient outcomes – that means the right treatment, at the right time and in the right setting. In some cases this might be moving away from low value procedures. We have done significant work in this space and look forward to sharing what we have with Mr Hunt and his team as they review this area of the system.
“The introduction of a Lifetime Healthcover discount for young people is a great initiative that we hope will attract more people and give this group greater access to private health. The stability of the private health system relies on bringing people in at an earlier age and the hope is that this new initiative will do that.
“Standardised medical terminology is also good news for consumers, ensuring greater transparency across the industry and reducing consumer confusion. The classification of policies into Gold, Silver and Bronze aims to make it easier to compare policies.
“Empowered consumers are a win for everyone. Consumers with the right policies will be better covered and have their expectations met when they come to claim – in turn this reinforces the value of private health insurance.
“Mental health is an important issue for our members and the whole community. A mental health safety net will potentially support people when they really need it. We look forward to working with the government further on this.
“We also support the other initiatives announced today including a product for rural members covering transport and accommodation, lifting the cap on excess to allow us to offer more consumer choice and the data review, which should lead to greater transparency and the opportunity to reduce gaming of the system.”
Media inquiries to:
- Sarah Kelly
Mob: 0411 893 890
HCF, Australia’s largest not-for-profit health fund protecting people since 1932, covers around 1.5 million members with health and life insurance, community care, travel and pet insurance. On average over the last five years, HCF has paid out more cents in every dollar in premiums to members as benefits than the industry average. With over 35,000 specialists participating in its Medical Gap Cover Scheme and approximately 10,000 providers participating in its 100% back More for You programs, HCF gives members access to quality healthcare with no gaps or minimal costs compared to non-participating providers. To empower members to put their health first, HCF also offers a range of health and lifestyle services including its My Health Guardian health management program, mobile Victor Chang Heart Health Checks and My Global Specialist second opinion service. HCF’s national network of retail outlets and Australian-based call centres have earned multi-award winning status. HCF members also have access to low cost, high quality services at HCF Dental Centres. Having contributed $50 million to support the health services research funded by the HCF Research Foundation, HCF is devoted to investing in the future of Australia’s health. To learn more about HCF go to hcf.com.au/about-us