HCF Welcomes Budget announcement to reform medical device costs
12 May 2021
HCF, Australia’s largest not for profit health insurer, has welcomed the 2021-22 Budget handed down last night, which included a raft of measures that will ultimately help manage costs for Members.
As part of last night’s budget announcements, $17.7 billion will be spent on aged care; $2.3 billion on mental health; and $23.1 million earmarked over four years to help reform medical device pricing in Australia.
HCF Chief Officer Member Health Julie Andrews said bringing the cost of medical devices down would help members with private health insurance through reducing the pressure on premium increases.
“For too long the cost of common medical devices such as cataract lens and knee and hip replacements - in Australia has been significantly higher than in comparable countries like Canada, France and even New Zealand. HCF has been working with industry groups and Government to reform this sector which will go a long way to ensuring members needs are – met whilst keeping private health care affordable,” Ms Andrews said.
“While HCF’s premium increase in April was the lowest in 19 years, we want to ensure we can continue to keep those rises to a minimum and fair pricing for medical devices will help us do that.
“As a not for profit health fund we put the health of our members before everything we do. This year’s budget announcement will help us to continue to ensure members are provided with affordable access to the best treatment available,” Ms Andrews said.
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HCF, Australia’s largest not-for-profit health fund protecting Australians since 1932, covers over 1.6 million members with health and life insurance, and 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 health care 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 Healthy Weight for Life programs, mobile Victor Chang Heart Health Checks, Thank You rewards program and preparing for hospital online tool. 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 and HCF Eyecare 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