MEDICAL DEVICE REFORM WELCOME, BUT MORE TO BE DONE TO IMPROVE AFFORDABILITY: HCF
Friday March 18, 2022: HCF has welcomed the Federal Government’s proposed reform of the Prostheses List, but stressed that more must be done to continue to improve affordability of Private Health Insurance.
Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt MP, released a Memorandum of Understanding with the Medical Technology Association of Australia (MTAA), proposing a multiyear implementation of reforms to reduce the gap between the cost of medical devices in the public and private health sectors.
Private Health insurers are required by Government to pay mandated prices set by this agreement.
As Australia’s largest not-for-profit health insurer, HCF welcomes the Minister’s ongoing efforts to make private healthcare more affordable for all Australians.
Chief Executive Officer Sheena Jack said it was welcome news, however it was crucial that Governments continued to work with industry groups and the medical device companies to reduce the cost of medical devices for private healthcare for members.
“We recognise and are grateful for the ongoing efforts of Ministe Hunt in what is clearly a complex issue that is neccessary to solve in order to keep prices down for private health insurance holders,” Ms Jack said.
“While HCF is pleased with this progress, more must be done. Reducing the inflated price of medical devices is a key driver to reducing premiums that are passed on to Australian families. This is about Australian families being fairly charged for essential medical devices like cataract lens and knee and hip replacements.
“As a not-for-profit fund representing the interests of more than 1.8 million members, we still challenge why those with private health insurance should be paying more than public patients for the same devices.
“What we want to see is price parity between the public and private system. There is still no reasonable explanation for higher prices when it’s been well documented that the same devices are available in comparable countries like Canada, France and even New Zealand at a significant fraction of the cost.”
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HCF, Australia’s largest not-for-profit health fund protecting Australians since 1932, covers more than 1.8 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. To learn more about HCF go to hcf.com.au/about-us