Medibank Private Limited has received approval from the Federal Minister for Health to increase its premiums by an average of 5.64% across all Medibank and ahm health insurance products, effective 1 April 2016.
Premiums for all private health insurers are regulated by the Australian Government, and changes approved by the Minister for Health annually.
This year’s change is Medibank’s lowest average premium increase in 4 years.
Managing Director George Savvides said this is the result of significant work by Medibank to tackle quality and affordability and to reduce waste and inefficiencies in the healthcare system.
“Our work is starting to pay off and we’re pleased to be able to give back to our members by way of a lower average premium rate change than in previous years,” Mr. Savvides said.
Earlier this year, Medibank announced it would re-submit its application to the Minister with a lower proposed average increase than originally requested.
“We know affordability is an issue for our members. We continuously look for opportunities to keep premiums as low as possible, and we will continue to find new ways to deliver more value to our members,” Mr. Savvides said.
Medibank is advocating for and working with the Government on policy reforms to improve affordability and value; investing in primary care programs to reduce avoidable hospital admissions; introducing performance-based hospital contracts to reduce waste and improve efficiencies in the health system; and supporting members – and all Australians – to live healthier, more active lives through community initiatives, investments, and partnerships.
With an aging population, increasing the prevalence of illness, and advancements in medical technologies, Australians are being admitted to hospital more – and receiving more hospital treatments per admission – than ever before.
“We are doing everything we can to keep our premiums affordable, however increasing healthcare costs are putting pressure on premiums.”
“For us to be able to continue to provide benefits back to our members, we need to ensure our premiums keep pace with the rising costs of healthcare,” Mr. Savvides said.
Since 2010, the number of hospital admissions per Medibank member has increased 20 percent, and the average amount Medibank pays in benefits per admission has increased 12 percent. This combination of factors means that the average claimable benefits paid per member for hospital admissions have increased 34 percent in the last five years.
Last financial year, Medibank Private Limited paid a record $5.1 billion in hospital and extras benefits on behalf of Medibank and ahm members.
Medibank is committed to working with the Government and the healthcare sector to improve affordability and quality of private healthcare, and reduce waste and improve efficiencies, with a focus on better health outcomes for Australians.
“Like Medibank, the Australian Government is committed to enhancing our healthcare system – and to ensuring private healthcare remains affordable so Australians can access the best healthcare and have the best health outcomes possible,” Mr. Savvides said.
Medibank has recommended seven key reforms that would improve the transparency, affordability, and value of private healthcare, and potentially save up to $3 billion per year across the industry.
“The Minister for Health has shown a great willingness to work with the industry, and Medibank stands ready to be involved in changes that will improve affordability, services, and reduce pressure on premiums in the future,” Mr. Savvides said.
Medibank is committed to meeting the needs of its members and providing affordable, competitively priced and innovative private health insurance products and services that enable them to access the care, resources and support they need for better health.
Medibank and ahm members will receive information in coming weeks of how today’s announcement will change their individual premiums.
Medibank Private Limited is Australia’s leading private health insurer, with close to 40 years of experience delivering better health to all Australians. We look after the unique and individual health cover needs of 3.9 million members through our Medibank and ahm brands and deliver a wide range of programs to support health and wellbeing in the community. Members can access our products and services via an extensive retail, online or telephone network. We also deliver a range of complementary services including health management for government and other clients and distribute travel, life and pet insurance. We are a strong advocate for a sustainable private health system that delivers value, transparency, and affordability. Medibank Private Limited was listed on the Australian Securities Exchange in 2014 and is headquartered in Melbourne.
Source: medibank.com.au, March 2, 2016