25
January
2018
|
23:30
Australia/Melbourne

Bupa announces lowest premium increase in 16 years

Bupa today announced an average health insurance premium increase of 3.99 per cent in 2018, the lowest such increase in 16 years. Following today’s approval by Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt, the change will take effect from 1 April 2018.

While there may be variances across states and policies, Bupa health insurance premiums (for hospital and extras combined) on average will increase by around $2 per week for singles and $4 per week for families (before any rebate or discount).

Bupa Health Insurance Managing Director, Dr Dwayne Crombie, said despite delivering a lower increase than past years, broader health reform was needed to continue keeping healthcare as affordable as possible for consumers.

“New services and technology mean that people are living longer and having a higher quality of life, which is what we all want, but it does come at a cost. The talk today is about the increase in the cost of health insurance, but really it’s the increase in the cost of healthcare,” Dr Crombie said.

“Australians have among the highest life expectancy in the world and access to world class healthcare services, things that the community strongly values, however this does come at a cost. 

“This may be the lowest increase in more than a decade, but that doesn’t mean we will stop looking at ways to save our customers’ money. We’ll continue working with doctors, hospitals, the Government, other medical insurers and providers to explore enduring health system reform so we can deliver the quality care Australians expect, at an affordable price.

“The Federal Government’s reforms last year contributed to keeping these costs lower than they otherwise would be. These reforms included reductions in prostheses prices, which we’ve passed on in full to our customers.

“From our own side, we’ve taken steps to be more affordable by removing medical procedures that offer no proven clinical benefit. We’ve also improved value for money for our customers by reducing out of pocket costs. These include introducing gap free dental care on a number of common preventative dental services at selected dentists and removing excess payments in hospitals for children up to 25 years of age on selected products.

“We’re also working to make our products simpler to understand. This will require an industry wide approach to things such as consistent language, but it also comes down to what’s included in our policies and ensuring that customers can easily understand if they are covered for something or not,” Dr Crombie said.

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