Putting members’ health before profit

Calls to allow private health insurance to cover fee gaps

The Australian newspaper reports the push for health funds to assist consumers by being able to cover doctor’s gap fees as part of the national Medicare reforms.

The article cites that one million Australians – many younger and middle-income families – have joined a private health insurance fund during the pandemic to guarantee timely access to private hospitals as waiting lists for vital elective surgery procedures blow out to more than a year.

Insurers are calling for the ability to cover their members for a wider range of healthcare services, to strengthen the value of insurance, and relieve pressure on the primary health system.
Members Health Alliance – the peak industry body for 25 member-owned and not for profit private health insurers agrees.

The Alliance’s CEO, Matthew Koce said his organisation wanted changes allow insurers to help cover the cost of a GP visit.

“Private health insurers can cover the cost of a dental appointment, an optical appointment or a physio appointment, it seems strange that they can’t also help cover the cost of a GP appointment with extras policies,” he said.

Read the full story by The Australian’s Natasha Robinson.