Putting members’ health before profit

New Dependents Bill promises to save young people thousands, but more is needed

Image: Members Health

The latest private health insurance reforms have passed the Australian Parliament, allowing young people to remain on their parents health cover until age 31, and entirely removing age limits for those with a disability.

Members Health CEO, Matthew Koce, welcomed the legislation, saying the reforms will make an enormous difference in the lives of younger Australians and for those with disabilities.

“These reforms are something not-for-profit and member owned insurers have been advocating for over many years and it will be a welcome relief for many Australian families,” Mr Koce said.

“Lifting the age for dependents on family policies, from 24 to 31, could save young people thousands of dollars per year during a stage in life when cost-of-living pressures start to bite.”

The base median price for a single Gold hospital treatment policy costs around $2,520 per year[1]. Over the course of five years that equates to approximately $12,600 saved, freeing up money that could be used to pay off HECS and university debt, save for a first home or to raise a family.

“Given the dire state of the public health system, these reforms are particularly timely,” Mr Koce said.

“Public hospital waits are blowing out beyond recommended clinical times and into the years, emergency departments are increasingly at crisis point, and hardworking doctors and nurses are stressed and stretched to the bone.

“The reforms delivered are a sign of ongoing support for the private health system and will help provide more choice and control to more Australians when it comes to their health.

“The last thing a younger person would want is to miss out on a key part of their life because they are forced to wait in pain more than a year for surgery,” Mr Koce said.

The more than 11.4 million Australians with cover for hospital treatment not only have access to a fast and efficient private hospital network with doctor of choice, they also help to free up public hospital beds for those most in need.

“Helping more young people to stay covered with private health insurance adds to the sustainability of the country’s entire health system – public and private,” Mr Koce said.

The alliance of Members Health funds now looks forward to working with the Morrison Government to deliver on their long held commitment to restore the private health insurance rebate.

“It’s time for the Government to restore the Rebate back to the original 30 per cent,” Mr Koce said.

Government cuts to the private health insurance rebate have seen it slashed from 30 per cent to just 25 per cent.

“The declining private health insurance rebate more than anything else is damaging affordability for younger people,” Mr Koce said.


Members Health is the peak body for an alliance of 26 health funds that are not-for-profit or part of a member-owned group, regional or community based. They all share the common ethic of putting their members’ health before profit. Our funds represent the interests of more than 3.9 million Australians.

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[1] Average pricing based on March 31, 2020 products via privatehealth.gov.au