Super to fund health care a good idea
David Leyonhjelm’s opinion ‘We should save up to be sick’ (AFR February 7) opens an avenue that is yet to be explored in the health-funding debate. David notes common-sense in utilising forced superannuation savings to fund health care.
However, Stephen Duckett’s letter (AFR February 10) questions the efficiency of this due to the variability of healthcare costs among individuals and across time.
Individuals purchase insurance to smooth the variability of expenditure on unpredictable events across time. Allowing consumers to pay for private health insurance out of superannuation would be a common-sense policy to let Australians direct otherwise inaccessible savings toward beneficial health outcomes.
As well as benefiting the individual, private healthcare plays a pivotal role in reducing pressure on the public purse. Our organisation – ‘hirmaa’, representing 17 member-owned, not-for-profit health funds is acutely aware of the need to keep the health system sustainable. Common-sense approaches to improving the affordability of private healthcare will be vital to helping Australia meet its increasing health demands.
Chairman – hirmaa, VIC