Members Health, the peak body for 26 not-for-profit and member owned private health insurers, has welcomed the 2020 Federal Budget as a major win for consumers.
The 2020 Budget strategically builds on previous reform and is yet another demonstration of the Federal Government’s compassion and ongoing commitment to our world class health system.
“Minister Hunt’s reforms will make an enormous difference, especially to the lives of younger Australians and for those with disabilities,” said Members Health CEO, Matthew Koce.
“Raising the age limit of dependents on family policies is to be commended and has long been a priority for Members Health.”
“Young people are doing it tough. Lifting the age for dependents on family policies, from 24 to 31, could save them thousands of dollars a year at a time of life when cost-of-living pressure start to bite,” Mr Koce said.
“That’s money that could go towards paying off HECS and university debt, a deposit for a first home or towards raising a family.”
“Minister Hunt’s announcement of a Road Map to boosting out-of-hospital care, from April next year, is another excellent initiative that will improve the efficient delivery of healthcare for Australian families.” Mr Koce said.
“Many patients would much prefer to receive care at home rather than in hospital and much better patient outcomes are achievable.”
“Australians should be able to access the best possible care when and where they want it and there is absolutely no reason why patients should not be able to receive rehab or chemo in the home if that is their choice.” Mr Koce said.
Improving value, affordability and helping consumer navigate the health system remains a key priority. The Government’s $17 million investment into further enhancing the Medical Cost Finder website to empower consumers around choice of specialist, is an important step towards improving transparency and addressing out-of-pocket costs.
“Australians shouldn’t be left in the dark when it comes something as important as selecting a surgeon or anaesthetist,” said Mr Koce. “Being able to choose and accurately compare specialists based on expertise, fee schedules and location means patients and GPs will be better informed than ever.”
The 2020 Budget sets a solid foundation for further reform and Members Health very much looks forward to working with the Minister for Health on delivering substantive reform of medical devices or prostheses.
“Government data shows that reform of prostheses could save consumers up to $1 billion a year or $141 per policy. It is staggering that due to Government regulation, privately-insured Australians are forced to pay up to four times more for medical devices, when compared with the public system or overseas.”
Members Health is the peak industry body for an alliance of 26 health funds that are not-for-profit or part of a member-owned group, region or community. They all share the common ethic of putting their members’ health before profit and represent the interests of more than 3.7 million Australians.