Today, GMHBA Ltd launched “My Cover Matters”, a campaign aimed at educating and informing our members, anyone with private health insurance and those in the wider community about the federal government’s proposed changes to the private health insurance rebate. The campaign offers people with private health insurance an opportunity to have their voice heard.
The two changes are:
- Removing the rebate entirely from the Lifetime Health Cover loading (as of 1 July 2013).
If you have a Lifetime Health Cover loading on your policy, the Government is planning to take away the rebate from your loading altogether. This will make health insurance for members with a loading more expensive.
- Capping the indexation of the rebate to no more than consumer price index (as of 1 April 2014).
The cost of health care is likely to continue to increase each year, in excess of CPI. The Government, however, plans to limit the rebate on increases in your premium to CPI only. This means that the Government’s contribution to you through the rebate gets smaller and smaller each year regardless of the fact that health costs continue to rise above the CPI amount.
Figure 3: Illustration of what the combination of the two proposed changes could mean in dollar terms to a family with GMHBA Gold Hospital cover and Gold Extras cover over 10 years of membership.
We believe these changes are a mistake, will limit access to equitable health care, and have little to do with positive health care reform. The changes will make private health insurance more expensive for many members, possibly forcing more into the public health system which in turn affects everyone.
GMHBA Limited strongly opposes this policy change and is seriously concerned that the government has not adequately educated or informed Australians about the Government’s intentions.
What you can do to get involved
The good news is legislation to implement the latest round of changes has not yet been passed by Parliament. If you believe the proposed changes are bad policy we encourage you to visit our website mycovermatters.com.au, sign our petition and voice your concerns by writing an email to your local Member of Parliament. It’s easy to do only and requires your email address.
You can also join the conversation and tell us why your cover matters on Facebook and Twitter.
GMHBA Limited does not endorse any political party, this campaign is about policy because we believe that these changes will negatively impact our members the communities in which they live and the long term viability of the private health sector.