GMHBA has confirmed its lowest average premium percentage increase in a decade, following approval from the Federal Minister for Health, Greg Hunt.
GMHBA Chief Executive Officer Mark Valena confirmed the annual average percentage increase of 4.34%* for the fund, which will take effect from 1 April, 2018.
“We are committed to keeping rate increases to an absolute minimum, while at the same time, delivering more value to our members,” Mr Valena said.
“GMHBA is pleased to see the Federal Government’s private health insurance reforms - which our organisation was actively involved in - delivering direct savings to our customers, particularly from changes to prostheses pricing.
“Over the last three years, we have reduced out-of-pocket costs, increased coverage and benefits back to members and established new partnerships which will make health insurance more affordable.”
All private health insurers need to increase premiums annually and many of the drivers of rate increases are out of the industry’s control, including an ageing population, an ever-increasing demand on services, complexity of treatments, rising health and medical costs and a growing number of claims.
A strong private health insurance sector is vital for Australia and the sector plays a critical role in taking pressure off the public health system.
For members, it is important to remember that private health insurance means:
- Choice of doctor or specialist
- Elective surgery at a time that suits members - waiting lists can be much longer than many people realise
- Protection and peace of mind for members and their families
- Private hospital accommodation
- Cover for services not covered by Medicare such as dental, physiotherapy, optometry and chiropractic
GMHBA paid 87 cents in every dollar back to members in benefits in FY17, which translated to an additional $62.8 million paid out from the previous financial year and a total of more than $522 million paid in benefits.
*GMHBA’s percentage increase will differ between policy and State and Territory.