Private Health – Here’s Where Your Dollars Go

Health costs, including the escalating cost of private health insurance, are among the top issues for retirees. We know because you told us so late last year. Our inaugural Policy Advocacy Survey of 6,500 older people found that private health was your second biggest concern.

Australian Medical Association (AMA) data sheds light on what parts of their business are driving premium increases.

Customers would hope the funds are being spent on superior services and treatments, hospital stays and improved equipment.

The AMA data suggests otherwise.

Net profit and management expenses have experienced the largest increases over the past four years.

The AMA data comes after the AMA disputed claims in an ABC Four Corners episode which alleged up to 80% of spinal surgery patients were being billed for more complex services than provided – information revealed to the ABC by private health insurers, and which the AMA calls unbalanced.

According to the AMA, in the year to June 2023, net insurance profit increased by 50.2% and management expenses by 32% – far greater than increases in patient rebates (3.6%) and increases in general treatment benefits (13.4%).

The increase reported is for four years and compares data from the year ending June 2023 with data from the year ending June 2019.

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