More spin than substance in latest claims by Private Healthcare Australia

Private Healthcare Australia CEO Dr Rachel David’s response to a recent article published in Fairfax media, confirms why no one should trust what she says, claims the Australian Dental Association’s President, Dr Hugo Sachs.

“Dr David’s selective use of data suggesting that health fund payments for dental services are increasing fails to reflect the fact that while the number of services provided may have increased, the amount rebated by health funds has actually decreased. The ADA is correct in its claim that ‘extras policies’ are not value for money and consumers would be better off putting their money into a savings account.

The ADA recently commissioned the Centre for International Economics to identify the core components of a Health Saving Account model for consideration by the government as a more suitable product to supplement hospital health insurance policies. The findings of the report indicate that consumers would be much better off under such a model.

The release of figures by Choice today on premium increases that took effect on 1st April demonstrates that while this year’s premium increase was the lowest in some time at 3.95%, in reality, many are experiencing increases in the order of 45%.

Choice has reported that premiums have increased by 70% in the last decade while the Consumer Price Index (CPI) grew by only 26%.The ADA believes that these increases without a commensurate increase in rebates are the real reason why Australians are dropping their private health insurance cover.

“Dr David continues to try and shift the cause of premium increases towards provider’s fees. Dental fees are not the problem as they have remained below CPI for many years. With year on year increases in premiums, large profit margins and increasing subsidisation by taxpayers, it’s time that health funds gave back to patients and increased the rebates, not just for dental treatments but across the board”.