PHI too expensive, too confusing, too little value: Choice

Australians are abandoning private health insurance (PHI) because it is too expensive, too confusing and offers too little value, consumer advocate Choice says.

“When you buy health insurance, you expect to be looked after when the worst happens, but our health insurance is letting us down with unexpected costs and unnecessary stress at the worst of times,” Choice health campaigner Dean Price says.

He said APRA’s latest PHI statistics were “further proof of the death spiral” in PHI. This was another quarter in which fewer people had bought private health insurance.

“Young people are voting with their feet and telling health insurers what they’re offering is poor value,” Price said.

“We know that premiums are going to increase on April 1. With some funds increasing by nearly 6% from April, we just can’t see the health insurance death spiral slowing.”

He urged the government to tackle the increasing costs of premiums, which were made worse by the increasing out-of-pocket costs that came with health insurance.

“We want them to review the whole system by undertaking a thorough public inquiry and commit to taking all necessary action to make sure people have access to fair healthcare.”