Government announces overhaul of Australia’s private health insurance

Younger Australians are set to benefit from a major overhaul of Australia’s Private health insurance.

The Federal Government today announced reforms, which include a discount on premiums of up to 10 per cent for those under 30.

The government wants health funds to offer discounted premiums, to entice young people into the system early.


“For young people, we’re looking at discounts of up to 10 per cent,” Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, told David Koch on Channel 7’s Sunrise.

“We know that many young people want private health insurance, they simply can’t afford it and so it’s bringing that private health insurance into their range of affordability.”

The reform will also force companies to charge less for hip replacements and pacemakers, and cut rebates for natural therapies including yoga and reflexology.

Those with private health insurance will also be given the option to increase their excess to $750 for singles and $1500 for families in order to receive lower premiums under the shake-up.

Mental Health patients will also benefit, with easier, faster access to mental health services.

Mr Hunt said the biggest driver of premium reductions comes from an agreement with medical device makers.

“The people who make things such as prosthetic knees or hips that might be implanted, or … pacemakers and other cardiac devices, they have accepted a reduction of $1 billion in payments over the course of the next four years,” the Minster told the Channel 7 Network.

“They’ve been given very high payments. That will flow straight through to reduce premiums and we’ve got the agreement with the private health insurance sector to pass those costs on.

“So it’s real reform, that at the end of the day delivers a package which is simpler for people, so as there were no surprises, reduced pressure on premiums with discounts for young people who are desperate to get private health and then better mental health coverage and better rural and regional coverage.”