The Australian government is consistently assessing whether the private health insurance industry is fit for purpose. After all, while the general perception may be that the power is with the health funds, it's the applicable industry bodies and decision makers that have to approve any vast changes – particularly those based around pricing.
At the start of November, the government went one step further to assess the effectiveness of the man or woman in the street's private health insurance policies, by asking them for an opinion.
Early in the month, Health Minister Sussan Ley called for the abolishment of 'junk' agreements that don't actually provide private treatment, and only really act as an extension to the public system, according to the Guardian.
— ABC News (@abcnews) November 8, 2015
Accepting the consultation
So, how have the Australian public responded to the calls of the government? Well, some 20,000 health insurance policy holders have been keen to put forward their thoughts and ideas, in the first five days after the consultation was announced.
"In the past 12 months we've seen half-a-million top cover private health insurance policies dumped or downgraded. Many consumers are unhappy with their private health insurance and if people needed proof it was a barbeque stopper, here it is," explained Ms Ley, in a ministerial media release.
Asking the tough questions
The government's consultation isn't shying away from asking the tough questions.
It may sound relatively obvious, but the country's wider wellbeing is always likely to be a priority for the government. After all, a fighting fit population at large can boost everything from productivity in the workplace, to the amount decision makers have to provision from public funds for health care.
Consequently, the consultation isn't shying away from asking the tough questions, with the ultimate aim of building a thorough understanding of customer perceptions across the private health insurance industry now well in sight, given the impressive level of response.
"We recognise that every lever we may pull will have an impact elsewhere in the system and we therefore must develop a well-balanced reform package that is centred on consumers," Ms Ley continued, when discussing the next steps the government could take.
Finding the right policy now
While it looks as though there could be some level of reform on the horizon, that isn't to say that Australian consumers should be stuck with health insurance policies that aren't fit for purpose in the here and now.
To that end, if you'd like a helping hand with assessing the merits of your current health insurance arrangement, or would like to find the most suitable policy for your needs, call a HICA expert today on 1300 44 22 01.