Over 2014 and 2015, 4.3 million hospital visits were funded by Australian private health insurance. That's not to mention the dental, optical, physiotherapy and chiropractic services that were covered – all of which show how essential private health insurance is to the wellbeing of everyday Australians.
That's why it's so concerning to see a trend towards downgrading or dropping health insurance. Without adequate cover, more and more Australians will struggle to fund unexpected hospital visits, surgeries and treatments that are essential to their wellbeing.
Let's have a closer look at how wide the health insurance gap is, as well as what it means for everyday Australians and you as a business owner.
A worrying trend
Australians are underinsured when it comes to their health, and 2016 statistics from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority shows that it's only getting worse. The level of insurance coverage dropped slightly from 47.4 per cent to 47 per cent over the year ending June 2016. Although that may seem like a small change, it represents thousands of people who have foregone health insurance.
Is it possible then that Australians want and need health insurance but that a large percentage of us simply can't afford it?
Drops in membership are despite the fact that health insurance consistently pays out the highest percentage of premiums back to customers, according to Private Healthcare Australia CEO, Dr Rachel David. APRA statistics show an increase in payouts over the year ending January 2017, adding empirical evidence to this claim.
Furthermore, a recent Private Health Insurance Australia survey has shown that 80 per cent of people are happy with their health insurance and want to keep it, although it noted that premium affordability is a serious issue. Is it possible then that Australians want and need health insurance but that a large percentage of us simply can't afford it?
Fight back with corporate health insurance
Here at HICA, we know the value of health insurance, when provided fairly and with honest intention. It's difficult for one insurer to change the attitudes and behaviours of millions of Australians towards their health insurance. However, the installment of more corporate health insurance plans is one alternative solution that could help close the health insurance gap.
As an employer, there's countless reasons why doing so makes great business sense, from improved employee productivity, to decreased absenteeism. Plus, a corporate health insurance plan doesn't have to be expensive – here at HICA we can tailor a plan to your business' unique resources and needs.
Get in touch today to find out more about how you can help decrease the health insurance gap, and help you to help your employees.