In the 12 months leading to March 2013, a total of $15 billion was paid out by health insurance providers to cover medical procedures in Australia.
Dr Michael Armitage, chief executive officer of Private Healthcare Australia, said this just goes to show that private health insurance is "a major contributor to health care costs for Australians".
Recent accusations that Australian health insurance covered a meager 8 per cent of medical procedures are unfounded, said Dr Armitage.
There are two main types of health insurance: hospital cover and general treatment cover.
The former, according to the Department of Health and Ageing, pays benefits for in-hospital treatment and other related costs, while the latter pays benefits for "non-medical health services".
These include dental and optical procedures, among others.
Last year, approximately $11.16 billion in hospital cover benefits was paid out by Australian health insurance providers.
In addition to this, $3.77 billion in general treatment cover benefits went toward much-need services.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) released a break-down of how many medical procedures and healthcare services are performed by institutes in the private sector.
According to the list, 81 per cent of mental health treatments (sameday) were undertaken by the private sector.
Other services that ranked highly were knee procedures (78 per cent), lens procedures (70 per cent), cancer therapy (60 per cent) and hip replacements (56 per cent).
Australian health insurance also helped the thousands who underwent surgery in 2012. Around 51 per cent of all surgery carried out during this 12 month period was covered by private health insurance.
And just over half (55 per cent) of all elective surgery was performed thanks to health insurance benefits, too. Dr Armitage added that in private hospitals, 80 per cent of elective surgery was covered by health insurance.
Dr Armitage is worried that recent changes to health insurance legislation, which will affect the private health insurance rebate that helps Australians pay for their cover, may cause people to "drop out or downgrade" their policy.
"All privately insured Australians will pay more for their private health cover as a result of the government’s legislation," he said.
In an interview with Breakfast on June 12, Dr Armitage predicted that as many as 2.6 million people would ditch their cover as a result of the changes.
If you would like to talk about your health insurance options, or receive a health insurance comparison, contact HICA today.