However, a report that was recently released by the Private Health Insurance Administration Council (PHIAC) has assuaged these fears by demonstrating that there are now more Australians than ever with private health insurance.
In fact, the report – titled Privately Insured People with Hospital Treatment Cover – reveals that nearly 10.8 million people have private hospital cover – that's 46.9 per cent of the population.
A total of 52,863 of these have organised health insurance since December 2012, and approximately 1.2 million people have taken out – rather than dumped – insurance policies since 2008. This, according to Tanya Plibersek, minister for health, is the highest participation rate in over 24 years.
She also said that industry experts had predicted the "introduction of income testing of the private health insurance rebate would cause 1.6 million people to drop their cover".
"In fact, in the three quarters that followed introduction of income testing, an additional 175,354 people took out private hospital cover," said Ms Plibersek in a May 16 statement.
The ACT takes top prize for having the highest population percentage with hospital insurance when compared to Australia's other states and territories. The latest data shows that, on 31 December 2012, a total of 56.8 per cent of those living in the ACT had hospital cover – an increase of 3.3 per cent from the previous year.
In the past year, the number of Australian's with private hospital treatment coverage has increased by 2.9 per cent, or 307,720 people. This exceeds population growth over the same period (which was just 1.7 per cent).
There are many benefits to taking out hospital cover, including the opportunity to choose your own doctor, to be treated as a private patient in a public or private hospital, and a certain amount of flexibility when it comes to choosing when your procedure or treatment takes place.
If you would like to discover why so many people are opting to get hospital cover, contact HICA today.
We can offer you expert advice and health insurance comparison services that will help you find the insurance policy that best suits your needs.