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HomeminewsAffordable Choices Essential for Health Insurance

Affordable Choices Essential for Health Insurance

Bupa’s recent proposal to remove its medical gap cover, for customers admitted to an uncontracted hospital, has damaged the reputation of the health insurance industry, according to Doctors’ Health Fund.

Peter Aroney, Chief Executive Officer of Doctor’s Health Fund, said while health funds are required to pay a minimum floor price to uncontracted private hospitals, Bupa’s proposals will remove their medical gap coverage, leaving patients exposed to potentially large out-of-pockets when Bupa has no contract with the hospital.

“There is no doubt that any patient will be forced to think twice about using a doctor, or a hospital, when faced with the potential cost in those circumstances,” said Mr. Aroney.

“Bupa has advised that such uncontracted hospital admissions are the minority. Yet industry observers have commented on the implications of this move; particularly the impact on healthcare decisions between doctors and patients.”

we strongly believe that all of us involved in healthcare have a stake in this debate. And that a collaborative approach focused on upholding the core purpose of health insurance is key to addressing the challenges ahead

“We cannot lose sight of the fact that at the very heart of private health insurance are the fundamental principles of ‘peace of mind’ and ‘freedom of choice’. It is difficult to see how these principles are upheld when health funds limit that choice by only providing medical coverage to hospitals with which they have chosen to enter into a contract.”

Speaking on behalf of Doctors’ Health Fund, Mr. Aroney said, “we strongly believe that all of us involved in healthcare have a stake in this debate. And that a collaborative approach focused on upholding the core purpose of health insurance is key to addressing the challenges ahead.”

With affordability being a key concern for the health insurance industry, Doctors’ Health Fund has delivered the lowest average premium increase across all health funds in 2018 and the sixth consecutive year of below industry average increases. More importantly, our below industry average pricing has been achieved whilst we continue to outperform the biggest, open funds in terms of the percentage of medical services being provided with no-gap.1 This ensures more choice to doctors and their patients – a fundamental principle of the Doctors’ Health Fund.

Reference:

1. AMA Private Health Insurance Report Card 2018, Pg. 13, 26 March 2018 – https://ama.com.au/article/ama-private-health-insurance-report-card-2018