Private health insurers continue to haemorrhage members

The private health insurance death spiral rolls on, with the percentage of Australians in private health insurance continuing to plummet:

There is no good news for private health insurers in the quarterly health Insurance statistics released today.

The headline number – the proportion of the population insured – continues to decline and most of the other indicators are gloomy too. The youth exodus hasn’t been stopped – there were almost 3,500 fewer 25-29 year olds insured at the end of September compared to three months ago. Costs are up faster than inflation (so premiums will probably again rise faster than inflation next year). The much-touted prostheses savings – which have been factored into the current premiums – have not materialised, prostheses costs went up 0.08% in real terms in the last three months. Medical out-of-pockets continue to go up too.

The system is clearly on an unsustainable path and needs fundamental reform.

Why continue to support a system that is failing?

Leith van Onselen

Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.

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