Annual survey confirms increase in private health insurance coverage

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The annual survey from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority has confirmed an increase in the number of people covered by private health insurance in 2021.

According to the survey, the proportion of the population with hospital coverage increased from 44.2 per cent in December 2020 to 44.9 per cent in December 2021.

At the end of 2021, the number of people with hospital coverage was 11.564 million, up from 11.336 million in the previous year.

There were increases in hospital membership across all jurisdictions. Western Australia reported the highest proportion of the population with hospital insurance 53 per cent, followed by the ACT (53.4 per cent) New South Wales (46.8 per cent) and South Australia (44.3 per cent). The Northern Territory recorded the lowest with 39.1 per cent.

The survey found there were generally increases in hospital treatment membership across all age groups for the year.

The largest decline was in the age group 55 to 59 (down 0.9 per cent). This equated to 6,943 people. The 75 to 79 age group experienced the largest increase in insured persons (up 36,192).