APRA consults on new data collection to assess private health insurance reforms

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The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has begun consulting on data collection for recently implemented private health insurance reforms.

The prudential regulator is using this consultation process as the first to take advantage of its new Data Collection Solution.

The Data Collection Solution is replacing Direct to APRA (D2A) as a system for reporting entities to submit data to APRA.

"It will be easier to use, require less maintenance and be adaptable as reporting requirements, data analytics and technology evolve. It is scheduled to become operational in the second half of next year," said the prudential regulator in a statement.

"As the central statistical collection agency for the financial sector, APRA has been asked by the Commonwealth Department of Health to collect data related to the private health insurance reforms that came into effect from 1 April last year.

"The data will be aimed at helping the Department assess the reforms’ impact on insurers, policyholders and other stakeholders, and for use in future policy planning," it said.

APRA has released a draft Reporting Standard HRS 605.0 Private Health Insurance Reform Data Collection for consultation, alongside a letter to private health insurers outlining its purpose and terms.

APRA, which has already begun to informally collect this data on behalf of the Department of Health, said the introduction of HRS 605.0 will make reporting the data a legal requirement for private health insurers.

The four-week consultation process will close on 11 October. APRA said it intends to release the finalised reporting standard in early 2020.