The recent release of information highlighting the magnitude of benefits paid by private health insurers was designed to address the "scuttlebutt" about its value, particularly for younger Australians, says Private Healthcare Australia.
The association released data last week revealing private health insurers paid more than $7.14 billion in benefits for individual hospital claims where the benefit payment exceeded $10,000 during 2018.
The report confirmed insurers paid more than 18,500 high claims - benefits exceeding $10,000 - for members under the age of 30. This was an increase on the previous year of 8.1 per cent.
Speaking on Adelaide radio station 5AA, Private Healthcare Australia chief executive Dr Rachel David said, "I think that young people do have a sense that they are invincible and from some of the diseases of ageing, yes, it is unlikely that they will have a heart attack or need a joint replacement.
"But what is very common in people aged under 30 are serious mental health conditions and eating disorders. It is the main reason that women under 30 claim on their private health insurance actually."
Dr David continued, "It overtook reproductive health some years ago and men are not exempt either. It is actually the second biggest reason that men aged under 30 claim on their private health insurance.
"It is only just tipped at the post by accidents and injuries associated with sport, but it is a very significant area of growth in claims by younger people and as you can see from this data, a number of these claims are close to six figures.
"So if there is a message out there it would be - if you are younger and you are thinking of taking out private health insurance or you are thinking of - you have got it and you are thinking of dropping it, take this into consideration because this is not treatment that you can easily access in a public hospital."