Growth in exclusions slowing

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Growth in the number of private health insurance policies with exclusions is slowing, according to information released by the Department of Health.

In response to a question on notice tabled during Budget Estimates, the Department has confirmed annual growth in the number of policies for private hospital cover, and the total number of policies with exclusions.

The overall number of policies has increased from 5,331,323 in March 2014 to 5,527,279 in March this year. 

At the same time, the total number with exclusions increased from 1,313,821 to 2,174,911.

The figures indicate a substantial spike of 65 per cent. However, the vast majority of the increase occurred in one year - 2014 to 2015 - with the increase slowing in the most recent years.

The substantial increase in that year relates to changes in indexation of the rebate that had the impact of increasing consumer out-of-pocket costs.

CEO of Private Healthcare Australia has also said consumers are now more active in buying policies more tailored to their needs and stage of life.