Insurers reject criticism of reform proposals

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Private Healthcare Australia has responded to criticism from the Consumers Health Forum over its call for reforms to encourage more younger people into private health insurance.

The association released the reforms in a new report - Levers to increase young adult participation in private health insurance - headlined by the proposal to restore the rebate to 30 per cent for people aged under 40.

The CHF issued a statement yesterday saying the government should hold off on any restoration of the rebate in favour of a "searching inquiry".

The organisation has backed previous reductions in the value of the rebate and even called for its abolition. 

“The lesson of history is that after 20 years of Government subsidies and regulatory shelter, consumers have experienced years of above-inflation premium increases and shrinking coverage, while health funds profits have tended to remain buoyant," said CHF CEO Leanne Wells.

In a tweeted response, Private Healthcare Australia said that for every $1 paid towards health insurance premiums, "funds on average return 86c to the consumer in the form of healthcare benefit payments or claims reimbursements. Having PHI means avoiding long hospital wait lists & choosing the timing of your procedure."