Latest statistical update on impact of 2017 reforms

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The Department of Health has released updated statistics on the range of private health insurance reforms announced in 2017.

The reforms included a new an aged-based discount to encourage young people into private cover, the introduction of product categories (Gold-Silver-Bronze-Basic), an extension in coverage for mental health services and the development of standardised clinical terminology.

The federal government also announced a strategic agreement with the Medical Technology Association of Australia that included price reduction for a range of medical devices.

The updated statistics cover the three months to the end of June 2020.

They show over 1,400 used the psychiatric care waiting period exemption with the payment of over $18 million in benefits.

The 'Gold' product category remained the largest covering 4.3 million people, followed by 4 million in the 'Silver' category, 1.8 million in 'Bronze' and 1 million in 'Basic'.

Around 4.8 million of 5.5 million policies have some level of excess. The vast majority (4.3 million) has an excess up to $500 for a single and $1,000 for a family.

Over 400,000 people have taken advantage of the age-based discount with the full 10 per cent the most common level.