Medibank proposes additions questions for PC inquiry

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Medibank Private says the proposed Productivity Commission review of the private healthcare system "should now be conducted" but that it must result in meaningful and wide-ranging reforms that address cost drivers in the system.

The company has released its submission to the Labor Party’s Discussion Paper on its proposed Productivity Commission inquiry into the private health sector.

Labor has invited submissions on a number of questions related to its proposed inquiry, including on the current system of "incentives and penalties" to purchase private health insurance, community rating, exclusions, categorisations, selective contracting and benefit differentiation continue, the second-tier default benefit, competition, the impact of preferred provider networks and a range of other issues.

In its submission, Medibank says the inquiry should consider additional questions, including Labor's proposed two per cent annual cap on premium increases for two years, the financial sustainability of private healthcare and private health insurance, and the demand and financial pressures on the private and public health systems.

The insurer says key considerations of the inquiry should be addressing out-of-pocket costs for consumers, promoting greater cost and price transparency, tackling unnecessary costs like low-value care and MBS payment integrity, and promoting alternative models of care, particularly for chronic disease.