Members Health: Our funds 'defy' declining participation

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Members Health says its funds have continued to defy declining participation trends seen across the rest of Australia’s private health insurance industry. 

It said an analysis of June quarter data released by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority shows its 27 Members funds have kept expanding their memberships – especially with younger, healthier Australians.

It said, "Over the 12 months to June 2020, Members Health funds recorded an increase of 17,628 people aged under 40 with hospital cover, while the rest of the industry saw a decline of 85,277.

"Over the four years to June 2020, those figures more than trebled: across the Members Health group, the number of under 40s with hospital cover grew by 56,200 persons while the rest of the industry fell by 343,900."

It said Members Health funds have 270,000 more people insured on hospital treatment policies today compared with June 2016.

According to Member Health CEO Matthew Koce, “There’s no doubt that the COVID-19 crisis has stepped up pressure on all insurers to provide value to their members. That’s why it is especially pleasing to see Members Health funds rising to the challenge, growing their memberships with great value cover and fast access to high-quality care."

Mr Koce said Members Health funds are leaders in service and value.

“As a group Members Health funds operate on narrower profit margins and don’t have to satisfy shareholders or overseas investors. That means any profits generated above what the fund needs to operate, goes back to the members through lower premiums and better health benefits,” he said.

Mr Koce said changes were still needed to attract even more younger Australians to the private system.

“This means tackling entrenched cost drivers in the system head-on, like high medical devices costs, and the erosion of incentives such as the health insurance rebate which has been cut by government from 30% to 25%. If Australia wants to remain a world-leader in health care, government reforms are needed to improve insurance choice and affordability for Australian families.”