Members Health has welcomed parliamentary support for reforms that enable younger people to remain on their parents' private health insurance cover until age 31 and completely remove age limits for those with a disability.
Members Health CEO Matthew Koce said, "These reforms are something not-for-profit and member-owned insurers have been advocating for over many years and it will be a welcome relief for many Australian families,
“Lifting the age for dependents on family policies, from 24 to 31, could save young people thousands of dollars per year during a stage in life when cost-of-living pressures start to bite.”
The base median price for a single Gold hospital treatment policy costs around $2,520 per year, said Mr Koce.
“Given the dire state of the public health system, these reforms are particularly timely,” he said.
“Public hospital waits are blowing out beyond recommended clinical times and into the years, emergency departments are increasingly at crisis point, and hardworking doctors and nurses are stressed and stretched to the bone.
“The reforms delivered are a sign of ongoing support for the private health system and will help provide more choice and control to more Australians when it comes to their health.
“The last thing a younger person would want is to miss out on a key part of their life because they are forced to wait in pain more than a year for surgery.”
Mr Koce continued, “Helping more young people to stay covered with private health insurance adds to the sustainability of the country’s entire health system – public and private.”
The association said it "now looks forward" to working with the federal government on restoring the Private Health Insurance Rebate.
“It’s time for the Government to restore the Rebate back to the original 30 per cent,” said Mr Koce, adding, “The declining private health insurance rebate more than anything else is damaging affordability for younger people.”