MTAA welcomes premium comments

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The Medical Technology Association of Australia (MTAA) has welcomed comments from Department of Health officials confirming the impact of prostheses price reductions on private health insurance premiums.

In response to questions at Senate Estimates earlier this week, officials said insurers had "identified" and quantified the impact on premiums in their submissions for this year's 1 April increase.

The average 3.95 percent increase was the lowest in 17 years.

In a statement, the MTAA said the agreement it signed with health minister Greg Hunt in October last year will reduce private health insurers’ payments for medical devices by $1.1 billion over the next four years.

"On an aggregate level has removed the differences between public and private pricing," it said.

"MTAA has always highlighted the fact that medical devices represent 10% of private health insurers overall costs and therefore a reduction in medical technology benefits would only result in a modest reduction in premium increases."

“We welcome comments from the Department of Health that our Agreement has directly resulted in delivering the lowest premium increase in 17 years, which has been directly attributed to the $1.1 billion cuts in revenue to the medical device industry," said MTAA CEO Ian Burgess.

“The medical technology industry believes access to a full range of medical technology is the most valuable component of a private health insurance policy and we’re committed to doing what we do best – assist patients lead healthier and more productive lives.”