It also provides help for people who want to understand their private health options because health insurance is hard to navigate, and we believe our patients and the community need straightforward information.
This year is a mixed year for our report card – after reporting for the last five years on the continuous decrease of the proportion of Australians with private health insurance the last 12 months have seen a significant increase in the numbers of people taking out health insurance policies. The AMA welcomes this increase, but we want to stress that this does not change the story of a private health insurance sector under pressure. Whilst there are more people taking up insurance, the number of older people doing so is still far outstripping younger, healthier people. This continues to put pressure on the payouts made by insurers and therefore premiums.
Australia’s private health system has never been more critical to the health of all Australians going forward. As Australia charts its way out of the COVID-19 pandemic the private sectors’ contribution to elective surgery will be essential to tackling the growing waiting lists for these critical procedures.
Last year the AMA released a comprehensive blueprint policy prescription to help make private health insurance more affordable for those who do not have it and a better value-for-money proposition for those who do.
In our Report Card the AMA again calls on Government, providers, consumers, and health practitioners to continue to work together on improvement and embrace innovation and change. Now, more than ever, Australia needs a deliberate approach to designing our future private health system so that it meets the pent-up demand from COVID