Health funds fear surge in fire claims

Original article by Jared Lynch
The Australian – Page: 15 & 16 : 15-Jan-20

Private health insurers expect the bushfire crisis to result in a sharp increase in insurance claims, particularly from customers who have been affected by the smoke haze. However, they say it is too soon to determine the exact impact of the fires. Latrobe Health Services CEO Ian Whitehead anticipates a big increase in claims related to mental health issues arising from the bushfires, as well as physical health problems. Australian Medical Association president Tony Bartone says the longer-term effects of inhaling hazardous smoke will not be known for some time.

CORPORATES
LATROBE HEALTH SERVICES, AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION LIMITED, BUPA AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, MEDIBANK PRIVATE LIMITED – ASX MPL, AUSTRALIAN UNITY LIMITED

Call to regulate medical devices

Original article by Natasha Robinson
The Australian – Page: 3 : 2-Jan-20

Sheena Jack, the CEO of health insurance company HCF, has called for the creation of an independent regulator of medical devices. Jack says there should be a review of the ‘clinical efficacy’ of items that are on the prostheses list, similar to what is done for items on the pharmaceuticals list. Research conducted by Private Healthcare Australia indicates big price differences between medical devices in Australia and comparable products provided in other countries, while Jack claims public hospitals often have to pay much less for medical devices than private ones.

CORPORATES
THE HOSPITAL CONTRIBUTIONS FUND OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED

Health insurance crisis looms

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd
The Australian – Page: 17 & 18 : 9-Dec-19

Medibank Private’s chief customer officer David Koczkar and NIB Holdings MD Mark Fitzgibbon have stressed the need to reign in rising costs in Australia’s health care system. Private Healthcare Australia CEO Rachel David has warned that smaller private health insurers in particular may not be viable unless reforms are implemented. The federal government has approved a 3.27 per cent increase in Medibank’s premiums for 2020, while NIB and Bupa will lift their premiums by 2.9 per cent and 3.26 per cent respectively.

CORPORATES
MEDIBANK PRIVATE LIMITED – ASX MPL, NIB HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NHF, BUPA AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, PRIVATE HEALTHCARE AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HEALTH, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, GRATTAN INSTITUTE

Private health insurance satisfaction up slightly

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 1-Oct-19

New research from Roy Morgan shows that customer satisfaction among Australians aged +14 who have private health insurance was 72.2% in August 2019, compared with 70.9% in August 2018. However, it is still lower than satisfaction rates in August 2016 (74.5%) and August 2015 (76.3%). Customer satisfaction with private health insurance reached its lowest point in June 2018, when it hit 70.5%. Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine says Tasmanian not-for-profit fund St Lukes Health is performing far above average, with a satisfaction rating of 86%. These findings come from the Roy Morgan Single Source survey, which is based on in-depth face-to-face interviews with over 50,000 Australians each year in their homes.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, ST LUKE’S HEALTH INSURANCE

Watchdog takes aim at Medibank as patients denied payments

Original article by Sarah-Jane Tasker
The Australian – Page: 17 & 21 : 4-Sep-19

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission has launched legal action against Medibank Private, accusing the health insurer of making false representations about the benefits covered by its policies. It will be alleged that Medibank had wrongly advised customers that its AHM Lite and Boost policies did not cover medical procedures such as knee reconstructions and spinal surgery. ACCC chairman Rod Sim says this forced many policyholders to delay necessary surgery.

CORPORATES
MEDIBANK PRIVATE LIMITED – ASX MPL, AHM HEALTH INSURANCE, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

Health insurance exodus continues at alarming rate

Original article by James Fernyhough
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 20 : 26-Jul-19

The percentage of Australians aged between 20 and 28 with private health insurance cover for hospitals fell by 6.9 per cent in 2018, according to data from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority. The overall percentage of Australians with hospital cover at the end of 2018 was 44.6 per cent, the lowest level since December 2006. The latest data follow a recent report from the Grattan Institute which claimed that the private health insurance sector is in a "death spiral" because of the continued decline of people with cover.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, GRATTAN INSTITUTE, NIB HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NHF, MEDIBANK PRIVATE LIMITED – ASX MPL

Declining importance of private health insurance to fund members

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 26-Mar-19

A Roy Morgan Single Source survey, which was carried out in the year to December 2018, shows that 55.4% of Australians aged 14+ with private health insurance agree that ‘it is essential to have private health insurance’. This continues a declining trend seen each year since December 2014, when it was 65.0%. The survey also shows that 67.5% of people with private health insurance agree that ‘it gives me peace of mind’, down from 73.6% in 2014; meanwhile, some 55.4% agree that ‘it’s essential to have’, down from 65.0% in 2014. The survey is based on in-depth personal interviews conducted face-to-face with over 50,000 Australians per annum in their own homes, including over 8,000 interviews with members of private health insurance funds.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED

Health insurers call for workplace FBT break

Original article by Sarah-Jane Tasker
The Australian – Page: 21 : 7-Mar-19

Private health insurance industry executives have urged the federal government to exempt employer-sponsored health insurance from the fringe benefits tax regime. Medicare CEO Craig Drummond argues that such a move would help reduce the strain on the health system, a view shared by HBF CEO John Van Der Wielen. Members Health Fund Alliance CEO Matthew Koce questions why salary packaging can include cars but not health insurance policies.

CORPORATES
MEDIBANK PRIVATE LIMITED – ASX MPL, HBF HEALTH LIMITED, MEMBERS HEALTH FUND ALLIANCE, NIB HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NHF, BUPA AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Declining intentions to take out health insurance

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 29-Jan-19

The latest Roy Morgan ‘Private Health Insurance Intender Profile Report’ September 2018 shows that 1.31 million Australians who currently do not have private health insurance intend to take it out over the next 12 months. This represents the lowest number over the last five years and is down by 17.1% (from 1.58 million) from the intention level over the same period 12 months ago. In order to improve the chances of converting health insurance intenders to fund members there is a need to understand in-depth who they are and what drives them. Intenders are dominated by the under-35 age groups with 55.4%. The 14-to-24 segment is the largest group with 28.4%, followed by the 25-to-34 year olds with 27.0%. Both of these age groups are well over-represented compared to their overall population share.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED

Why have private health insurance?

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 29-Jan-19

New research by Roy Morgan shows that 70.9% of Australians aged 14+ with health insurance agree that ‘above all else, private health insurance is about knowing that you will be able to cover the cost of big medical expenses if they arise’. This has declined from 77.5% over the past four years, but it remains the top priority for fund members. The number of people who agree that ‘health insurance gives me peace of mind’ has fallen from 74.5% to 68.1% over the last four years. The biggest drop in agreement over the last four years was for ‘it is essential to have private health insurance’, which has declined by 10.0% points to 56.2%. Roy Morgan’s Single Source Survey is based on in-depth personal interviews conducted face-to-face with over 50,000 Australians per annum in their own homes, including detailed questioning of over 8,000 with members of health insurance funds.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED