Rising Cost of Health Care

The Nick Xenophon Team is concerned about the affordability of private health care. Rising health insurance premiums and medical gap fees are slowly taking choice away from people who want control of their health care options.

 Nick and I have now initiated a Senate Inquiry to get to the bottom of sky-rocketing premiums, fees and out of pocket expenses that are slowly but surely pricing many Australians out of private health care. It will start hearing evidence in June, and report back at the end of November, after which we can look at the scope of action that can be taken.

 This follows the inquiry we have also secured on the outrageously inflated costs of prostheses in the private system - another reasons premiums are going up.

 This is the 15th consecutive year that health insurance premiums have gone up but consumers aren’t necessarily getting a better product.

 Medical fees are another issue that need closer investigation. Specialists, for example, are able to charge as they please. Their fees are subject to a voluntary code but don’t need to correlate with skill or experience and the charges don’t actually act as a benchmark to guide consumers.

 I think that if consumers are being asked to pay higher prices for their private health insurance and to access their specialist of choice, they deserve to know that the fees have been fairly set and that they are getting what they pay for.

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