Private Healthcare Australia has contradicted a recent “flawed” Roy Morgan report which claimed that roughly a quarter million Australians dropped their health insurance over the last year.
Roy Morgan's findings showed that in the year to March 2018, an estimated 256,000 people have bid adieu to private health insurance – the highest number for the last five years.
Rachel David, Private Healthcare Australia CEO, said Roy Morgan's assessment is “far from the truth,” and that thanks to recent private health insurance reforms, “more Australians than ever currently hold PHI.”
“What people say they might do and what they actually do can be quite different, and our research has repeatedly shown than 80% of people with PHI value it and want to keep it,” David said. “Of course members are concerned about rising premiums and out-of-pocket medical costs, but they also understand that premiums are rising because the funds are paying for more healthcare.”
The industry body cited the latest APRA figures, which revealed that “an extra 50,000 Australians have taken out health cover in the 12 months ending March 2018” and that “there is now a record 13.58 million Australians with either hospital cover, extras, or both.”
Finder.com.au said that while the overall number is a record, “that doesn't mean Australians are taking out coverage at record levels.”
Because even though 13.58 million Australians do indeed have either hospital, extras, or combined cover, the latest quarterly private health insurance statistics for March 2018 showed that the percentage of Australians with hospital cover was down to 54.5%, from the previous year's 55.2%.
“When you specifically look at hospital cover, which incidentally is the important one come end of financial year and the costlier of the two policy types, the shift in those dropping cover is more apparent, with the number of people having cover in March 2017 falling from 11.35 million (46.3%) to 11.31 million (45.5%) in March 2018,” the comparison website said.