Insurers Gift Struggling Aussies a Christmas Premium Hike

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MTAA has slammed the corporate insurance industry for slugging Australians with another premium hike, while they continue to rake in record profits.

It was announced today that the insurance industry will be increasing health insurance premiums on Australians in 2022 by an average of 2.27%. The hike comes on the back of insurers’ $1.8 billion of pandemic profits which adds up to a whopping 212% increase on their previous years’ profits. 

MTAA CEO, Ian Burgess, commended the Minister for Health for rightly pushing back on insurers’ previous pre-Christmas premium cash grab, but said the fact remains that Australians should not have to pay one extra cent for their health insurance until insurance companies hand back to consumers 100% of their mega-COVID profits.

“Throughout the year insurance behemoths have continued to cry poor by blaming doctors, hospitals and the MedTech community for the rising cost of health insurance despite insurers being handed more than $1.2 billion in savings since 2017 by MedTech companies to pass on to consumers,” Mr Burgess said.

“Unlike insurers, the MedTech community has committed to price reductions in order to support the long-term sustainability of private healthcare by putting on the table approximately $750 million in savings, over four years.”

Insurance companies have done so well in recent years that, according to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), between 2014-15 and 2020-21 they made enough money to pay themselves increased ‘management expenses’ of $2.5 billion – an increase of more than $800 million over that period.

Insurers have been put on notice by ACCC’s Deputy Chair, Delia Rickard, who said:

“We expect insurers to return all benefits from procedures that were not performed… We will continue to monitor the actions of insurers to return all the profits they made due to COVID-19 to policy holders…”

MTAA is calling on the insurance industry to do the right thing and put people before profits – and if they won’t then lawmakers should step in to ensure consumers funds are returned in full.