Medical Technology savings deliver lowest premium increase in 18 years

The Medical Technology Association of Australia welcomes today’s announcement of the lowest private health insurance premium increase in 18 years.

The medical technology industry was the major contributor to these savings through its Agreement with the Commonwealth signed in 2017.

The medical technology industry’s Agreement to cut prices on the Prostheses List was the major driver behind last year’s premium increase being the lowest in 17 years, and is again a key factor in this year’s premium announcement.

The Agreement signed in October 2017 will save health insurers $1.1 billion in payments for medical devices over four years.

This year’s September APRA data shows that private health insurers are paying out less for prostheses – both in total amount paid and also the average amount per medical device.

At the same time, the latest APRA data shows private health insurers enjoying continued strong profitability, with profit before tax of $1.9 billion across the PHI industry - an increase of 35% over the last three years.

Despite private health insurers’ record profits and significant savings, the average family will still be hit with a premium increase of over $120.

The PHI industry need to step up to the plate and offer Australian families a better deal rather than just blame everybody else.

Ian Burgess, Chief Executive Officer of the Medical Technology Association of Australia said:

“Today’s announcement delivers the lowest premium change in 18 years, which can be attributed to the $1.1 billion in savings from the medical device industry.

“MTAA strongly supports the need for a healthy and viable private health insurance sector in Australia. “Despite representing only 10% of private health insurers’ overall costs, the Prostheses List contributes significantly to the key value proposition of private health insurance for consumers over the public hospital sector – choice of medical device.

“The private health insurance industry should embrace an expansion of the Prostheses List, particularly around access to life-saving non-implantable technology such as ablation catheters, which would greatly increase the value proposition to its 13.5 million customers.”

ENDS

Media contact: Rachel Fry | 0417 887 432 | rfry@mtaa.org.au

Did you know?

1. The medical technology industry currently employs more than 19,000 people.

2. The industry is highly skilled with over 52% of employees having a tertiary qualification, and 25% having a postgraduate qualification.

3. More than half of Australian medical device companies have grown from start-ups. 40% of all medical device businesses have been established since 2000.

4. In 2013-14, Australia exported medical devices to 167 different countries around the world for a total value of $2.1 billion.

5. Medical technology (7.76%) is second only to Civil Engineering (8.5%) and pharmaceuticals in third (6.3%) when it comes to filing patents for innovative technology.

About MTAA

The Medical Technology Association of Australia (MTAA) is the national association representing companies in the medical technology industry. MTAA aims to ensure the benefits of modern, innovative and reliable medical technology are delivered effectively to provide better health outcomes to the Australian community.

MTAA represents manufacturers and suppliers of medical technology used in the diagnosis, prevention, treatment and management of disease and disability. The range of medical technology is diverse with products ranging from familiar items such as syringes and wound dressings, through to high-technology implanted devices such as pacemakers, defibrillators, hip and other orthopaedic implants. Products also include hospital and diagnostic imaging equipment such as ultrasounds and magnetic resonance imaging machines.

MTAA members distribute the majority of the non-pharmaceutical products used in the diagnosis and treatment of disease and disability in Australia. Our member companies also play a vital role in providing healthcare professionals with essential education and training to ensure safe and effective use of medical technology.