Private Health Insurance Reform

Key points

  • Reforms to private health insurance will be implemented from 1 April 2019
  • MTAA is concerned that some members will lose access to treatment

From 1 April 2019 the Australian Government introduced reforms to private health insurance to improve consumer choice in their insurance.

The biggest change is that all hospital policies will be moved to Basic, Bronze, Silver and Gold tiers with each tier having different clinical categories that are covered in full.

The changes will occur in the 12 months from 1 April 2019 through to 1 April 2020. Current policy holders will be told by insurers how their policies are changing to fit the new categories.

While the goal of making consumer choice of insurance easier is laudable, MTAA is concerned that many fund members will lose access to treatments they have on their current policies, and may have to choose to upgrade their insurance.

The reforms will be reviewed by the Australian Government following 12 months of implementation.

Other changes include:

  • Discounted insurance for 18-29 year olds
  • Higher excesses in exchange for lower premiums
  • Travel and accommodation payments for people travelling long distances for treatment