Private Healthcare Australia CEO Dr Rachel David acknowledges that the number of services might have increased, the amount rebated by health funds has actually decreased.
Health fund premiums have increased by 70% in the past decade, a marked increased given that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) grew by just 26% in the same period, dental fees have remained below CPI for many years. Declaring that extras policies do not represent value for money, the ADA (Australian Dental Association) commissioned the Centre for International Economics to determine a more suitable product to supplement health insurance policies. The resulting report, Saving for Ones’ Care, proposes an alternative to extras cover that employs the use of tax incentives to allow Australians to save for their own dental and allied health care (such as physiotherapy and optical) via what have been termed Health Savings Accounts. The findings of the report indicate that consumers would be much better off under such a model. Until this system of Health Savings Accounts can be enacted by Government, and in light of year on year increases in premiums, large profit margins and increasing subsidisation by taxpayers, the ADA (Australian Dental Association) is calling on health funds to increase rebate payments to patients, not just for dental treatments but across the board.