Biggest health insurance reforms in a LONG time announced by Minister Hunt

In case you missed it, some of the biggest reforms to PHI were announced last week. More information is available here.

Some of the key reforms include:

  • Discounting for young people (a 2% discount for people 18-29, up to 10%, which they hold until they’re 40)
  • Policies with higher maximum excesses
  • Making policy switching easier with a “basic, bronze, silver and gold” system to help people understand their coverage
  • Cheaper prices for prostheses
  • Improved mental health access through the private system for those with insurance
  • No more funding for unproven natural therapies

There’s still no plans to drop junk insurance, though we’re hopeful our campaign may have an impact on the Minister. The Minister has created a committee, so we’ll see where it goes.

Keen to hear what people on this forum think. Do you think the reforms go far enough? Do you think they’ll make a difference?


Will they drop support for those Chiropractic treatments where there is no scientific evidence that it works?


I hope so if it will bring down costs. From my personal experience with these people many of them seem to be relying on the Placebo effect and use click sticks on pain areas now in place of the actual spine manipulation they used to do.
Some have even been reported for dubious work on babies.
In my opinion they are the next serious charlatans to those in to Homeotherapy.
There are no proven peer reviewed scientific papers showing any benefit that would not occur naturally as far as I can ascertain.

It would be good if they withdrew subsidies for junk insurance policies which cost the taxpayer money and have very limited healthcare benefits…however, I expect that these junk policies also lower policy premium costs for those who have non-junk policies (maybe the junk policies monies are used to support operating costs which makes the cost base spread over a larger number of polices).

But on the otherhand, taxpayer’s monies should be used wisely and only where there is a proven benefit to the whole of the health system, not to those who take them out to minimise their own tax burden.

It would have also been good for the government to mandate that each provider has real no-gap policies available to its customers. Such would have higher premiums, but many in the community may be willing to pay this additional cost if they knew that their private healthcare did not result in unexpected gaps fees.

Offering no-gap polices if taken up by a reasonable number of Australians would place downward pressure on medical costs as the insurer would not have an open chequebook in relation to paying claims…it is in their interest to minimise claim costs . This may also assist in lowering healthcare costs across the private sector when the insurers also push for lower costs. Having capped claim limits doesn’t have the same effect as costs can increase with the policyholder paying the increase in costs.


Have you had two spinal operations cliveed? Being one of “these people” I would not be able to function properly without Chiropractic Care! Went to Physios for twenty years, no results at all. My very small amount I get back “being in the highest extras care my Fund has” runs out well before the year ends. I am on the Pension so it takes a lot of my money to pay for Health Care.


I was told 40 years ago I’d need a spinal fusion to fix my damaged back. I managed to get along with the problem without a graft for about 20 years using the occasional services of an osteopath, but eventually it got to the point where I could hardly walk. I was recommended to a chiropractor in Springvale Road, who got me properly mobile again over the space of a few weeks, and though I’ve now moved interstate and haven’t seen Pieter for 20 years I’d still recommend him in a heartbeat to anyone with a back problem.

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Some might consider exclusions of what one thinks they will never need as good to reduce premiums, others may not, but reviewing all the recommendations made against the action to date, que sera sera and it appears a quick moving stone could win the Melbourne Cup in 2018.


I have linked to an article I think is worth the read:

It raises some interesting points some of which have been debated on this community. I read with particular interest how with correct funding Public Health systems could really be to all our advantage, whilst dumping the expensive and I would say, inefficient Private system

Had a good laugh at the “Gap” cartoon in the article…I think that alone makes the article worth perusing.


A total overhaul of the health system is needed. In too many instances there are out of pocket expenses. Privatizing part of the system has only made it more complicated and has not reduced waiting times. I would like to know if ever there has been a study done on the real cost of health service to the government and what the total cost of the service is when all is added up : Medibank levy, 30% government subsidy for private insurance, private excess payment for insured members before admission, out of pocket costs after discharge. Out of pocket costs when visits to GP or specialists who are not bulk billing. Would it not be more economical to have only one paying service provider?

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