Yes as you and @draughtrider both point out Industry Funds are “non profit”, how many of them are there? Lots, so how much money is spent on the many Boards, CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, Senior Management, Buildings, Cars and other on-going expenses (including advertising of every fund) before any money is returned to the clients of the health funds? Huge amounts.
Even if they were as frugal as possible, an average 14% (amended from 30% on research) of funds incomes would be dispersed/dispensed on what is essentially “double ups” of costs that if we had a single entity National Health Insurance would be reduced drastically.
Looked this up and average is 13.2% for industry funds and 15.4% for the others for the years 2011 to 2015. Premiums paid by non industry fund clients for the period 2011 to 2015 was $57.1 billion meaning at that rate every year $2.198 billion was used/kept by those funds. For Industry funds I was unable to locate the premium figures for the same period but the figures if similar would be $1.884 billion per year. Add the annual Rebate bill and you have around $10 billion dollars a year not going back to members bills. Just to put that in some perspective the total Federal funding of Australia’s public hospital system in 2015 was $16.4 billion and if it was increased by the $10 billion would have been a 60% increase in funding.
Imagine what a system we would have if the entire premium amount had been paid into the public system instead…(not a fair thing perhaps but just to consider what it would mean)
If everyone in a private fund didn’t have to pay the extreme level of costs, firstly to be a member and then to cover the “out of pocket” costs that seem to ever increase as benefits are reduced, if we had a single Insurance scheme how much better off would they be? If I & others didn’t have to help fund the Health Insurance Rebate for Private Health users and that was instead put into the National Health Insurance, how much better could it be?
Maybe the insured could then afford to properly fund their favorite Footy Team, Swimming Club and so on rather than letting a Private Company use the funds to fund the activity as a means of generating more advertising. Most businesses are not that altruistic to fund without expecting returns for investment.