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Tech & Science Health funds call for urgent reform after government caps price hikes

06:55  09 december  2019
06:55  09 december  2019 Source:   watoday.com.au

Private health system in a 'death spiral', says expert, but what can be done to save it?

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The OECD has called on the Mexican government to urgently reform its health system, which it says is “fragmented, inefficient and unresponsive.” In its first review since Mexico introduced publicly- funded universal health insurance ten years ago, the OECD said that modernisation must start now and that

See health coverage choices, ways to save today, how law affects you. HHS.gov A federal government website managed and paid for by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

a close up of a device: Health funds say costs must be cut from the private system.© Gabriele Charotte Health funds say costs must be cut from the private system.

Health funds strong-armed by the government into rising their membership fees by the lowest annual rate in 19 years have called for "urgent" industry reform to help them deal with their rising costs.

Health minister Greg Hunt on Saturday said health insurance premiums would increase by an average of 2.92 per cent next April, after rejecting the funds' proposal for averages hikes of 3.5 per cent.

The smallest annual increase since 2001 will come as a relief for consumers, whose wages are only growing at 2.2 per cent annually and have been dropping out of the private system because of affordability.

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Modeled after the best features of Medicare Part D and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Nonetheless, the balance of the HI trust fund is a telling “marker” of Medicare’s financial health . Without serious structural reform , there are two broad options for Congress and the Administration to

Private health insurance changes 'will lead to premium hikes '. The government has also set up a new rating system to make it easier for people to choose private health cover. Drummond said the government ’s reforms will lead to lower increases in premiums for many customers and offer them

But insurers say they are being squeezed by hospital claim costs which are rising faster than their revenue and an exodus of younger people from the private system, which has been likened by some as akin to a "death spiral".

In light of the decades-low premium increases, Medibank chief customer officer David Koczkar said there had "never been a more urgent time" for industry reform.

"We must do more to reduce and eliminate unnecessary costs in the health system," Mr Koczkar said.

"This includes reducing procedures that have no effect, cause harm or are not worth their cost, shifting to more out-of-hospital care, addressing out-of-pocket costs and delivering further prostheses reform."

Medibank, the country's largest private heath insurer and which paid $5.4 billion in benefits last year, was doing its part to improve affordability through a five-year, $90 million cost-saving drive, Mr Koczkar.

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The healthcare reform debate in the United States has been a political issue focusing upon increasing medical coverage, decreasing costs, insurance reform , and the philosophy of its provision, funding

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Mark Fitzgibbon, managing director of nib, said that he was mindful of growing consumer concerns around affordability and value.

“Still, the reality for both private health insurance, and the healthcare industry as a whole including government who fund the lion’s share of our nation’s healthcare, is that the cost and frequency of medical treatment is rising," he said.

"While this means consumers are receiving the treatment they need... it does place pressure on claims' costs."

Health fund lobby group Private Healthcare Australia's chief executive Rachel David said 88 per cent of insurer premium increases over the past 10 years was driven by claims cost growth.

The funds have been pushing for reform to lower how much they pay for medical devices and want to make insurance more attractive by being able to pay for members' medical costs outside of hospital, such as longer GP appointments and "hospital in the home" treatments.

Lunchtime ASX small cap wrap: Who’s keeping things a little (too) fresh today? .
Here at Stockhead, we understand the appeal of keeping your vehicle smelling fresh and clean. But the application of in-car air fresheners — like (almost) anything — is best done in moderation.

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