The Australian private health insurance industry’s peak representative body is either really bad at mathematics or it is living in a bubble, the Australian Dental Association has claimed.
“Comments made by Dr Rachel David, CEO of Private Healthcare Australia, on Sky Business News [on Monday], demonstrate the complete lack of reality that is being promulgated by private health insurers and their peak body,” ADA federal president Dr Hugo Sachs said.
“Dr David should be called to account for the misleading statements made in the interview with Ms Dalley so that consumers know exactly how they are being ripped off by some health insurance products.”
Dr David said that private health insurance is paying for the majority of dental care that occurs in Australia yet, noted Dr Sachs, data reported by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) states otherwise.
“AIHW’s Health Expenditure Australia 2014-15 states that individuals contribute 58 per cent toward the cost of dental expenditure with private health insurers offering only 18.1 per cent,” he said
The APRA reports on private health insurance indicate that in the last four years, benefits per dental service have only increased by $1 per service and, in fact, last year the figure dropped by $1.
“This is just one more misleading statement from the peak body for private health insurers attempting to shift attention away from their own profits and toward health providers and consumers,” Dr Sachs said.
He added that claims by PHA that providers are to blame for the increase in premiums are also false; if they were true, rebates would be increasing at the same rate as premiums.
The ADA believes it’s time for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to investigate such claims.
“It’s [also] time for consumers and providers to start talking about other ways to fund their health care which will put consumers back in the driving seat,” Dr Sachs said.
Based on a media release sourced from the ADA website.