Latest figures showing the number of people holding private health insurance policies for general treatment has dropped again, is further evidence that government reforms are ineffective, according to the Australian Dental Association.
Responding to the recent release of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority’s Quarterly Private Health Insurance Statistics, the ADA has called on the Health Minister to urgently tackle the issues of poor value of ancillary cover, low rebates and inequities.
“While dental rebates represent more than 50 per cent of those paid under General Treatment cover, their low levels mean policy holders would be better off saving their money and paying for dental care only when they need it,” ADA president Dr Carmelo Bonanno said.
“The ADA has repeatedly shown that health insurance rebates back to consumers are not even keeping up with CPI—but their insurer’s profits continued to grow. The annual premiums for the last five years have been increasing at two to three times CPI.
“Many consumers believe that having General Treatment cover will give them choice of provider but in reality, some health funds are penalising their policy holders by providing lower rebates unless they see their contracted providers,” Dr Bonanno added.
“The ADA thinks this is discrimination. That’s why we’re asking consumers while at their dentist, to sign our petition calling on the government to bring an end to discriminatory rebates under contracted provider schemes.”