The Australian Dental Association has strongly criticised the response of Private Healthcare Australia CEO Dr Rachel David to a recent article published in Fairfax media.
ADA president Dr Hugo Sachs said it confirms why no-one should trust what she says.
“Dr David’s selective use of data suggesting that health fund payments for dental services are increasing fails to reflect the fact that while the number of services provided may have increased, the amount rebated by health funds has actually decreased,” he said.
“The ADA is correct in its claim that ‘extras policies’ are not value for money and consumers would be better off putting their money into a savings account.”
The ADA recently commissioned the Centre for International Economics to identify the core components of a Health Saving Account model for consideration by the government as a more suitable product to supplement hospital health insurance policies. The findings of the report indicate that consumers would be much better off under such a model.
The release this week of figures by Choice on premium increases that took effect on 1 April demonstrates that while this year’s premium increase was the lowest in some time at 3.95 per cent, in reality, many are experiencing increases in the order of 45 per cent.
Choice has reported that premiums have increased by 70 per cent in the last decade while the Consumer Price Index (CPI) grew by only 26 per cent. The ADA believes that these increases without a commensurate increase in rebates are the real reason why Australians are dropping their private health insurance cover.
“Dr David continues to try and shift the cause of premium increases towards provider’s fees,” Dr Sachs said.
“Dental fees are not the problem as they have remained below CPI for many years. With year-on-year increases in premiums, large profit margins and increasing subsidisation by taxpayers, it’s time that health funds gave back to patients and increased the rebates, not just for dental treatments but across the board.”
Based on a media release sourced from the ADA website.