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Increase to private health insurance premiums flagged

Another round of rises to private health insurance premiums have been flagged, to the dismay of many fund members.

News Corp is reporting that some funds are preparing to ask the Health Minister Sussan Ley to approve premium rises four times the inflation rate.

The increase could cost some families an extra $300 a year.

Leanne Wells, CEO of Consumers Health Forum of Australia, said many Australians are downgrading or dropping their cover because they are struggling to afford it. ‘It’s just reached crunch point for so many people,’ she said.

‘It’s a slippery slope. They either go to the public system and put even more pressure on public hospital waiting lists [which] is one of the very problems that the private health insurance rebate was proposed to solve.

‘Or they face greater out of pocket expenses to go privately, or they don’t get any treatment at all.’

The federal government is currently conducting a review of private health insurance in Australia.

Click play to hear Leanne Wells, CEO of Consumers Health Forum of Australia