Greetings From the CEO...
I’m delighted to have joined the HCI team at such an exciting time and want to extend my thanks to everyone who has made it such a comfortable transition. We’re close to halfway through the year and already 2021 is definitely shaping up to be yet another year to remember. Whatever happens next, as a member owned health fund, our priorities at HCI remain the same: the health of our members and our staff, and continuing to provide high quality, personalised private health insurance benefits and services to the communities we live and work in.
Our news updates aim to provide you with relevant and timely updates in relation to health related ideas, issues, and events in our communities. Its your health, and your health fund, so if you’ve got feedback or ideas on what we can be doing to better support you, or a topic you’d like us to provide more information on in a future update, then I encourage you to let us know.
Federal Budget Update
The Federal Government continues to look at reforms in the private health insurance industry to ensure affordability and long term sustainability of the industry. In this year’s 2021 Budget, there has been a focus on reform of the private health insurance prostheses list. It has been acknowledged that the cost of these medical devices in Australia is too high compared with other countries and is contributing to the rising costs in the health care system.
To reduce costs the Federal Government has proposed streamlining access to new medical devices and aligning the prices set for private providers of protheses with those paid in the public hospital system.
The reduced protheses pricing should mean a lower cost of claims for private health insurers, this should ultimately benefit members by putting downward pressure on premiums. It is estimated this will cost the Federal Government $22 million over four years, with changes to be made progressively and in a staged manner from February 2022.
The Federal Government also announced it is reviewing the Medicare Levy Surcharge and Private Health Insurance Rebate income tiers. The current regime will stay in place for the next two years, while the review will look at the effectiveness of these current policy mechanisms.
Proposed increase to the maximum age of dependants
The Federal Government has proposed increasing the maximum age of dependants on family policies from 24 to 31 and remove the age limits for people with disabilities. These changes are yet to become law, but if you or someone you know may benefit from these changes please email or call us on 1800 804 950 and we will endeavour to keep you updated on the proposed changes.
In our most recent membership survey, we asked members how they rated their trust in HCI and we are extremely pleased that you rated us number 1! Members rated us against some of the biggest household brands including Qantas, Bunnings & Australia Post.
From everyone at the fund we thank you for your vote of confidence. As a not-for-profit, you can be sure we will continue to advocate for you, our members, to ensure you receive best care, coverage and value for money.
Chief Executive Officer