Media releases

June 16, 2005

Men: fewer hospital visits, higher hospital costs

Men cost health funds more than women when it comes to paying out hospital benefits.

While more women actually visit a hospital, it's men - particularly "bomb-proof" younger men aged 15-19 - that cost up to 20 per cent more in hospital benefits on a daily rate.

The figures are part of an International Men's Health Week push by Australia's largest health insurer to highlight private health insurance issues specific to men.

In the last calendar year, the top five individual claims for men aged 15-29 paid out by Medibank Private totalled more than $200,000.

Medibank Private Managing Director, George Savvides, said the largest single claim for this age group was for orthopaedic surgery at $68,115.

"The figures show two things. The first is that those invincible teenaged boys can clearly be an expensive proposition when it comes to families' hospital costs; the second is that having the right private health cover is a cost-effective way of managing the risk of having to meet those massive hospital costs."

At the other end of the age scale, in the 60-64 age bracket, Australian health funds paid out about 16 percent - close to $10 million - more in hospital benefits for men than for women in the March 2005 quarter.

"We all know men's health is an issue deserving increased attention - particularly by men themselves - and Men's Health Week gives some focus to that," Mr Savvides said.

"Our recommendation is that men address issues of wellbeing - including assessing their health cover to ensure they have the right cover for current and future needs."

"These figures tell a clear message that you don't have to be 'old' to need or benefit from private health cover - especially if you're a man!"

  • Top 5 individual Benefits paid on behalf of males aged 15-29, metropolitan Australia

 Reason for hospitalisationBenefit paid
1Orthopaedic surgery$68,115
2Orthopaedic surgery$47,207
3Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery$42,985
5Drug & Alcohol$30,370
  • Top 5 Reasons for hospitalisation of males aged 15-29, metropolitan Australia

 Reason for hospitalisationNumber of episodes
4Ear, Nose & Throat814
5Diagnostic GI Endoscopy655

For media enquiries, please contact:
Libby Woolnough
Media Adviser, Medibank Private
Phone: 03 8622 5181

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