Media releases

February 13, 2007

Health fund premiums to drop for single parents

George Savvides, Managing Director of Australia's largest health fund, Medibank Private, revealed today in The Age newspaper that single parents could see their health fund premiums drop as of April 1, 2007.

The majority of 22,000 single parent Medibank Private members could experience a premium reduction in the immediate future. The reduction will apply to all levels of hospital and hospital plus extras package cover for most single parent members.

Managing Director, Mr George Savvides, was quoted in today's report saying that some premiums will fall by more than 20 per cent, he has since gone further and said the reduction could be closer to 30 per cent for some members.

The reductions for single parents are a result of reforms being made to private health insurance due to come into effect as of April 1.

The reforms will change the amount a health fund must contribute, for single parents, to an industry fund that is then used to share the cost of the most expensive member claims.

Medibank Private in turn has chosen to pass on the benefits of these changes and help sustain affordable private health insurance for single parent families, Mr Savvides said.

He added that private health insurance consumers have had to put up with fluctuating premiums for far too long and that dropping premiums to a point where they were forced to soar the following year due to constantly rising healthcare costs was not beneficial for members and definitely not positive for the sector.

"We've managed to reduce premium growth at a sustainable rate for the last three years and plan to do so in the future for all members," he said.

According to Mr Savvides, the changes to private health will be some of the most significant reforms to occur in the private health sector in 50 years and will not only allow for these discounts, but fundamentally alter the way private health insurers and health providers operate in this country for the better.

Full details of premium changes will be confirmed when the Federal Government is expected to announce changes to private health insurance premiums for 2007 shortly, which is when full details will be confirmed.

ENDS


For further information please contact:
Libby Woolnough - Medibank Private
T. (03) 8622 5181 or 0411 659 060
E: libby_woolnough@medibank.com.au


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