Media releases

February 1, 2010

Medibank premium rise below industry average

Medibank Private today announced that premiums will rise by a below-industry average of 5.74%, which equates to around $1.58 per week for a single membership.

CEO Medibank Private Health Insurance, Bruce Levy, said that while the fund's health costs were growing rapidly and utilisation continued to climb, Medibank Private had used its strengths as one of the largest funds to manage cost pressures seen across the health sector.

"We have worked hard to keep premium increases below the industry average for the third year in a row. The benefits paid on behalf of our members amounted to $3.1 billion last year - a 9% increase. Medibank is successfully shielding members from the full impact of rising costs through smart purchasing of health services and responsible business management," Mr Levy said.

Mr Levy commented that Medibank understands the pressures on household finances but stressed the value of greater choice and access to health services that private health insurance can provide.

"We don't like price rises and neither do our members. For our members to maintain their private health insurance they have to be able to manage the cost, so it's not in our interest to put premiums up unnecessarily. We are doing what we can to ensure we keep health insurance affordable and minimise price increases," he said.

"Our members are seeing value in their health insurance. More people are using their private health insurance - last year we paid claims on over 860,000 hospital admissions - in many cases to avoid the long wait time experienced in the public hospital system across the country. In addition, our members claimed their extras benefits on over 17.5 million occasions."

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