Media releases

February 28, 2012

Medibank premium rise below industry average

Medibank Private has announced that premiums for its private health insurance policies will rise from 1 April 2012 but the fund has managed to keep the average increase below that of the broader industry. This is the fifth consecutive year in which Medibank has delivered below industry average premium increases, in fact, one of the fund's lowest rate adjustments in ten years.

Medibank's premiums will increase by an average of 4.7% which is lower than many of its competitors and less than the fund's rises in recent years.

Group Executive of Medibank Private's Health Insurance Division, Laz Cotsios, 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 being experienced across the entire health sector.

"We have worked hard to keep premium increases low and we are pleased that our efforts to shield members from the full impact of rising costs have been successful. Through smart purchasing of health services and responsible business management, we have managed to keep the increase below the industry average for the fifth year in a row.

"We see that our members value their private health insurance but we also understand that they need to be able to manage the cost, so we're doing what we can to ensure we keep health insurance affordable and minimise price increases," Mr Cotsios said.

Mr Cotsios acknowledged 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 premium increases and neither do our members. We understand the pressure that rising costs across all sectors put on family budgets and that's why we are continually looking at ways to reduce costs while still giving our members better service and value," he said.

"A new range of simplified health insurance products have been introduced that have helped our members to understand the benefits within their health insurance - what they are covered for, how much they get back and how they can claim and interact with Medibank in a quick and effective way.

"We've also put a strong focus on helping members undertake preventive actions that will improve and maintain their health and wellbeing and avoid getting sick in the first place. We do this by providing access to health care information online; a 24 hour hotline to access nurses; face-to-face consultations during a hospital stay; and smartphone applications to help better manage their health every day. Our members will be able to get more out of their policies."

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