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    Flood of new health insurance joins

    DESPITE the fact that the Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) deadline has been extended to 15 July, membership joins of Australia's largest and only national health fund - Medibank Private - during the last week of June were the best ever on record.

    The week 26 June-1 July saw a staggering 86,375 new memberships - a figure which equates to over 180,626 additional people covered by Medibank Private in just one week.

    Of the 86,375 new joins last week, there were 26,061 from NSW; 23,982 from Vic; 17,958 from Queensland; 5,799 from SA; 5,560 from WA, 3,872 from Tas, 2,344 from ACT and 798 from NT.

    For the full month of June, new memberships reached 138,113 with 284,172 new persons covered for that month. Total Medibank Private membership now stands at 1,171,395 with some 2,412,534 persons now covered nationwide.

    Statistics show that the fastest growing group of members between January and May were those aged between 20 and 24 which enjoyed a 12 per cent growth, compared with a 3.9 per cent increase last year.

    Significant growth was also experienced in the 30-34-year-old age group (10.2 per cent growth) and 10.1 per cent for those aged 25-29.

    However, the vast majority of the Medibank Private's membership is clustered in the 35-54 age-group.

    Commenting, Medibank Private managing director, Mark Burrowes, says that young people are not necessarily waiting until they turn 30 before taking out private health cover. "Young people are taking much greater responsibility for their health and are being very proactive in this regard."