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    No rate rise for medibank private members

    Medibank Private's more than two million members are among the only private health insurance fund members in the country not facing an increase in their premiums today.

    Medibank Private's Managing Director Mark Burrowes said he was delighted that Medibank Private's strong financial position means that for the first time in many years the fund had been able to avoid increasing its rates.

    "Some members have had no rate increases at all since September 1998, and with the rebate this means that premiums are back to 1991 levels," Mr Burrowes said.

    "We know that cost is a major factor in determining people's choice of health fund. Medibank Private's capacity to hold down rates reinforces its position as Australia's best value health insurer as well as its biggest," Mr Burrowes said. "

    The industry has enjoyed four consecutive quarters of growth and Medibank Private has led the surge in new memberships, reaching the two million member milestone late last year and going on to account for 40% of new contributors to private health insurance in the December quarter.

    "Medibank Private has continued to outperform its competitors because it continues to provide the best value for money health cover while providing innovative, lifestage specific products and services. Medibank Private returns over 85% of contributions to members in benefits and recently introduced GapCover for all its members with hospital cover at an estimated cost of $35-million-a-year, without costing them a single additional cent in premiums.

    "Today the Medibank Private advantage is further extended by holding our rates at current levels. Now more than ever, people should compare our rates and products, and then consider joining Medibank Private or switching their membership to us," Mr Burrowes said.