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Millions of Australians abandoning their private health insurance

More than two million Australians have dropped their private health insurance in the past five years.

A recent poll by the Medical Technology Association of Australia found a quarter of people who previously had private health cover have ditched it in recent years.

President of the Australian Medical Association, Dr Tony Bartone tells Mark Levy they know affordability is a significant factor when many Australians decide to cancel their private health insurance.

“But there are other factors that go into that mix, and transparency and lack of value, lack of what the fund gives back to you when you do make a claim was other significant factors.”

With almost 2.2 million people leaving their private health cover, Dr Bartone is concerned if the trend continues we’re going to see more Australians depend on the public system which is currently not coping.

“That’s only going to spell longer wait times for elective surgery making that equity and access especially for Australian’s who can’t afford private health insurance… making their situation even more diabolical.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview

Medical Technology Association of Australia CEO, Ian Burgess tells Erin Molan and Natalie Peters that people are making the decision to leave private health cover because we do have an excellent public health service in Australia, but that’s based on both our private and public system.

“Private health insurance is complex, people look at this in different ways,” says Mr Burgess.

“What we do know is that premium increases have been consistent… for the big insurers they’ve been increasing premiums at double the rate of inflation and at the same time the big insurers have maintained their profits.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview with Ian Burgess