Wednesday, May 21, 2008

600,000 May Drop Health Insurance

[Welcome Industry Radar readers!]

According to a published report, as many as 600,000 people now covered by private health insurance could drop their coverage.

Why you ask?

Because they can get coverage for free, or at a much lower cost, by allowing the taxpayers to provide coverage.

Those most likely to drop health insurance?

The young, healthy individuals.

This will create an imbalance in the private system leading to an increase in premiums for those who keep private insurance. The additional drag on taxpayer funded plans will lead to deficits on that side, creating more cost shifting back to the private sector.

Dr Armitage estimated that even after a $600 million budget injection into surgery waiting lists, public hospitals would be $43 million a year worse off. Premiums would increase for those who stuck with private insurance, he said.

Those leaving private insurance would opt for Medicare instead.

But AMA president Rosanna Capolingua said it could be a signal to Australians that they could drop their private health insurance or not buy it in the first place.

It would lead to longer waits for elective surgery and other treatment.

"Those people who genuinely cannot afford (hospital cover) will actually be pushed further down elective surgery waiting lists," she said

Oh yeah. I forgot to mention, this is in Australia.
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