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About HBF

Private Health Rebate Under Threat

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HBF is urging its 800,000 members to know where their candidates stand on private health insurance.

HBF is urging its 800,000 members to know where their candidates stand on private health insurance – especially on the issue of the private health insurance rebate – before casting their vote.

HBF is supporting an advertising campaign by the Australian Health Insurance Industry running in all major newspapers from today. The advertisement highlights the threat to the 30% rebate, currently provided to every Australian with private health cover.

HBF Managing Director, Rob Bransby said that a higher percentage of West Australians had health cover than any other state and WA had the most to lose from any change to the rebate.

“Over half of all West Australians are now covered by private health insurance. If the 30% rebate was lost it would add around $500 to the average premium for an individual with combined hospital and ancillary cover. For families the average increase would be well over $1000” Mr Bransby said.

Mr Bransby said that there are good reasons to fear for the future of the rebate.

“There are stark differences in the policies of the parties on the rebate but few people would be aware of them. It just hasn’t featured as an election issue so far” he said.

Mr Bransby said that HBF had no political affiliations but had a responsibility to defend the interests of its members when it believed these were threatened.

“Before the last election health fund members were promised that their health insurance rebate would not be touched. In the end that proved an empty promise” Mr Bransby said.

Mr Bransby said that he had contacted WA MPs and asked to meet them to discuss their policy on the rebate – including Greens MPs whose party is committed to the abolition of the rebate.

“Private healthcare has been sidelined in the health reform debate and is in real danger of being ignored as an election issue. This is astonishing given the impact that changes to policy of private health insurance would have on thousands of Australian families” Mr Bransby said.

For further details please contact:
Media contact: Andrew Walton 0438 925 050

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