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About HBF

Goverment must rethink means test for private health rebate

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HBF Managing Director, Rob Bransby is calling on health fund members to speak out against the Federal Government’s proposal to means test the 30% rebate on private health insurance.

Means testing the rebate, which currently goes to almost all Australians with health insurance, is widely expected to be included in the federal budget.

A new report by independent financial analysts Deloitte has shown means testing the rebate will significantly push up the price of private health insurance. Full FAQ.

In an open letter to all HBF members published in The West Australian tomorrow Rob Bransby cites the Deloitte report published today by the Australian Health Insurance Association.

The report highlights that the measure would ultimately push up premiums for everyone with health cover, whether or not they were directly affected by the means test, and would place a significant additional burden on the public health system.

HBF estimates that around 70,000 HBF members would be immediately affected by the means test with those losing their rebate facing premium increases of over 40%.  

But Mr Bransby said that the Deloitte report showed that the measure would also hurt every Australian family and individual with heath cover. 

“The Deloitte report shows that premiums would rise by an additional 10% over five years as a direct result. It completely torpedoes the Government’s claim that this will only affect the wealthy.” Mr Bransby said.

“It’s vulnerable groups like pensioners and families that will end up paying the price of this legislative change.”

HBF was one of the strongest opponents of the means test proposal when it was first announced by the Rudd government in 2009 and subsequently rejected in the Senate.

This time HBF’s Managing Director is appealing to health fund members to make their views known through HBF’s Save Your Rebate campaign website (www.saveyourrebate.com) and through a petition at HBF branches around the State.

“As a not-for-profit fund we aren’t interested in politics but given the projected impact of this change on our members we have no choice but to oppose the government on this” Mr Bransby said.

“We recognise the Government has some hard decisions to make but we’ve always argued that penalising those who take responsibility for their health and who do most to take the pressure off the public system is bad policy.  This latest report from Deloitte shows just how bad”.

Media contact: Andrew Walton, 08 9265 6181



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