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About HBF

HBF calls on WA MPs to Save the Rebate

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The Managing Director of Western Australia’s largest health fund has personally delivered petitions from thousands of health fund members to Parliament House today, calling on WA MPs to reject the legislation to means test the Private Health Insurance Rebate.

Presenting petitions from almost 35,000 Western Australians to individual MPs, Rob Bransby urged them to take note of the message their constituents were sending.

“More than 50% of the West Australian population has private health cover. I’ve come to Canberra on behalf of our members to tell their representatives how strongly they oppose the Government’s means-testing plan.

“The message I’ve been told to pass on is clear: penalising the families and individuals who have taken responsibility for their health by taking out private health insurance is unfair, short-sighted and ultimately counterproductive,” Mr Bransby said.

HBF members account for 60% of all Western Australians with private health insurance.  HBF estimates that around a quarter of its members would be directly affected by the means test. These members would see their rebate drop from 30% to 20% or to 10%, or lose their rebate altogether.

“A significant number of our members would immediately experience a 43% increase in the cost of their health cover” Mr Bransby said.

“HBF has no political allegiance but as the head of a not for profit fund I have to oppose something which is so obviously going to hurt my members.”

A survey conducted by ANOP* and a report by independent financial analysts Deloitte** has shown that the means test would significantly push up the price of private health insurance as members drop or downgrade their cover.

Media contact: Andrew Walton 0438 925 050
*   ANOP Survey for the AHIA: Measuring the Impact on Private Health Insurance Membership in Australia (April 2011)
** Economic Impact Assessment of the Proposed Reforms to Private Health Insurance (28 April 2011)

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