Shake up in health industry

The health industry is set for a shake-up as Medibank private merges with Health Services Australia, private health insurance premiums rise, and the government plans to cut the cost of the Medicare safety net.

The Government has announced plans to cut the costs of the $300 million-a-year- medicare safety met which covers more than 1.5 million people. Pregnant women and women using IVF could be forced to pay up to $2,000 extra for their care, with the Medicare refund currently sitting at 80 percent to be reduced to 66 percent.

In another strike against the health industry, private health insurance premiums are set to rise today by an average of 6 percent.

According to The Private Health Insurance Ombudsman’s report, the changing economic conditions will have an impact on insurers and their members.

“Funds will need to focus on member retention strategies and tailoring their policies to meet changing needs, particularly as economic conditions mean consumer might need to reconsider their financial priorities.”

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