Report reveals out-of-pocket costs

April 05, 2018

A report has revealed Australians with private health insurance will be out-of-pocket when it comes to covering certain medical costs.

The Consumers Health Forum’s Out of pocket pain report has revealed a negative trend in private health insurance.

Released on Thursday April 5, the survey drew on the responses of 1200 consumers.

The findings revealed more than a quarter of those having treatment for cancer who responded to the survey incurred costs of more than $10,000 in the past two years.

Consumers Health Forum chief executive Leanne Wells said they had heard stories of single mothers who had foregone recommended care before of the cost.

Other key results revealed more than a third of respondents with chronic conditions like multiple sclerosis reported out of pocket costs of more than $10,000.

One in six respondents said that out of pocket costs had a significant impact on their lives.

Respondents frequently expressed the view that using private health insurance would expose people to more costs and a third of respondents said the out of pocket costs were not explained to them before treatment.

Consumer advocacy group CHOICE’s chief executive Alan Kirkland said there was no correlation between the cost of a procedure and its quality or outcome either.

“In short, you could be thousands of dollars out-of-pocket and have a worse outcome than you would from a specialist who charges a lower fee that's fully covered by your private health insurance,” he said.

“CHOICE wants to see a more transparent private health system in which consumers are given clear information at the right time, not when it's convenient for specialists, hospitals or health insurers.”

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