Private Health Insurance or Protection Racket
So I just read this: More health insurers to face legal action for consumer rip-offs: ACCC
It is becoming increasingly clear that private health insurance companies are all about profit even at the expense of their customers. Every year the premiums skyrocket and coverage gets reduced. Now they are resorting to outright dishonest behavior in their endless quest for greater profits.
Review finds main problem is "Expense, affordability and lack of value for money"
In 2015, the then federal minister for Health Susan Ley (Yes, the same one that has since resigned over abuse of the parliamentary expenses system) announced a public consultation to seek consumer feedback on private health insurance". The results overwhelmingly found that: "the cost of private health insurance was of greatest concern to consumers overall. Expense, affordability and lack of value for money were issues common to people both with and without private health insurance."
Insurance or Protection Racket ?
When services get privatised, they get owners/investors. Ask any company CEO what their priority is, and they will say something like "To maximise profits for shareholders". Notice that is NOT "proved the cheapest most conprehensive health insurance to our customers."
Insurance companys now actually have a product specifically designed for people who do not want private health insurance.
Unfortunately, because the federal government has legislated enforcement via the tax system, the insurers are able maintain artifically high premiums. You and I have no choice but to pay whatever they deman, and they know it. Just apply at any insurers website and they give you several choices of coverage type, one of wich is to "Reduce Tax". They actually have a product specifically designed for people who do not want/can't afford it. It is worthless cover and the minimum price you have to pay for "protection".
I personally left NIB after they increased premiems by 12% one year, then 10% the next year. Thats 22% increase in 2 years ! This is another indicator thet the insurers are taking advantage of the compulsory nature of private health insurance. If it was not enforced, most people would just ditch it, leaving the insurers no choice but to adjust their rates to a more reasonable amount acceptable to the market. Every year the government rubber-stamp the increases. When questioned, you hear things like "Its a smaller increase than last year" or "it was less than others in the industry". Fairly lame excuses on the back of record profits, almost like they feel entitled to an increase.
Gambling with your health
Last time I renewed my own insurance, I complained about the price increases. They responded by telling me that I could reduce my premiums by scaling back my cover. Eg: elect to not cover certain expensive things like hip replacements etc. But if you get hit by a car and need a hip replacement, you pay. This sounds to me more like gambling than insurance. Insurance is where you pay a premium so you DON'T have to pay big bills in the event of an accident, not place a bet on what you will or will not need.
A more humourous look at the issue
Enjoy "The Checkout's take on Health Insurance v Car insurance here: Parallel Consumerverse: Health Insurance | The Checkout - YouTube
Now ask yourself "What sane government would allow companies to do this to the citizens that they are supposed to represent ?"