In October 2017 the Health Minister announced a number of wide ranging Private Health Insurance (PHI) reforms that come into effect in 2019. These reforms will focus on improving affordability and reducing the complexity of Private Health Insurance products. They will centre around making policies easier to understand and encouraging younger people to consider taking out Private Health Insurance. Rural and remote Australian’s will also see benefits for travel and accommodation.

Over the coming months as more information about these reforms becomes available, we will provide an in-depth look at each and how they will be implemented at Queensland Country Health and the benefits our Members can expect to see.  

Will there be any changes to my cover?

We are currently reviewing all of the reforms to understand the impact they may have on our products.  We will be in contact with our Members in December to advise of any changes.  Our main focus is our Members and we will endeavour to ensure any adverse changes are kept to a minimum. We will keep our Members up to date as more information becomes available.

 

Reform

Proposed Changes

Effective Date

How will this affect me?

Product Tiers

a new system for categorising hospital products

This reform will aim to classify hospital insurance products into four tiers - Gold, Silver, Bronze and Basic.  The Government will set the minimum requirements for each tier to adhere to. This will make comparing products a little easier.

1 April 2019

Queensland Country Health Fund is currently reviewing this reform and will contact you if there are any changes to your cover.

Standard Clinical Categories

This reform will ensure Health Insurers are using the same Standard Clinical Definitions and Categories. This will make it easier for consumers to understand their cover and compare different types of cover.

1 April 2019

Queensland Country Health Fund is currently reviewing this reform and will contact you if there are any changes to your cover.

Discounts for Young People

This reform will allow insurers to offer a discount on selected hospital policies to people under the age 30.  

The Government will allow insurers to provide people who are aged between 18 and 29 years with a 2% discount on their private health insurance hospital cover for each year they hold cover. The maximum discount is 10% and may be retained  until they reach 41 years of age. It will then be gradually phased out by the age of 45.

 

1 April 2019

Queensland Country Health Fund is currently reviewing this reform and will contact you if there are any changes to your cover.

Travel and Accommodation benefits for rural and remote Australians

This reform allows insurers to offer travel and accommodation benefits within hospital products. It aims to improve the value of private health insurance for those that live in regional and rural Australia.

 

1 April 2019

Queensland Country Health Fund is currently reviewing this reform and will contact you if there are any changes to your cover.

Increasing the excess

This reform enables insurers to offer consumers a higher excess amount in order to lower their premiums. This centres around the main issue of affordability.

The current maximum excess is $500 for singles and $1,000 for couples/families. This reform proposes that the maximum excess will increase to $750 for singles and $1,500 for couples/families.

 

1 April 2019

Queensland Country Health Fund is currently reviewing this reform.

Removal of Natural Therapies

This reform will require insurers to remove most natural therapies from 1 April 2019 with the exception of Massage, Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture. 

1 April 2019

We will be in contact  if this affects your cover.

Reduction in Prosthesis items

The minimum benefits Health Insurers pay for Prosthesis (such as Hips and Joints) have been reduced. These prices are set by the Government and this reform is aimed at helping  to reduce the cost  of these items.

1 February 2018 – ongoing

These savings will be passed on to you through lower premium increases.

Information Provision

This reform will ensure Health Insurance information is easier to access  with upgrades to privatehealth.gov.au which will include a new look Private Health Information Statement (previously Standard Information Statement) and changes to the way we  communicate with you.

1 April 2019

 

Items such as the Private Health Insurance Statement (Tax Statement) will now only be available on request.

 

The Lifetime Health Cover Statement can now be issued with Premium changes communications in April.

For more information on the reforms please visit The Department of Health website