A message from Dr. Dwayne Crombie, Managing Director, Health Insurance, Australia.
In recent months you’ve probably heard a lot of talk about health insurance and the Federal government’s review of the health system. At Bupa we’re advocating to ensure that the needs of our members are at the centre of the debate. For us that means keeping health care affordable, easy to understand and accessible to everyone, regardless of age or health.
You’ve no doubt heard this asked in recent months. That question of affordability. In truth, if you have a “junk policy” (one that has hidden charges and offers no real value), then yes, your concerns could b warranted. But the benefits of having quality cover more than outweighs the cost: Your choice of doctor, significantly reduced waiting lists, the peace of mind knowing that if accidents happen you’ll have the best possible help. As the debate rages on, at Bupa we’re ensuring that concerns like these are addressed by finding and providing more and more value for our 4 million members. We also believe in arming our members with the knowledge to confidently navigate the healthcare system.
Health costs in Australia are driven by an ageing population which needs more medical and surgical care, along with new and expensive medical and treatment options. About 85-90% of your premium pays directly for the ever-increasing cost of healthcare delivery, including payments to doctors, hospitals and other medical costs. When these costs go up, everyone has to pay more – including through health insurance premiums. Bupa has been working hard in recent years to keep health cover affordable, but in order to improve affordability, we need to look at how money is being used by healthcare providers. To make health insurance more affordable we need to focus on making healthcare itself more affordable and targeting the ineffective, unnecessary or wasteful aspects of the system.
The health system in Australia is large and complex, which can lead to confusion and uncertainty for patients. We believe that consumers should have greater access to better information to understand what they’re covered for, and the costs charged by doctors and hospitals that may be over-and-above their insurance.
Bupa does not support suggestions of charging higher insurance fees based on the demographic, lifestyle or health conditions of Australians. We fully support the principle of Community Rating, which ensures that everyone can access private health insurance for the same price, regardless of whether they’re young or old, have a family history of health problems, or smoke.
Whilst we continue to argue for improvements to the health system, we are committed to delivering more for our members. In the past 12 months we’ve continued to deliver innovative new services, such as Bupa Beginnings, our partnership with the National Home Doctor Service, and the launch of our new member benefits program, Bupa Plus.
We also focussed on growing our network of Members First providers, delivering high quality healthcare with greater choice and certainty of costs for members.
Read more in this month’s edition of BluePrint, if you need a better understanding of Health Insurance and how you and your people can make the most of your Bupa membership, including the extra benefits and discounts we can offer through our health and lifestyle partners.
At Bupa, we’re here to help guide you and your employees towards more informed health and care decisions. If you have any questions, just give your Bupa representative a call, contact us or drop into one of our stores.