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Private Health System News

28/07/2011 - 6:59pm

A report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AHW) has found that one-third of Australians are holding off their next trip to the dentist because of the cost.

Dr Jane Harford, from AIHW's dental statistics and research unit, says: "Women, concession card holders, uninsured people and those who usually visited for a problem rather than a check-up, were more likely to avoid or delay dental visits.”

26/07/2011 - 6:41pm

Seven of the world's best-selling drugs are about to drop in price, with more likely to follow.

The cause for the price cut is the expiration of patents, which means that generic manufacturers will be legally allowed to create cheaper alternatives.

Drugs used in the treatment of diabetes, depression, HIV are expected to become more affordable over the next 18 months.

The prescription medicines currently held under exclusive patents are estimated to be taken by millions worldwide.

21/07/2011 - 6:37pm

As a private health cover holder receiving treatment in a public hospital you may have some questions about the rights you are entitled to.

In Australia, you have the right to choose your own doctor, who may attend to patients in public and private hospitals - and you can opt to be treated as a public patient in a public hospital if you wish.

The Australian government's Private Patients' Hospital Charter outlines what you need to be aware of before your stay.

18/07/2011 - 4:19pm

We rely on doctors to give us regular check-ups to make sure we are healthy and to keep abreast of any emerging needs - so why not apply the same process to your private health cover policy?

Your health situation naturally changes over time for a whole host of reasons.

Some changes are expected to come with age, while others may catch you by surprise.

15/07/2011 - 12:32pm

Doctors in Australia have the freedom to decide how much they charge for various services - which can vary depending on costs, skills and location.

While the government's Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) fee is set out for most services - this outlines how much of your treatment will be covered by Medicare - doctors can choose to charge above this amount.

13/07/2011 - 5:25pm

Australians made more claims for dental care than any other type of benefit according to a report by the Australian Health Insurance Association.

Of the total $3.2 billion paid in allied health services benefits, $1.6 billion was for dental work.

The amount paid by insurers represents almost half of the $3.3 billion total charged for visits to the dentist.

The figures show an increase of five per cent in the amount claimed compared to the year before.

08/07/2011 - 5:07pm

Claims made by the Opposition that up to a million Australians would abandon private health cover in favour of the public sector as a result of changes to the Medicare levy surcharge were unfounded, according to new research.

Minister for health and ageing Nicola Roxon asserted that the opposition "have been caught crying wolf" after a report from KPMG indicated that the surcharge changes did not affect activity trends in public hospitals.

30/06/2011 - 3:15pm

Although midwives were granted permission to provide taxpayer-funded maternity care last November as long as they could reach a collaborative agreement with doctors, only a fraction of midwives have been using the scheme.

One midwife, Marie Heath, remarked to the Sydney Morning Herald that the changes do not make midwives accessible to the average Australian woman.

She claimed to have sought collaborative care agreements with ten private doctors - but all refused, claiming their insurance would not cover the collaboration or they were simply too busy.

09/02/2011 - 1:18pm

The Government will soon be approving the health funds’ applications for a price rise. The Government will make the usual noises about keeping the health funds honest and keeping the price rise to a minimum. With over 70% of the market covered by for-profit health funds it will be difficult to see the government overcoming the desire of the industry to maintain profit margins following a period where fund surpluses nudged a billion dollars.

20/10/2010 - 12:00am

In the recently released September quarterly statistical report of the Private Health Insurance Administrative Council 10,064,043 people, or 44.8% of the population, were covered by hospital treatment cover. This is the first time there has ever been more than 10 million people in Australia with hospital insurance since the introduction of Medicare.

Surprisingly, 11,647,801 people or 51.8% of the population had some form of general treatment cover. General treatment pays benefits for things like dental, optical, physiotherapy, orthotics, hearing aids and natural therapies.

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