The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has warned that seniors and people with chronic diseases will be hit hardest by an expected rise in health insurance premiums.
The AMA’s President, Dr Rosanna Capolingua said premiums will probably rise by about five per cent as a result of measures in last week’s federal budget.
A budget analysis conducted by Access Economics predicted that changes to the private health insurance rebate and increases in the Medicare Levy surcharge threshold would prompt an exodus of young people from private health insurance.
The report said the exodus could create a $500 million shortfall for health funds.
Dr Capolingua said the budget announcement would begin a “vicious cycle” of unaffordable private health insurance.
“It clearly puts at risk the community rating for private health insurance, because the elderly and sick will have to wear the cost of the young and the well fleeing their responsibility.
“The comfort and security that elderly and chronically-ill Australians had through affordable health insurance is at serious risk.”