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Catholic Health welcomes health insurance premium increase

Catholic Health Australia has welcomed the federal Government's decision to permit health insurance premiums to increase by an industry average of 7.4%.

Speaking after the announcement, CHA's CEO Francis Sullivan said: "It is pleasing to see that the Federal Government has recognised that the real costs of health care are greater than the CPI and require extra resources from health funds."

"For the system to remain committed to quality and excellence, the real costs of hospitalisation must be met," he said. "Management efficiencies can only go so far."

Mr Sullivan cited increases in nurses wages and medical technology costs rise, and suggested the only source of revenue to offset this pressure is through health fund benefits.

"In an era where consumers expect 100% no gap cover, health fund benefits must keep pace with the real costs of care," he said. "The alternative is extra fees for patients."

But Mr Sullivan said the Government needs to look at the "glaring problem" in the fact that "a 7.4% rise in health insurance premiums does not automatically mean that patients receive a 7.4% increase in hospital benefits".

Catholic Health Australia

No escape from fund hell as cover soars (SMH 15/3/03)
Catholic Health Australia

[US] Catholics, other faith leaders call plight of uninsured a moral issue (Catholic News Service)
[US] Medicaid reforms must protect 'fragile safety net,' CHA official says (Catholic News Service)

17 Mar 2003