Health insurers are scamming Australians with high-cost plus policies

A Stethoscope

CHOICE research has discovered that Australians purchasing some Silver Plus health insurance policies are losing hundreds of dollars every year.

The research follows CHOICE slamming the industry for rip-off Basic policies earlier this year.

“Health insurers are scamming Australians with high-cost plus policies,” says Dean Price, Health Campaigner at CHOICE.

“We’ve found over 215 Silver and Silver Plus policies that cost more than Gold policies from competitors. That means you pay these insurers more for less coverage – that’s less money in your pocket and more surprises when the worst happens and you end up in hospital.”

The worst offender nationally is Frank (GMHBA) Health Insurance with the most expensive Silver Plus policy (their “Top Hospital” cover) in every state and territory.

Major health insurers such as Medibank, Bupa, HCF, HBF and NIB also feature prominently in CHOICE’s analysis of scam Silver Plus policies.

The full list of high-cost plus policies is available here.

The plus policy scams come following the introduction of the new Basic, Bronze, Silver and Gold system in April this year. CHOICE says the industry lobbied to increase complexity and confusion in the health insurance market and is now taking advantage of this confusion to trick Australians into paying more than they need to. CHOICE is calling for the Federal Government to hold the industry to account with a public inquiry.

“Minister Hunt tried to make health insurance clearer, but the health insurance lobby succeeded in making it complicated. CHOICE’s investigation shows how the health insurance industry is profiting from the confusion they created,” says Price.

“People already find health insurance high cost and low value. This investigation uncovers more reasons why people don’t trust the companies offering these expensive policies. The death spiral this industry is facing is self-imposed and they can’t be trusted to fix it themselves.”

“The Federal Government should take this opportunity to show that it won’t give in to these powerful lobby groups. The Government should call a public inquiry into the health insurance industry. They need to listen to the people affected by the industry’s bad decisions so that we can deliver fair healthcare and fix the problems together.”

Read more at choice.com.au/health

CHOICE Media Release

Media contact: Jonathan Brown media@choice.com.au