Your trip to the hospital just got a whole lot more expensive… 32



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More Australians than ever are being admitted to hospital and they are paying a significant amount more for it.

Medibank Private has released new data showing the average annual amount Australians pay for hospital visits has risen 34 per cent from 2010 to 2015, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

This is due to a 20 per cent increase in hospital admissions per member and a 12 per cent raise in benefits paid on each admission due to the skyrocketing cost of medical care.

As the population continues to age, an increasing amount of over 55s are going to hospital, whether it’s for general check ups or more serious surgeries.

Medibank Private chief executive George Savvides says both Australians and the health care sector are feeling the pinch.

“The costs of healthcare are rising; Australians are going to hospital more often than they were five years ago, patients are receiving more services and treatments when they’re admitted, and treatments are generally becoming more expensive,” he said.

As the cost of private health continues to sore, many senior Australians are being forced to ditch their hospital cover – a move that can have dangerous repercussions to their health later down the line.

Health Minister has demanded private health insurers lower their premiums, but there is yet to be any action on that demand.

The issue comes off the back of reports the government is considering privatising parts of Medicare, a move that outraged my people who warn Australia could be siding into an American-style health system.

Have you noticed an increase in hospital costs? Do you think private health insurers should be forced to lower their costs?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Yes I have experienced the problem first hand, I’m at a point where at the moment I’m considering dropping my extras, because I’m finding I can’t afford to drop my hospital cover from the top cover as we are being covered for less yet paying far more for the privilege. Our health system is going to be facing some serious repercussions if the increases to private health are not stopped, because people will have no choice other than to drop private cover all together then that will have a very serious negative reaction on the public system.

  2. I just got a quote for heart scans and stress test $551.20 total, cost to me above Medicare rebate, $230. If that is just the start of diagnosing and treating any problem I have I can see my bank balance dwindling rapidly.

    5 REPLY
    • Well Barbara if you were not stressed before, you would certainly be stressed now after that quote disgusting!

    • The cardiologist bill just came in the mail over $200 for a ten minute consultation plus $42 for ECG as well I’m likely to have a heart attack stressing about how I can pay all this. I’ll be 65 soon and stampeding into Centrelink to see if I can get a Healthcard.

    • Barbara – having private cover would make no difference, all out of hospital ‘stuff’ is Medicare only.
      I too struggle.

  3. Starts at 60, your headlines are becoming more and more sensationalist, alarmist in nature. You produce interesting items, don’t start trying to be a tabloid. This item deals with PRIVATE hospital costs – you should include this word in your headline.

  4. I see health funds as part of the problem. They continually change the agreements they make, support quackery like chiropractic, osteopathy, homeopathy & naturopathy, for which no supporting evidence has ever been found & their prices keep rising while the services they offer decrease. It’s all one big rip off.

  5. I look at our medical system as 3 separate systems within the whole. First there is Medicare which cover doctors and specialists services and tests. Second there is Private Health cover which covers private hospital costs and thirdly there is the Public System which at the moment anyone can access for free. Let’s take Medicare first. Basically in my opinion Medicare is broken beyond repair. Over the last 33 years of my husbands many hospitalisation and medical tests the largest out of pocket expense by far is Medicare. His last little trip to hospital cost us $7000.00 which we had to pay 3 weeks before or no operation. Secondly, the Private Health cover. With our top hospital with Bupa they have FULLY (sorry about that, not shouting but wanted to emphasis)covered all of our hospital expenses. We have not had to pay one cent ourselves in 33 years. Lastly of course we have the Public System which at the moment we are all able to access. The only downside with this is that the system is overloaded and in some cases grinding to a stop. Our local public hospital has started contracting procedures out to the local private specialists and private hospitals. So looking at it that way, Medicare wins the prize as the biggest failure in our medical system at the moment. In my opinion Private Health wins first prize and the poor old public system comes in the middle. The average Medicare levy is I believe about $3000.00 a year. I personally do not think that is a good investment. Our Private Health Premium is $5,268 a year. I do not begrudge this as in our case I feel we are ahead. Our private health premiums have to rise as doctors fees and hospital charges rise. the Medicare levy will also have to rise to cover the rising costs of tests or they will do as they are doing now and take services off Medicare. I can see no end to the rising cost of health care. The thing that worries me is the quality of services that we are getting for our dollar. In the case of Medicare that is falling not rising. I do not see how Medicare in particular can survive in its current form without a major injection of funds and the only way that can happen is to raise the Medicare levy. Private funds will continue to raise premiums to keep pace with rising costs and so it goes on. The poor old public system will continue to struggle to pick up the pieces. That is how I see it.

    5 REPLY
    • lucky you ,you can afford your private health cover .I had to end my cover after 30 years as i could no longer afford the premiums .it was a case of health or food .i feel if politicians weren’t so wasteful and greedy there would be enough to go around .It’s the smug look on their faces when they tell us we have to tighten our belts that gets to me because they don’t believe it applies to them too .

    • Jennifer Symonds Sorry to hear that Jennifer. Unfortunately you are not alone. So far we can afford our premiums, how long that will continue is unknown. With my husband’s health the way it is we feel having no health cover is a death sentence. There are difficult times ahead for all of us.

    • You’re fortunate to be able to afford top private. We pensioners can’t. In fact, this year we may have to drop the lot. Or, stop eating.

    • Karen Gurton Yes we are fortunate . My husband is 67 and still working which is why we can afford it. He intends to work for as long as possible and this is one of the reasons as with his health conditions we do not want to be reliant on the public system until absolutely necessary.

  6. Do not have private cover.Even my rheumatologist bulk bills.never paid a cent for any pathology scans or hospital ever.Private health insurance is a scam..

  7. We have top private cover for hospitals only, after doing the sums it is cheaper for us to pay our extras as we go. I would never give away my private hospital cover knowing that those who dont have it, have massive wait times for non elective surgery. This cue will only get longer if more and more people pull out of private health. I fear the younger generations mostly will not take out private health so I can see the system collapsing in years to come. Its a pity that the younger generation could not see into the future and get their priorities right.

  8. The Government will do whatever they want and People will continue to vote them in but then sit in their backsides and complain You want a better economy Do something about it instead of leaving it up to someone else who ends up being nobody
    You know what the government is trying to do DONT LET THEM
    Simple !

  9. All pensioners should get free medical they have all paid lots and lots of taxes
    Also it should be free for them to travel on public transport
    I know it will never happen but what a nice thought

  10. I am eternally grateful to the Dept of Veterans Affairs for paying for my medical and hospital. I’m on a War Widows Pension. I don’t know what I’d do without them. I wouldn’t have had my total knee construction and would be sitting on a waiting list.

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