Health insurers post record profits – so why isn’t the buck passed back to us?

Private health insurers have posted record profits, and yet everyday Aussies still pay more for our premiums. Why aren’t profits

Private health insurers have posted record profits, and yet everyday Aussies still pay more for our premiums. Why aren’t profits being passed back to us, as health insurance customers?

Last year, the health insurance sector made over $1.19 billion collectively. It’s an eye-watering figure, which is up by 10% since 2014.

Despite this, premiums for private health insurance have risen by 5% at least. Many people over 50 are having to “dump” expensive extras cover like dental, optical and elective treatments.

Health Minister Sussan Ley hopes profits made by health insurers will mean that premiums are lowered in 2016. Ms Ley wants the ‘buck passed back’ to health insurance customers.

“I asked insurers for a rethink on submissions this year, which more accurately reflected their financial position and deliver a better deal for their customers”, she said.

Most people are unconvinced this will happen though. As one woman wrote online, “why would we ever expect the private sector to do the right thing? Out of the goodness of their hearts?”

“For insurers and businesses, it seems like the bottom line IS their bottom line. They don’t care about customers or everyday little guys like us”.

Are you paying too much for private health insurance? Do you want the ‘buck passed back’ from insurers to customers? Are we being rorted?

  1. Dianne Evans  

    Shame we are not like Britian with National health all that money would go too providing good health care too all instead we are heading down USA way not good

  2. Joy Anne Bourke  

    The people certainly are being rorted. Health Insurance only covers Hospital (when you go to hospital) no day surgery which should be included. I cannot afford Health Insurance but I do have extras, which covers up to 80% of everything I could imagine. Mine also accumulates over years I don’t use. I am covered for Optical, Physio, Chiro, Psychologist, Dental, Podiatrist, Hearing, and everything else . I pay $30 a f/n.

    • Doug Evans  

      Sorry that is not true Joy Anne Burke about covering day surgery. Our private health insurance certainly covers us for day surgery. However, I do agree that premiums are too high. By the way, most PH Insurers are mutuals, that is the shareholders are the policy holders. Insurers take it both ways, they screw the policy holder and conversely, screw the hospitals as well.

  3. Halth insurers, like other insurers, run a profit-making business. Their profits go to their shareholders. If you want something back, you need to buy shares.
    Nobody ever lowers the prices it charges unless there is no option. At present there is no incentive to return profits to members as they are not cooperatives.

    • TG  

      Some health funds are listed companies with shareholders. So some of your premium is paying the shareholders. Go for one that isn’t. Queensland Country Health is a good one that is not divvying profits up with shareholders, and is very member focussed. Their increases are always a lower percentage than most other funds.

  4. John Brants  

    Private funds ,like Banks, have to meet greedy shareholders “expectations”

  5. Norma  

    I am with the HCF. They say they are not for profit. Sure, I believe that one. Why would you be in business if you are not for profit? Also they increase their premiums every year.

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