Following reports of private health mega profits, consumer group CHOICE says private health funds must dump their upcoming October price rises.
"Reports today that private health funds have made mega profits out of COVID-19 show they must provide some relief to Australians," says Dean Price, CHOICE Health Campaigner.
Not-for-profit fund HBF is the only insurer who has done the right thing, by giving their customers 12 months relief from premium increases during the COVID-19 crisis. The industry has also begun backtracking on promises to return profit made from customers being unable to claim in lockdown periods.
"This is disgraceful. Funds are charging full price while not delivering the full range of healthcare services. They can't get away with doing the bare minimum while raking in these profits. The October price rises must be scrapped for the good of the community."
"All health funds need to join HBF in deferring the 2020 premium increase for the full year. To increase people's premiums on 1 October, as most funds plan to do, would be cruel in light of these abnormal profits," says Price.
"This industry has played an aggressive game of PR bluster - promising to return abnormal profits at the start of the COVID-19 crisis and then backtracking, deflecting and going on the attack to avoid their promise. The community doesn't need games right now - put money back in people's pockets so they can get through this crisis."
Timeline of public comments on 'abnormal' profits
Media contact: Jonathan Brown, firstname.lastname@example.org, 0430 172 669