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Health costs continue to rise

3 May 2012 - 6:27pm
Written by: 
Suzanne Still

A new report into the cost of living in Australia has revealed that while most of us are much better off than in previous decades, health costs continue to increase.

Released yesterday (May 2), the latest AMP.NATSEM Income and Wealth Report indicates that disposable incomes around the country have increased by 20 per cent over the last 27 years.

Australian wages are now outpacing the cost of living over the longer term, with the average household better off by $224 per week.

However, this saving is matched a strong increase in the cost of services since the 1980s.

Medical and dental costs have increased by 560 per cent and 356 per cent respectively over the last 27 years, while the price of private health insurance has jumped 346 per cent.

"While there is little doubt that many families still struggle to make ends meet, this report shows that on average, Australian households, both high and low income, are financially better off than in previous decades," NATSEM lead author of the report and principal research fellow Ben Phillips said.

Some Australians may be encouraged by the report to speak to a specialised insurance broker to compare health insurance policies to see which one best suit their needs and budget.