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Private health insurance information increasingly accessed

19 October 2011 - 2:48pm

The Private Health Insurance Ombudsman (PHIO) has declared the increasing popularity and continuing success of its website.

In its annual report, PHIO noted that its newly redesigned site - www.privatehealth.gov.au - has made information about insurance and the private health cover more accessible for consumers.

In the 12 months leading up to the report being published, the site recorded over 300,000 unique visitors - an increase of 17 per cent compared to the previous year. This overall increase was highlighted by a spike in activity just before the end of the financial year, which saw an increase of up to 10,000 hits a day.

The most frequently requested information includes Lifetime Health Cover, the Medicare Levy Surcharge and choosing a health insurance policy.

The Ask A Question feature has also become increasingly popular, providing consumers with answers regarding general health insurance queries unavailable elsewhere. This feature eliminates the need to contact individual health insurers.

The website update - the first significant modification since its launch in 2007 - is continuing, with features such as the Agreement Hospitals Locator map, Health Fund information page and informative videos to be added.

The Agreement Hospitals Locator map will allow users to "more easily locate private hospitals in their area and to check with which funds these hospitals have agreements," the report said.

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