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Health insurance figures reveal savings from benefits

25 August 2011 - 2:59pm

A report released by the Private Health Insurance Administration Council (PHIAC) has shed light on the out-of-pocket expenses for specialist types of hospital treatments for private patients.

The largest out-of-pocket expenses come from plastic or reconstructive surgery.

On average, patients with private health insurance only pay a gap of $387.79, which represents 38 per cent of the total cost - the remaining 62 per cent being covered by their policy.

Orthopaedic services follow, with the average gap per service totalling $348.96 - with insurance covering 73 per cent of the cost.

The figures illustrate the importance of having private health insurance to cover the cost of these expenses.

In the June quarter, the average gap payment required for hospital treatment was $312.40.

Some medical services have lower average gaps, including visits to specialist consultants and the intensive care unit.

The report also breaks the data down by state, revealing that Victorian private health cover patients can expect a higher proportion of services to not feature a gap (92 per cent) compared to those living in the Australian Capital Territory (77.9 per cent).

More and more Australians have embraced private health cover in the past twelve months, with PHIAC reporting a 0.2 per cent increase since the March 2011 quarter.