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More Australians take up private health insurance

16 August 2011 - 3:28pm

The Private Health Insurance Administration Council (PHIAC) has released figures which show that Australians have reached a ten-year high level in private health cover participation.

Minister for Health and Ageing Nicola Roxon says: "45.3 per cent of the population is now covered by private hospital insurance."

The findings have eased concerns that changes to the Medicare Levy Surcharge would affect the number of people wanting to take out health cover.

Minister Roxon also used the opportunity to highlight the Gillard government's proposed changes to the rebate system which aim to save the budget $100 billion over the next four decades.

"The government’s proposed changes to the private health insurance rebate will ensure government subsidies through the rebate remain focused on the millions of low and middle income Australians who need and deserve this assistance," says Roxon.

The government estimates that eight million policyholders will see no changes at all to the cost of their policy if the bill is passed - citing figures which estimate that 99.7 per cent of privately insured Australians will choose to remain covered by private insurers.

An estimated 10,255,675 Australians currently have private health insurance.