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Plan now for future health costs

20 October 2011 - 3:23pm

As the population continues to age, Australians are being reminded to consider their healthcare needs sooner rather than later.

Earlier this week Deloitte Access Economics director Lynne Pezzullo briefed senior government bureaucrats on a scheme that suggests introducing an additional funding option for healthcare, alongside Medicare and private health insurance.

The savings program could accept contributions for future health needs, much like superannuation, with the potential for governments to also contribute for low-income workers.

Ms Pezzullo warned that increasing expectations of health services and rising costs of drugs and technology could force changes to health-care funding in the future.

The proportion of Australians aged 65 or older has risen five per cent in the past four decades, and is set to increase to a further seven per cent by 2040.

Australians do not need to wait until their senior years to make their health a priority - private health insurance can cover some health costs both now and in the future.

Over ten million Australians currently have private health cover and brokers make it possible to compare health insurance options in order to find the most appropriate plan.