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Private cover take-up continues to grow

23 August 2011 - 12:47pm

More than 11.9 million Australians are now covered by private health insurance - a 0.8 per cent growth compared with the last quarter.

According to new figures released this month by the Private Health Insurance Administration Council (PHIAC), this means that 52.6 per cent of the general population is now covered by a private policy.

These statistics - which cover the period ending June 2011 - also indicate that in the past 12 months, health funds provided for 69.58 million general treatment services and contributed approximately $13 billion to health care financing.

During the June quarter, insurers paid some $2,504 million in hospital treatment benefits - including accommodation, nursing and medical services -which represented a 4.2 per cent rise compared with the March 2011 quarter.

The PHIAC figures also indicate that take-up of single and family policies were on the rise - with single policies increasing by 32,742 and family policies rising by 24,110 during the June quarter.

Earlier this month, PHIAC suggested that the number of Australians who currently have private health cover is at an all-time high.

Nicola Roxon, minister for health and aging, asserted that the proposed changes to the private health insurance rebate system - which will see cuts of $100 billion made over the next four decades - will not affect the majority of individuals with private cover.