Australians ditching private hospital cover

Stock image.
Stock image.

MORE Australians are dumping their hospital private health insurance policies, including families and young people, as consumers continue to take stock of their spending.

New data released by the Australian Prudential and Regulation Authority has backed up reports from the health insurance sector of an ongoing drop off in policy cover.

As at June 30, 44 per cent of Australians had hospital cover but this was a decline of 0.3 percentage points from the previous year.

During the June quarter alone 28,539 people shed their hospital cover, led by 7,804 of those aged between 20 and 24 years and 6,338 families.

Earlier this week, health insurers NIB warned cost-conscious consumers are weighing up their cover against the backdrop of low economic and wages growth and premium costs rising faster than inflation.

“Premiums continue to rise while household disposable incomes remain static and competition for discretionary consumer spending remains fierce,” Managing director Mark Fitzgibbon said.

NIB said more needed to be done to curb significant out-of-pocket expenses and a “diminishing value proposition for members”.