Tasmanian not-for-profit health insurer, St.LukesHealth, has deferred passing on any premium increases for its members until at least 1 July 2023, following the Federal Government approving private health insurers to increase their rates at an average of 2.9%.
“St.LukesHealth will soon be advising its members that it has achieved it lowest premium increase in the past 20 years. This has been aided by Australian Government’s reforms to inflated prostheses costs in Australia, albeit there is still considerably more work to be done in this space, and working constructively with providers to find new and innovative ways to provide more affordable care and greater access to services for our members.”
CEO Paul Lupo said as a Tasmanian insurer, St.LukesHealth understood the cost of living pressures families were facing across the state.
“We know people are finding the cost of living extremely challenging in the present economic climate, and we doing all we can to keep increases as close to zero as we can so as not to add to that burden,” Mr Lupo said.
“More than 86 per cent of our members are Tasmanian, and we understand that family budgets are just not stretching as far as many people need them to.
“With Tasmania’s CPI of 8.6 per cent outstripping the national average of 7.3 per cent, St.LukesHealth is doing what we can to make it as easy as possible for people to continue investing in their health care.”
Mr Lupo said the deferral continued St.LukesHealth’s long-term commitment to supporting Tasmanians and its members.
“This is the fourth time in four (4) years that St.LukesHealth has deferred increases in rate to alleviate cost pressures on members,” he said.
“We take our role in the community extremely seriously and we know what it means to support our members.
“We live here, we work here, and we understand that decisions made in interstate or overseas boardrooms don’t always factor in the real-life circumstances people are genuinely facing, and we understand the impact that can have.”
Mr Lupo said St.LukesHealth would continue lobbying for the Federal Government for further reforms to pass on greater prosthesis saving, changes that enable private health insurers to assist members in non-acute care settings and provide more help for people on lower incomes by restoring the private health insurance rebate,
“The rebate commenced at 30 per cent and was designed as a means-tested method of helping people afford private health insurance, allowing them to avoid relying on the overstretched public hospital system,” he said.
“This rebate has been eroded to the point it is now less than 24 per cent in some cases. Six per cent might not like sound like much, but it translates to Tasmanians missing out on millions of dollars in financial support, placing even more stress on people’s budgets.”