Article Appeared in Sunrise
Australia's big private health insurers have been accused of a sham, with plans to hike premiums again next year - some by twice the rate of inflation.
Insurers say the hefty 3.2 per cent proposed increase is in response to the government's failure to lower the cost of medical devices, like those needed for hip replacements.
However Medical Technology Association of Australia CEO Ian Burgess says the overall cost of medical devices has gone backwards, so premiums should be going down.
"What we're clearly seeing is an orchestrated campaign of misinformation by the insurers," Burgess told Sunrise.
"Official government data clearly shows that prices for devices have declined."
"Over the last two years insurers haven't paid one extra cent for medical devices, yet over the same time the big three insurers have increased their profits and banked over $1 billion."
"Clearly prices have not been increasing in terms of a cost driver for private health insurers, yet what we're hearing from insurers is that is the reason why premiums have to increase again by double the rate of inflation."
"That just doesn't pass a simple logic test."
Private health insurers will submit their proposed premium hikes, which must be approved by the Health Department, next month, with new premiums to apply from April 1.