Doubts over rebate impact on private cover

Dropping the 30 per cent government rebate would make little difference to people staying in private health funds, a survey by Global Reviews has found. More than 45 per cent of the 2800 respondents said they'd keep their health cover even if the rebate were removed, with a further 20 per cent “undecided”.

The January survey showed that people in the 18 to 35 age group were more likely to drop their private health insurance cover than those aged over 50. Thirty-six per cent of the survey respondents said they'd taken out health insurance to obtain private hospital cover with ancillary coverage being the second strongest motivating factor. Forty-four per cent of Australians now have private health insurance compared with just 30.1 per cent at the beginning of 1999 when the rebate was introduced.

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