Health gap cover behind in NSW

NSW is lagging behind other states in its take-up of no-gap health cover. According to new figures released by the Private Health Insurance Administration Council Show, NSW consumers are 28 per cent less likely to opt for no-gap policies which help reduce patients' out-of-pocket expenses. In VIC, SA and WA 70 per cent of medical services carried out will not result in out-of-pocket expenses for patients compared to 50 per cent in NSW and a national average of 60 per cent. This means that one in every two private health fund members could face extra costs of over $1000 for coronary artery and hip replacement surgery or the delivery of a baby. Experts believe that the NSW medical profession has resisted no-gap schemes for fear that funds will outline and restrict the type of treatment doctors can perform.

Meanwhile, the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman Norman Branson has predicted that nearly all medical services carried out in NSW in 18 months time will be covered by no-gap schemes. However, Mr Branson has criticised current no-gap policies claiming that they are too complex for members to use.

‘Health gap cover lagging behind', The Daily Telegraph, 18/12/00, p 6.