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Study Finds Decline in Private Health Insurance Among Young Australians as Out-of-Pocket Hospital Costs Rise

The latest Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) figures show overall, about 9,400 people dropped their private health cover in the final three months of last year, with just 44 per cent of Australians now having basic hospital cover, writes ABC News. The largest decline in coverage was for young people aged between 25 and 29.

APRA said the private health industry continued to “face risks associated with affordability” that resulted in an ongoing decline in membership. Its report also showed out-of-pocket expenses for hospital visits increased by 3.2 per cent over the year, with people paying an average gap payment of $300 in the last quarter. A previous analysis from Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association found high out-of-pocket costs to see specialists in Australia (AHT 1/28/2020).

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