LABOR DEMANDS LIBERALS ACT ON HOSPITAL COSTS

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Labor has demanded action to protect NSW hospital patients, after Medibank revealed patients could be forced to pay hundreds of dollars more in out-of-pocket expenses for a hospital visit.


In an email to members, Medibank said it would cover less of the cost of its members hospital stays, complaining that NSW hospitals were more expensive than other States.
 
Labor Shadow Minister for Health, Ryan Park has said that this change could put more strain on NSW’s overstretched hospital system.
 
“This change could see a wave on people put off by high out-of-pocket costs re-enter public hospitals. This has the potential to cause a big blow out in already long surgery wait times.”
 
“The Liberals need to sit down with private health providers and sort this out. We don’t want to see people abandoning private health insurance because the Liberals refused to work out a way to keep costs down.”
 
Medibank email Thursday, 1 August 2019:
 
Important information about changes to benefits in NSW public hospitals
 
NSW public hospitals charge significantly more for an overnight stay in a private room than all other states. In order to keep premium increases as low as possible, we will reduce what we pay NSW public hospitals by paying NSW a similar rate to what we pay in other states from 1 November 2019. This means if you choose to be a private patient in a NSW public hospital and are assigned a private room, you may be charged an out-of-pocket expense by the hospital. The hospital is required to give you information about potential costs and it’s your right to know this, so make sure to ask prior to your hospital stay.
 
If you are going to hospital, private or public, get in touch with us on 13 23 31 so we can check your cover and inform you of any costs related to your hospital stay. In Australia you can choose to be a public patient in a public hospital through Medicare, rather than using your private health insurance. You can find out more at medibank.com.au/goingtohospital
 
If you have any questions, please give us a call on  13 23 31 weekdays, 8am – 7pm (AEST/AEDT).



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