Labor will Protect Griffith from Mr Turnbull's private health price hikes

24 April 2018

87 606 people in Griffith will receive relief from rising private health insurance premiums with a Shorten Labor Government to cap the price increases of private health insurers at 2% for two years.

This will save 11 054 families in Griffith an average $340.

Labor knows every dollar counts – and that the status quo in private health insurance cannot continue.

With the ten-year average annual premium increases at 5.5 per cent, Labor’s move to enforce a two percent premium cap will see savings across the board:

Single currently paying average $1975 in 2018 – will save $143

Young couple with no kids paying average $3993 in 2018 – will save $290

Single parent currently paying average $3641 in 2018 – will save $264

Family currently paying average $4731 – will save $344

Older couple paying $4771 – will save $347

Member for Griffith, Terri Butler said that only Labor has a plan to shift the balance back in the interests of families, rather than the big health insurance companies. 

“I know our community needs action on private health insurance - prices are up, profits are up – but quality and value are way down,” Terri Butler said.

“Families are paying an average of more than $1,000 every year for private health than they were when the Liberals came to power in 2013.

“Wage growth is at an all-time low. But the profits of private health insurers are at an all-time high.

“That’s why we have made this unprecedented decision to shift the balance back to consumers – helping 11 054 families access the health care they need while taking pressure off the weekly budget.”

Labor will also task the Productivity Commission with the most significant review of the private health system in 20 years to improve the value, quality and affordability of private health insurance for every Australian. 

Terri Butler said that the Turnbull Government is failing to help Australians with the affordability of private health insurance, and as a result, people are walking away from private health altogether.

“Labor is choosing to put 11 054 families in Griffith first, instead of the interests of the multi-billion dollar private health industry.

“Only Labor understands that Australians are struggling with the cost of living under Turnbull. We understand the importance of protecting our world-class health system – Labor built Medicare and we will always fight for Medicare.

“And we know more needs to be done to help people access the health care they need through private health insurance – and that’s why we are backing Australians, not private health insurance giants.”


In 2016-17, Australians paid $4 billion more in private health insurance premiums than they got back in benefits, and the private health insurance industry made pre-tax profits of $1.8 billion.
At the same time, premiums increased by almost 2.5 times the consumer price index – an average $200 increase for families.
Premiums have increased by 27% since the Liberals were elected in 2013 – including the rise due in April. This includes the two highest premium increases since 2005.
Australians are paying a lot more for their health insurance policies and getting a lot less.  Ten years ago, only 8.6 per cent of health insurance policies contained exclusion, now it’s 40 per cent.
Last year, the private health insurance industry raked in $1.8 billion in profit before tax. Most publicly companies get a return on equity of about 8 per cent. The banks average in excess of 10 per cent.  Some of the biggest health insurance providers pocket a return of over 20 per cent.