AusBN – Many Australians have insufficient private health insurance due to the system being too complex to understand, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has found.
The commission’s annual health industry report found that numerous market failures were impeding consumers’ ability to make choices in their best interests, with the system’s complexity attracting frequent complaints.
“A range of factors contribute to this complexity, including regulatory settings, the sheer number of policies available, the range of benefits and exclusions, preferred provider arrangements, policy variations and differing terminology between funds which makes comparison difficult,” said the report.
There are currently more than 20,000 different policies available from 34 registered health insurance providers, although 80% of the market share is held by just five insurers.
In an average year, the industry will generate revenues of more than $21 billion and make a profit of $1.5 billion.
The ACCC has highlighted poor communication within the industry many times before, but it seems little has been done to address these concerns.