Private insurers to cost the public

Under a pilot led by Medibank, members are being offered free after-hours GP care and guaranteed bulk-billed appointments within 24 hours. It is taking place in six Brisbane practices run by corporate operator IPN. Historically, private health insurers have been banned from covering services already covered by Medicare but Health Minister Peter Dutton has not ruled out changes.

Professor Jeff Richardson, foundation director for Monash University’s Centre for Health Economics, said that while private insurers may not want to drive up