Private insurers’ push into primary care could jack up costs

Addressing a health insurance conference in Sydney, Ms King said health reforms as outlined by the federal government, including a $7 co-payment on GP visits, would force up costs and undermine Medicare.

 “We also have concerns about the push, seemingly with government encouragement, for private insurers to develop a primary care product and to cover gaps in out-of-pocket expenses in primary care, alongside the promotion of this product via special access,” she said.

“The entry of private health insurance into this space, without any consideration for its impact on universal access, is fraught with danger for government in the context of the Australian healthcare system.”

The federal government is known to have sought advice on possible legislative changes relating to coverage of primary healthcare services by private health insurance. 

Ms King said Labor feared the move would lead to higher costs for