The association representing commercial and not-for-profit comparison sites has rejected suggestions that reforms to private health insurance will unnecessarily confuse consumers or that the public should wait until the reforms are fully rolled out before considering their options.
The Private Health Insurance Intermediaries Association (PHIIA) says the changes, which include the categorisation of policies into gold, silver and bronze tiers, are helpful because they make it easier for customers to compare options and find better value.
PHIIA also believes that now is as good a time as ever for customers to review their options, and that its members are particularly well placed to provide customers with value during the transition period, having invested in upgrading their systems and training staff to help customers through the reforms.
Our members have invested in systems and consultants that are able to pick out policies that will cover people for their important requirements before, during and after the reforms, Christopher Zinn, the CEO of PHIIA, said.
Instead of waiting for the system to completely change and risk over-paying or being under-insured in the meantime, now is a great time for customers to compare their options to see which policies best suit their needs and PHIIAs members have put in the work to make sure that the process is a simple one for their customers.
PHIIA members have been preparing for months with the funds they offer comparisons about to come up to the task.
Consumers should use the arrival of the reforms as a worthwhile nudge to get on and review their existing cover, or take it out for the first time, and ensure they are comparing policies and providers, said Zinn.
Should the new categories create confusion, even in the short-term, PHIIA members have the expertise to guide the public through the transition.
The imposition of gold, silver and bronze categories for private health insurance may help consumers compare coverage but it will not end their need for trusted advice.
There are still many decisions to be made around both hospital and extras cover, as well as their detailed needs analysis, which sees consumers turn to comparators for help.
Christopher Zinn, CEO of the Private Health Insurance Intermediaries Association (PHIIA), which enforces a code of code for comparison services, said there is still uncertainty as to how the categories will work.
Mr Zinn said We support any initiative that is going to help consumers. There will be a significant range of benefit differences within each category, so we will still work with consumers to find the one that works best for them at the most affordable price.
Private health insurance is a very complicated field to purchase the right product in so comparison sites will continue to play a very important role to the benefits of the consumers, he added.
Mr Zinn concluded that any change there will be winners and losers and a reform of this magnitude will lead many consumers to re-examine their coverage to find better value.
Media inquiries PHIIA CEO Christopher Zinn 0425 296 442
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