The disparity between dental fees charged and dental rebates paid by insurers remains high and the differential seems to be increasing rather than narrowing. Private health insurance funds are permitted each year by the Health Minister to alter the premiums on their policies. On 1 April 2011, private health insurance premiums rose an average of 5.6% Australia’s then Health Minister, the Hon. Nicola Roxon, argued that the premium increase in 2010; although it is higher than the rise of 4.99% in 2008.
Increases to private health insurance premiums have been well above CPI increases over that last few years. Rebates have not kept pace with the premium hikes and this must be addressed (see the April 2011 National Dental Update for more details.