Improved private health rural travel and accommodation benefits

Private health insurance changes will allow insurers to offer travel and accommodation benefits under private health insurance hospital cover from 1 April 2019.


The new arrangements will allow private health insurers to support customers living in country areas who need to travel to larger urban centres to receive specialist hospital treatment not available in their local towns.


Minister for Rural Health, Senator Bridget McKenzie, said that as it stood, travel and accommodation could generally only be claimed by members with top level general treatment (extras) cover and the benefits offered had not kept pace with costs.


“Australians living in rural and regional communities often need to travel to receive hospital treatment in larger urban centres or capital cities.”


The Federal Government’s reforms will come into effect from 1 April 2019, allowing insurers to offer travel and accommodation benefits under hospital cover and not just general treatment policies.


The government has already reduced the cost of medical devices leading to savings of $1.1 billion over 4 years for consumers and has enabled consumers with mental health concerns to immediately upgrade their private health insurance.


In addition, from 1 April 2019 Australians under 30 years of age will be able to receive discounts of up to 10 per cent off their private health insurance and new categories of gold, silver, bronze and basic will make private health insurance easier to understand for consumers.


24 July 2018.