Comparison tools will not address the rising affordability concerns surrounding health insurance, the Commonwealth Ombudsman has said, arguing that switching between insurers and policies is not the issue.
The Ombudsman, in its submission to a Senate inquiry on private health insurance, said while there had been significant public discussion about improving comparison tools to help consumers find new health insurance products, those tools failed to tackle the overall problems, reported The Australian.
The overall affordability issue with health insurance is a formidable problem to solve because health insurance premium increases and benefit outlays were mostly the result of rising costs and usage in the hospital system, the Ombudsman said.
The key concerns consumers had about health insurance, according to the Ombudsman, was it was too complex and that it was difficult to understand the terms used by different insurers.
The information provided by health insurers also caused several problems for some consumers, who considered the policy they received failed to match their expectations. “Improvements to these key areas would go some way to addressing the concerns of consumers who have found the value of their health insurance policy to be less than they expected,” the Ombudsman said.