Local private health insurance customers should be able to claim travel and accommodation as part of their benefits when policy reforms come into effect on April 1 2019.
The improved travel and accommodation benefits are part of a broader federal government package of private health insurance reforms to improve affordability for consumers and make private health insurance easier to understand.
Member for Parkes Mark Coulton said private health insurance should improve for people living in rural and regional areas thanks to the new reforms.
“These reforms will allow insurers to offer travel and accommodation benefits under private health insurance hospital cover,” he said.
“This will 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.
“I know a large number of people in my electorate that often need to travel to receive hospital treatment in larger urban centres or capital cities.
“As it stands, travel and accommodation can generally only be claimed by members with top-level general treatment (extras) cover, and the benefits offered have not kept pace with costs.”
We believe it is important for customers to receive travel and accommodation benefits.Bupa’s Tim Strahan.
Bupa’s Head of Customer Value Tim Strahan said Bupa is committed to providing its rural and remote customers with choice, certainty and value and already offers travel and accommodation benefits on some policies.
“Rural and remote customers often have to travel 200 kilometres or more in a round trip to receive urgent or necessary health care, and we believe it is important for them to receive travel and accommodation benefits,” he said.
“Bupa already offers travel and accommodation benefits on various policies, and we support the government’s aim to improve access to travel and accommodation benefits for rural and remote areas. We are closely examining the reforms package, and await their passage through parliament.”