Media release - HEALTH PREMIUM RISE PUTS MORE PRESSURE ON NEWCASTLE FAMILIES

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2 March 2016

Families in Newcastle will face increased cost of living pressures following the Liberal Government’s decision to wave through hefty private health insurance premium increases.

Today’s announcement that the Government have allowed private health insurers to increase their premiums by 5.59% will add around $200 to the cost of annual premiums for Newcastle families with family hospital cover.

That takes the total increase under the Abbott-Turnbull Government to around $600 after the Coalition approved the two highest increases in a decade in 2014 and 2015.

While the Government is forcing families to pay triple the inflation rate in increases to health insurance premiums, they are telling the States that their hospitals can survive on funding increases tied to inflation and population, ripping more than $57 billion from public hospital budgets in the process. These cuts will see more than $155 million cut from Hunter New England Health hospitals.

This comes on top of $650 million being ripped out of Medicare in December with the slashing of bulk billing for diagnostic imaging and pathology, and $2 billion in cuts to GP rebates.

These successive huge rises and cuts are yet another slap in the face for families from a Government determined to do anything it can to shift costs on to consumers.

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Authorised by Sharon Claydon MP, 427 Hunter Street Newcastle