This election, health is a major concern for members and that is why we are putting the bite on candidates to support better dental care and other health initiatives or risk losing seniors’ votes.
It is part of a suite of demands to boost seniors’ health and standard of living and stop spiralling out-of-pocket health costs.
We are urging all parties and candidates to commit to bringing down costs including private health insurance and medical specialists’ fees.
All specialists should be required to publish their fees on a public register and all GPs should make patients aware of choice when referring to a specialist.
Did you know that specialists are free to charge what they like? And, did you know you can seek out alternatives to the specialists referred by your GP?
Publishing fees can bring much needed transparency and help patients assess and compare costs.
In addition, private health insurance premium increases should be limited to no more than CPI until reforms take effect.
Spiralling insurance costs are taking private health insurance out of the reach of many seniors especially those on low and fixed incomes.
We want all candidates to commit to holding future premium increases to no more than the inflation rate.
That can put downward pressure on insurance costs, stem the departure of policy holders, and encourage insurers to develop insurance products that offer better value for money.
We are also promoting a universal scheme that provides an annual subsidy to help maintain age pensioners’ dental health.
Visits to the dentist are not covered by Medicare and this means adequate oral health is out of reach for people on low and fixed incomes and those in aged care.
The full Federal Election 2019 Policy priorities for older Australians is available here.