Medibank pays $1.1 billion in extras claims over the last financial year

Richard Laycock 22 June 2017 NEWS

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Dental services accounted for 44% of Medibank claims.

Australian consumers are claiming more on their extras than they did five years ago, according to the latest data from Medibank.

The research found that Australians are claiming more than $150 million more on their extras policies than they did half a decade ago. Medibank paid out over $1.1 billion for extras services in the last financial year (FY16).

The Medibank data found that customers claimed a whopping $539.3 million for dental treatment in FY16. Since FY12, payments for dental extras have risen by almost 17%.

Other large portions of the extras spend include $212.2 million spent on optical claims (13% increase), $80.1 million spent on physio claims (29.6% increase) and $63.9 million spent on chiro claims (27.8% increase).

Medibank chief medical officer Dr Linda Swan said that extras claims were popular for both Medibank and ahm members.

"Medibank and ahm paid benefits towards 26 million extras claims last financial year. That's an average of 10 extras services for each of our 2.7 million customers who have cover," Dr Swan said.

Of all the states, Queensland claimed the most for dental services ($138.3 million) and podiatry ($8.3 million). Victorians topped the rankings for both physiotherapy ($21 million) and chiropractic (17.6 million). NSW residents claimed the most of any state for optical services (roughly $60 million).

A recent finder.com.au survey found that 1 in 7 Australians hadn't made a claim on their private health insurance in the last 12 months. Of those who had made a claim, the results showed that general dental was the most likely to be claimed (62%), followed by eye care (48%) and physiotherapy (22%).

The release of the Medibank extras claims data follows closely behind Medibank's release of the most common hospital claims for Australian men, which found that Australian men are more likely to claim a diagnostic GI endoscopy on their private hospital cover than any other service.

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