Out-of-pocket medical bills exceeding $10,000 report finds

Richard Laycock 6 April 2018 NEWS

“Only full disclosure will ensure consumers can make the right choice for themselves.”

Patients with breast cancer and other chronic conditions face out-of-pocket medical bills in excess of $10,000, according to the Out of Pocket Pain survey conducted by the Consumers Health Forum of Australia.

The survey found that despite having health insurance many members were shocked to find they still had to pay thousands of dollars for treatment.

“The responses to the survey give a disturbing insight into the high costs of medical care and challenge the notion that everyone can access the care they need in Australia,” the CEO of the Consumers Health Forum Leanne Wells said.

The results found that one in six of those surveyed said these costs had tremendous impacts on their lives. This is not surprising considering more than one in four of those who were treated for breast cancer paid more than $10,000 out-of-pocket. Which is why so many are calling for transparency.

"Only full disclosure will ensure consumers can make the right choice for themselves," said Breast Cancer Network Australia CEO Kirsten Pilatti.

“You ask for a second quote when looking for a tradesman so why would you not do the same for your health? We are encouraging people to ask for full costs upfront and get a second opinion before committing to any treatment that may impact the way they lead their lives,” Pilatti said.

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