The Federal Budget’s impact on insurance and your health
Super savings, funding for hospitals, mental health and more.
On Tuesday 8 May 2018, Treasurer Scott Morrison handed down the Federal Budget 2018-19 and along with tax cuts and trickle down economics, the government announced a few ways your health and insurance will be impacted.
Let's start with how super and insurance will be changing. In good news for those under 25, superannuation funds will no longer be opt-out as default for insurance but rather operate on an opt-in basis. This will also affect those with funds where their balance is less than $6,000 and when the fund holder has not made a contribution in 13 months or more. These changes will be great for younger Australians as it will prevent super funds from draining their super balances with unnecessary insurance fees.
Public hospitals will receive record funding. The new agreement "will deliver more than $30 billion in additional funding between 2020‑21 and 2024‑25 — a 30% increase over the previous five years". The CEO of the Consumers Health Forum Leanne Wells said this budget is providing a consumer-focused approach to care and research.
"This is a welcome measure that will leverage co-investment from the states and recognises that hospital reform must be about so much more than simply investing in more beds,” Wells said.
There will also be an additional $5 billion allocated to aged care. It's hoped that the influx of cash, along with support for older Australians wishing to receive care in their own homes will lead to better health outcomes.
“Poor health literacy and difficulty understanding the health and aged care system can be a major barrier to access for many older Australians. Bolstering the home care packages with navigators helps ensure older Australians living at home get maximum benefit out of other supports available to them in the community," said Wells.
The government is also looking at supporting those with mental health by pledging $33.8 million to Lifeline Australia. It will also fund beyondblue and The Way Back Support Service.
National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
Aussies with disabilities will also be able to "exercise choice and control over the services" they need under a fully-funded National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
"... every dollar committed to delivering the NDIS remains in place and always will," said the minister for finance Mathias Cormann and Treasurer Scott Morrison in a joint statement.
MBS and PBS
Finally, $34.4 billion has been set aside 2017-18 for the Medicare Guarantee Fund, which backs the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). There will be an additional credit of $35.3 billion for the MBS and PBS expenditure for 2018‑19. There will also be "$1.4 billion for new and amended listings on the PBS, including medicines to treat spinal muscular atrophy, breast cancer, relapsing–remitting multiple sclerosis and a new medicine to prevent HIV".
What else is happening?
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