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Thursday, 25 June 2009
Page: 7178

Ms HALL (11:12 AM) —My contribution to this debate will be very brief. The Private Health Insurance Legislation Amendment Bill 2009 is a very narrow piece of legislation that relates to one very small aspect of private health insurance. It does not relate to the $1 billion that the previous government ripped out of public hospitals. It does not relate to the private health insurance rebate. Rather this bill allows insurers to offer extended family policies that cover adult children aged between 18 and 24 inclusively who do not have a partner, are not receiving full-time education at school, college or university and are included in the insurer’s fund rules. The premium rate offered for policies covering these adult children may be higher than ordinary premiums charged for dependent children for that product, but it is expected to be lower than the premium charged for separate policies covering young adults.

This legislation shows that we on this side of the House are friends of the private health insurance industry. It shows that we support private health insurance. It shows that we want to encourage as many young people as possible to take out health insurance. The bill provides that adult children who do not live at home and are not students can be covered by their families’ health insurance premiums, which demonstrates to the parliament how committed the government is to ensuring the ongoing viability of private health insurance. The bill is not about any of the issues that the previous speaker mentioned. The contribution of the shadow minister for health and ageing demonstrated to this House that he is incapable of speaking to a piece of legislation. He uses every opportunity to go off on a tangent and try to frighten the people of Australia.

I commend the bill to the House and I have great delight in supporting it.