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Thursday, 19 November 2009
Page: 12196


Ms ROXON (Minister for Health and Ageing) (9:12 AM) —I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

The Fairer Private Health Insurance Incentives (Medicare Levy Surcharge) Bill 2009 [No. 2] will amend the Medicare Levy Act 1986 to give effect to the budget measure to introduce three new private health insurance incentives tiers.

The bill will commence immediately after the commencement of the Fairer Private Health Insurance Incentives Act 2009.

This bill was previously introduced into the House of Representatives on 27 May 2009 where it was passed on 2 June 2009. This bill was previously introduced into the Senate on 15 June 2009. On 9 September 2009 a motion moved in the Senate that this bill be read a second time was defeated. This bill is being reintroduced into the House of Representatives to give effect to the budget measure to introduce the private health insurance incentives tiers that will make the private health rebate fairer.

The Medicare Levy Act 1986 determines whether an individual is liable to pay the Medicare levy surcharge in respect of their taxable income or that of their spouse. The individual’s income for surcharge purposes determines whether a person must pay the surcharge. If the individual’s income exceeds prescribed income thresholds they will need to pay the appropriate level of surcharge.

This bill inserts the new tier system in order to determine which level of surcharge a person must pay where they do not hold appropriate private health insurance. I commend this bill to the House.

Debate (on motion by Mr Coulton) adjourned.