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Thursday, 7 July 2011
Page: 7982

Ms ROXON (GellibrandMinister for Health and Ageing) (10:06): I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

The Fairer Private Health Insurance IncentĀ­ives (Medicare Levy Surcharge) Bill 2011 will amend the Medicare Levy Act 1986 to give effect to the budget measure to introduce three new private health insurance incentive tiers.

The bill will commence concurrently with the commencement of the Fairer Private Health Insurance Incentives Act 2011. This bill, like the one that I have just introduced, was previously twice introduced into the House of Representatives and passed.

This bill was also previously introduced twice into the Senate and defeated. The bill is being introduced again into the House of Representatives to give effect to the budget measure to introduce the private health insurance incentive 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.

The 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. This bill makes up the carrot and stick process that I spoke about when introducing the Fairer Private Health Insurance Incentives Bill 2011 just a few moments ago.

I commend the bill to the House.

Debate adjourned.