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Notice given 12 September 2000

2911  Senator Lees: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Health and Aged Care—

(1) Have all private health insurance funds fulfilled the requirement to offer a ‘no’ and ‘known’ gap policy by 1 July 2000.

(2) Can an outline be provided of each ‘no’ and ‘known’ gap scheme for each health fund, including: (a) how the gap payment is determined; (b) whether agreements with doctors and/or hospitals are involved with the scheme; and (c) whether the no gap policy requires any additional payments for services in any circumstances (including the number of members in each fund holding these policies).

(3) Is the Government monitoring the implementation of these schemes to ensure that consumers are informed of their option to purchase a ‘no’ or ‘known’ gap policy when they take out private health insurance.

(4) What percentage of all private health insurance fund members currently hold ‘no’ or ‘known’ gap policies.

(5) What is the average gap payment for members holding ‘known’ gap policies.

(6) (a) Have any private health insurance funds failed to offer ‘no’ and ‘known’ gap policies by the required date; and (b) have any funds been penalised for this by restricting the availability of the 30 per cent rebate to their members as a premium reduction.

(7) (a) Are ‘no’ gap policies more expensive than comparable polices that do not cover gap payments, but otherwise provide the same level of benefits; and (b) how much more, on average, does a ‘no’ gap policy cost.

(8) What percentage of services funded through private health insurance are provided on a ‘no gaps’ basis.

(9) How has the uptake of no gap products impacted upon the cost of the 30 per cent rebate to the Government.