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Friday, 25 September 1970


Mr Whitlam asked the Minister for Health, upon notice:

(1)   What payments were made to registered hospital benefits organisations by (a) their members and (b) the Commonwealth in 1969-70.

(2)   What payments of (a) Fund and (b) Commonwealth benefits were made to or in respect of their members by the organisations in 1969-70.

(3)   How many members (a) made payments to the organisations and (b) received payments from them in 1969-70.

(4)   How many claims qualified for (a) Fund and

Cb)Commonwealth benefits in 1969-70.

(5)   What was the average amount paid in (a) Fund and (b) Commonwealth benefits.

(6)   What were the principal reasons for refusing Fund benefits and in what percentage of claims did each of these reasons apply.

(7)   How many hospital benefits organisations were in operation during 1969-70.

(8)   What percentage of the population of each State and of the Commonwealth contributed to hospital benefits organisations in 1969-70.

(9)   What was the percentage of contributors in each State and in the Commonwealth whose benefits entitlement covered (a) less than the cost of public bed care, (b) the cost of public bed care, (c) the cost of intermediate bed care and (d) the average cost of private bed care.


Dr Forbes (BARKER, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Health) - The answer to the honourable members question is as follows:

(1)   (a) Payments made to registered hospital benefits organisations by their members during the financial year 1968-69 amounted to $109,457,354. Figures for 1969-70 are not yet available,

(b)   Payments made to the registered hospital benefits organisations by the Commonwealth during the financial year 1969-70 amounted to $38,115,581. (This figure includes payments of $16,062,877 towards Special Account deficits, $424,788 fund benefits paid to Subsidised Medical Services contributors and $32,547 in respect of Subsidised Medical Services management allowance.)

(2)   (a) Payment of Fund benefits (including ancillary benefits) to members by registered hospital benefits organisations during 1969-70 totalled $119,056,728. (This figure includes $424,788 fund benefits paid to Subsidised Medical Services contributors.)

(b)   Commonwealth benefits amounted to $21,595,369..

(3)   (a) There were 3.995,527 members of regis- tered hospital benefits organisations as at 30th June 1970.

(b)   Details in respect of the number of members who received payment from registered hospital benefits organisations are not available.

(4)   (a) Claims that qualified for Fund benefits during 1969-70 totalled 1,378,753.

(b)   Claims that qualified for Common wealth benefits during 1969-70 totalled 1,323,780.

(5)   (a) The average amount of Fund benefit paid per claim during 1969-70 was $86.35.

(b)   The average amount of Commonwealth benefits paid per claim during 1969-70 was $16.31.

(6)   The principal reasons for refusing payment of Fund benefits were:

(a)   hospitalisation during an ordinary waiting period or a maternity waiting period;

(b)   claims not submitted within 12 months of the period of hospitalisation; and

(c)   maximum annual benefits previously paid. Information to permit a calculation of the percentage of claims refused for each of the reasons mentioned is not available. However, the total number of days for which Fund benefit was refused represented 2.4 per cent of the total days for which Fund benefit was paid.

(7)   There were 103 registered hospital benefits organisations operating throughout Australia as at 30th June 1970.

(8)   The estimated number of contributors and their dependants and that number, expressed as a percentage of the total population, by States as at 30th June, is set out hereunder:

 

(9)   The following figures illustrate the benefit entitlement coverage of contributors in each State and in the Commonwealth at at 30th June 1970:

 







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