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Hospital insurance in South Australia

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Increased hospital benefits will be introduced to meet the higher charges recently announced for public hospitals in South

Australia from September 1, 1972. The benefits for private hospital insurance have also been increased.

Announcing this today, the Acting Minister for Health, Dr A.J. Forbes, said that hospital insurance contributors in South Australia would not have to increase their insurance contributions to obtain the higher insurance cover. '

Dr Forbes said that the increased benefits would be financed out of the reserves held by the hospital funds. This was in accordance with the policy of using excess reserves to the best advantage of contributors.

This is the second time in 12 months that hospital benefits have :

been increased in South Australia without any corresponding increase in contributions.

The increased public hospital charges and higher benefits will apply from September 1, for intermediate and private wards only.

Public ward charges are to remain unchanged. Private hospital charges in South Australia rose last month and contributors who incurred

private hospital expenses since then will receive the higher benefit.

The new private hospital benefit will cover charges made for over 95% of private hospital beds in South Australia.

The new daily public hospital charges in South Australia from September 1 will be $21 intermediate (previously $20) and $26 private (previously $2^). Private hospitals are charging up to $ 3 1 a day.

Dr Forbes said that the new higher level of benefits would mean that not only could contributors insure for the cost of public hospital treatment but they would be fully protected against the daily charges made by most private hospitals. '

He said the insurance protection against private hospital charges had been possible following negotiations between the

hospital benefit funds, the private hospitals and the. Commonwealth Department of Health. ■

The private hospitals had agreed to adhere to all inclusive Λ charges and not to increase their charges above the present levels ·

without prior consultation with the hospital benefits funds and the