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Monday, 20 August 2001
Page: 29798

Mr Murphy asked the Minister for Health and Aged Care, upon notice, on 7 December 2000:

(1) How many persons taking out private health care policies on or before the 1 July 2000 deadline, have taken out more than basic health care cover.

(2) Are these new private health care policy holders still eligible for Medicare and public health cover for items not covered by their private health cover.

Dr Wooldridge (Minister for Health and Aged Care) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) The Private Health Insurance Administration Council (PHIAC) collects data on private health insurance membership. However, PHIAC does not collect information by health insurance product (table). Therefore there is no information collected by PHIAC on the number of people who have a product equivalent to the old `basic table' products. These products provide people with a level of cover suitable for private treatment in a public hospital.

(2) There is no loss of entitlement under Medicare just because a person has private health insurance. For example, a person with private health insurance still has the right to choose whether they want to be a public or a private patient when they are admitted to a public hospital.