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Thursday, 14 October 1971
Page: 2462

Mr Reynolds (BARTON, NEW SOUTH WALES) asked the Minister representing the Minister for Health, upon notice:

(1)   What is the current range of medical insurance contribution rates charged in each State.

(2)   Are the rates charged in New South Wales much higher than in other States; if so, why.

(3)   Has the Commonwealth made any investigation as to whether these higher charges are justified.

Mr Swartz - The Minister for Health has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1)   The current range of medical insurance contribution rates charged in each State is:


(2)   and (3) In introducing the new Health Benefits Plan, the Government set higher benefits in some States to offset the higher doctors' fees in those States. This was in pursuance of its policy that the benefit return to contributors throughout Australia should represent a high portion of doctors' fees. To achieve this, organisations are required to base their benefit tables on the level of common fees applicable to the State where they were registered to operate a medical fund. In N.S.W., the common fees are generally higher than those obtaining in other States, and benefits and consequently contribution rates have also been higher.

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