ABC Radio Adelaide Mornings program interview with Dr Rachel David on treatments in hospitals and coverage for the unvaccinated

Station: ABC Radio Adelaide
Program: Mornings
Date: 3/11/2021
Time: 9:19 AM
Compere: David Bevan
Interviewee: Dr Rachel David, CEO, Private Healthcare Australia


DAVID BEVAN: Dr Rachel David is CEO of Private Healthcare Australia. Good morning to you, Dr David.
RACHEL DAVID: Morning, David.
DAVID BEVAN: Are unvaccinated people with hospital cover going be treated the same?
RACHEL DAVID: Yes. In terms of their hospital cover, if you have private health insurance Hospital Cover and you need to go to hospital, you will be treated, you know, you will still be covered. That’s- we don’t risk rate people in private health insurance like other, some other forms of insurance. So basically, it makes no difference to the premium you’ll pay or your type of cover.

If you are unvaccinated, however, there may be some extra checks and balances that you need to go through when you go into hospital in terms of who might need to be tested, depending on what’s going on, and the policy of the particular hospital that you’re in. But the same goes for people who have COVID-19, they will still be, if they want to use their Private Health insurance for any reason, they’ll still be covered.

DAVID BEVAN: Right. So you get COVID-19, you weren’t vaccinated, your health- your insurer is not going to say, well, we’re not covering this – you will be covered. Is the flipside of this, though, that when you go to renew your policy, the insurer will ask you, are you vaccinated against COVID-19? And if the answer is no, then your premiums may be higher?
RACHEL DAVID: No, no. Private health insurance is regulated quite differently than other forms of insurance. So basically, your premiums don’t change according to your disease risk in private health insurance. So even if you’re not vaccinated, that will make no difference to your premium. However, all of our health funds are strongly encouraging people, through- in various ways, to be fully vaccinated, including offering them incentives and so forth. So we are doing our best, but there’s no- private health insurance is not a mechanism to force or compel people to get vaccinated.
DAVID BEVAN: Rachel David, thanks for your time.
RACHEL DAVID: Thanks David.
DAVID BEVAN: CEO of Private Health Care Australia.
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