Your lifestyle may soon mean you're charged more for health

SMOKERS and other Australians who make "poor lifestyle decisions" could be charged even more for private health insurance, if the Commission of Audit recommendations on the issue are taken up.

The proposal forms part of a raft of health-related proposals to save the Abbott Government money, including a $15 co-payment on all Medicare services.

Under the audit recommendations, more Australians, particularly those earning higher incomes, would be forced to take out private health insurance, while those with poor health would pay more under "risk equalisation".

"For some people, particularly smokers, poor health is a result of lifestyle choices," the report reads.

"Lifestyle-related conditions impose a significant and growing cost on the health system which ... borne mostly by third parties, including health funds, taxpayers and other users, rather than the individuals responsible.

"In other segments of the insurance market, risk factors such as smoking are taken into account when calculating premiums.

"This principle should be applied to health insurance."

The commission also reported more incentives should be provided for Australians who make "lifestyle decisions that reduce their risk of poor health".

Releasing the audit report last week, Treasurer Joe Hockey said the government's first response to it would be in next week's federal budget.



REVEALED: Gympie has voted for its favourite real estate agent

Premium Content REVEALED: Gympie has voted for its favourite real estate...

WINNER: The agent voted Gympie’s Number 1 has lived in the region his entire...

Greg Armstrong murder trial: Judge retires for verdict

Premium Content Greg Armstrong murder trial: Judge retires for verdict

The unsolved murder of Gregory Armstrong could be cracked in days

Help us decide Gympie’s best mullet out of these 9 finalists

Premium Content Help us decide Gympie’s best mullet out of these 9 finalists

VOTE NOW: There are some magnificent mullets around the region but only one can...