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Possible ramifications for public servants from health insurance selloff

By Masquara - 25 October 2014 7

Radio National is reporting plans on the part of Medicare and the Government to compulsorily take part of public servants’ superannuation on retirement, and use it to pay health care premiums, regardless of the choices and wishes of said retirees once Medicare is privatised. With no regard to whether said public servants have looked after their health and will incur heavy costs; it would be a “one size fits all”. This means that public servants will be subsidizing the health system exactly the way the old one did – only a very small pool of people on fixed incomes will be contributing. The interview (Geraldine Doogue and Alan Kohler) assumed that people who live on into old age are big users of the health care system. I believe that isn’t necessarily the case, and one you live to 80 you may well just live on without medical intervention for another 15 years. A conservative government picks and chooses its freedoms to choose!

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7 Responses to
Possible ramifications for public servants from health insurance selloff
dungfungus 10:34 pm 26 Oct 14

neanderthalsis said :

The interview mentioned nothing about forcing public servants to pay part of their super on retirement to prop up the health system.

There is no mention at all of stripping of super, no attack on pensions, no killing of medicare. Geraldine does try hard to confect some outrage (or possibly just maintain the rage that has been simmering away since 1975) at the sale of Medibank private though, linking it to the legacy of St Gough. Again, I think you may be a little confused, misinformed and misguided Masquara.

The concept actually mentioned is one that hes been mooted for some time now, it is simply offering people, on retirement, the option of paying a single, one off health insurance premium payment from their super which will then cover them until they shuffle off this mortal coil. This makes sense as premiums rise every year and many people either blow their super on a caravan or opt to take an annual “salary” from it every year, hence they are on fixed incomes but faced with a rising price for health insurance premiums.

I think it was mentioned that the current CEO of Medibank was canvassing an option to have Medicare insurance incomes deducted from retirees’ superannuation. Any retiree who is receiving income only from a super fund in pension mode does not have “taxable income” and therefore does not have to pay the Medicare levy. This is going to change.
Retirees on the “old” public service defined benefit pensions receive taxable pensions and if they exceed the tax free threshold or they add to other taxable income that the aggregate exceeds the tax free threshold then they pay the Medicare levy.

neanderthalsis 5:46 pm 26 Oct 14

The interview mentioned nothing about forcing public servants to pay part of their super on retirement to prop up the health system. There is no mention at all of stripping of super, no attack on pensions, no killing of medicare. Geraldine does try hard to confect some outrage (or possibly just maintain the rage that has been simmering away since 1975) at the sale of Medibank private though, linking it to the legacy of St Gough. Again, I think you may be a little confused, misinformed and misguided Masquara.

The concept actually mentioned is one that hes been mooted for some time now, it is simply offering people, on retirement, the option of paying a single, one off health insurance premium payment from their super which will then cover them until they shuffle off this mortal coil. This makes sense as premiums rise every year and many people either blow their super on a caravan or opt to take an annual “salary” from it every year, hence they are on fixed incomes but faced with a rising price for health insurance premiums.

Masquara 5:05 pm 26 Oct 14

Southmouth said :

Oh dear. This could actually be very bad. Do you have a link to the interview?

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/saturdayextra/medibank-float/5836686

Southmouth 12:39 pm 26 Oct 14

Oh dear. This could actually be very bad. Do you have a link to the interview?

Masquara 9:42 am 26 Oct 14

I thought I had referred to Medicare in the first line (as what I think of as the “umbrella” organisation) and Medibank thereafter. Maybe it was edited for “consistency”!

Masquara 9:39 am 26 Oct 14

Yeah Medibank. The gist of the interview stands.

neanderthalsis 7:28 pm 25 Oct 14

I think you may be a little confused, misinformed and misguided Masquara. Medicare is not being privatised, Medibank Private is.

All taxpayers already effectively subsidise the health system, both the public and the private systems (health insurance rebates et al). The national system or even the private system, could never survive with, as you claim, only a very small pool of people on fixed incomes contributing.

Medicare is already a “one size fits all” system, the general contribution of an individual to the health system is not factored on the lifestyle they lead, hence a non-smoking, non-drinking fitness addict pays the same rates of contribution (more or less, depending on income) as a smoking, drinking bum. This is of course highly unfair as the smoking, drinking bum should not have to pay for the knee reconstructions of a gym junkies. After all, no one forced them to go jogging, their choice, their cost…

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