Private health insurer nib believes getting more young people enrolled in insurance could be achieved with greater digitisation of the way health services are managed and consumed.
The insurer welcomed a package of reforms announced by health minister Greg Hunt this morning that aim to simplify private health insurance and improve affordability.
One of the measures will see people aged 18 to 29 offered discounted hospital insurance premiums.
In a statement, nib CEO Mark Fitzgibbon noted that the “most effective” way to induce downward pressure on premium increases across the private health insurance spectrum generally would be “to attract more young people” to sign up.
But he believed insurers needed to “do more” to convince people under 30 to take out private cover - and that was likely to be driven in part by more digital health offerings.
“We need to better harness the digital age and give [people under 30] more reason to have private health insurance,” Fitzgibbon said.
“For example, putting in their hands information and content which is relevant to their own health circumstances as well as tools that help them choose, book and pay a doctor or dentist, share their experiences with others, and access health and wellbeing services or deals”.
Other private health insurers including Bupa and Medibank also welcomed the government’s reform package.
Bupa’s managing director of health insurance Dr Dwayne Crombie said that planned access improvements to mental health services could also benefit from the introduction of “a range of digital support”.