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A wealth of analysis: on private health insurance premiums, disability reforms and food labelling

The Parliamentary Library has recently published analyses about the increase in private health insurance premiums, the National Disability Insurance Scheme legislation, and food labelling. Thanks to the Parliamentary Library for allowing cross-posting.

Increase in PHI premiums

Amanda Biggs tracks premium rises and the consumer price index (CPI) and shows that premium rises have been well above CPI for the past ten years. She predicts that:

“Overall, 2013 looks set to be a year where PHI will remain in the spotlight, with issues around consumer affordability and potential impacts on membership levels likely to feature.”

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NDIS legislation

To date, the public debate has largely been silent on the operation of the NDIS.

Luke Buckmaster and Juli Tomaras examine the legislation in the Bills Digest and note:

“The NDIS will be a complex scheme that will transform the disability care sector in Australia. It has broad support throughout the disability sector, although concerns have been raised about lack of detail in the Bill and the impact on small service providers.”

Further questions raised by the Bill include:

  • how the full version of the NDIS will be financed;
  • whether there be sufficient monitoring and other protections in place for participants;
  • who specifically will receive support and what specific supports will they receive;
  • and whether people aged over 65 should be able to become participants.

Whether the NDIS and the aged care system will offer equivalent levels of care for those over the age of 65 is explored on this post on the Parliamentary Library’s blog, FlagPost. Rebecca de Boer concludes:

“Both the NDIS and aged care sector offer a level of care but how the NDIS and/or the aged care sector enable people to design a package of services that best meets their needs is likely to be the issue of greatest concern to participants. Yet for people aged over 65 who are not eligible for the NDIS, it would appear that their choices are somewhat limited.”

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Food labelling

Leah Ferris examines the debate about ‘traffic light labelling’ and whether a ‘star rating system’ might lead to a breakthrough in the debate.

Standardisation of food labeling is considered critical to assisting consumers and potentially reducing Australia’s obesity problem.

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