Bupa has bucked tradition, releasing its pre-Budget submission prior to the start of the calendar year with a 40-page document suggesting policy changes to health insurance, aged care, dementia and end-of-life care.

According to a report by The Australia, in its submission, Australia’s largest health insurer urges the Government to increase co-payments for health and aged care, including raising the Medicare Levy Surcharge for those who can afford it.

It also calls for a robust national dementia strategy and framework for determining effectiveness of programs and services, suggesting a similar approach to New Zealand which Bupa has been involved in developing.

In addition, Bupa wants the Government to start a debate with the community on end-of-life care and give people the choice to die where they want to.

In relation to aged care funding, Bupa says it recognises the current financial issues but warns that funding cuts have threatened the sustainability of the industry and will ultimately result in more people being transferred to hospital.

“Where the care cannot be delivered in the aged-care home, due to inadequate funding, people will increasingly need to be unnecessarily transferred to, and cared for in, the more costly hospital setting,” Bupa said.

It also warned that underlying costs of the entire healthcare system are key to private health insurance affordability.

“We need to move to a system where the right care is delivered in the right setting, by the right person, ensuring better quality care at the most efficient price,” the company said.

Original source: The Australian