Health

The Health Practice Committee (HPC):

  • contributes to the strategic direction of the Institute;
  • actively supports the development of actuarial practice through the Institute’s education, CPD, standard-setting, public policy and research activities; and
  • actively identifies and promotes opportunities for members working in health and facilitates communication and liaison within the profession.

The responsibilities of the HPC include:

  • Identifying new and emerging technical and practice needs of members.
  • Identifying risk exposures for the profession in health and making recommendations to Council on how to manage these.
  • Maintaining and developing professional education materials, including reviewing the course syllabus.
  • Identifying continuing professional development needs of members and developing CPD programs and opportunities.
  • Identifying potential issues for research and development.
  • Reviewing and developing relevant Professional Standards and Practice Guidelines.
  • Preparing public policy submissions on technical issues affecting health and on matters of broader public interest, including research activity.
  • Communicating on a regular basis with members (e.g. via e-newsletters and Actuaries Digital articles) on issues and developments affecting health.
  • Developing links with other actuarial bodies (overseas) and relevant professional and industry bodies.
  • Reviewing existing and identifying new Policy Statements for Council’s ‘Statements of Policy and Procedures’.

Bonus CPD Material

Barry Leung, Head of Strategy and Actuarial Services at Defence Health, discusses the affordability of private health insurance (PHI) - which 50% of Australians hold.

Despite the attention rising PHI premiums have received, there is no consistent definition or measure of PHI affordability, partly due to the wide variety of products on the market. Barry walks us through a three-step process, drawing on information from the Housing Affordability Index and Australian Bureau of Statistics, to develop an affordability index.

Applying the index to a number of scenarios, some startling insights are revealed such as: Health insurance is less affordable in the younger and older age groups, and more affordable for people in their 40s and 50s.

Projecting the index over the next 20 years, Barry’s model reveals that health insurance will become less affordable over time: Under the worst case scenario, nearly 25% of the “average” household income will be consumed by a comprehensive combined health insurance policy.

Barry leaves us with questions on how sustainable private health insurance is in Australia, and what can be done to arrest the decline in affordability.

Read Barry's paper