James Hamilton points out that the government has a new site for comparing health
funds, kind of on the road to what
The problem is, the information it gives you is
extremely limited, and isn't anywhere near comprehensive enough for
consumers to make an informed decision. For example, it gives no
information about which hospitals you can use with each fund. It's
not much point finding a great, cheap health fund that covers
everything you want when the only hospitals covered are in Dubbo and
you live in Sydney.
The database Choice had
(and will have again in July) attempted to resolve this particular
problem with some measures of hospital coverage. The problem they
have is they're trying to rationalize information from master
obfuscators, and in that battle the obfuscators will always win as
they have the information advantage.
The government site is a good start, but they need to go much, much
further in forcing the insurers to supply information in standardized
ways so that direct comparisons can be made.
I'm still waiting on the paperwork from the fund I chose. I
suspect they're going to try and give me as little of the one month
cooling-off period as possible so that I can't sit down and analyze
the fine print. If it hasn't arrived by the end of next week, I'm
inclined to cancel it on principle.