Private health insurance redux

James Hamilton points out that the government has a new site for comparing health funds, kind of on the road to what I described.

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.