Health funds have called for urgent reform of the insurance sector as they struggle to deal with rising costs after the government strong-armed them into limiting fee hikes to the lowest annual rate in 19 years. Health minister Greg Hunt on Saturday said health insurance premiums would increase by an average of 2.92 per cent next April , after rejecting the funds’ proposal for averages hikes of 3.5 per cent. Health funds say costs must be cut from the private system. Credit:Gabriele Charotte The smallest average annual increase since 2001 will come as a relief for consumers, whose wages are growing at an average of 2.2 per cent a year and many of who have been dropping out of the private system due to affordability. But insurers have warned that hospital claim costs are outpacing premiums, rising at 3.6 per cent, and that an exodus of younger people from […]