George Savvides, who ran Medibank for 14 years until 2016, describes the exodus of young people from private health insurance as akin to “a climate change event in the health system". The Grattan Institute health economist Stephen Duckett is more blunt, saying the trend has put the private system into a "death spiral" and that urgent surgery is required to save it. The exodus of young people from health funds is putting pressure on the entire private system. Credit:Gabriele Charlotte Whatever the turn of phrase, the symptoms are clear: the rising cost of hospital treatments is leading to higher health insurance premiums which people – particularly young ones facing anemic wage growth – can’t afford to pay. As they cancel their membership (the number of people aged 20 to 34 with cover is down 11 per cent over the past five years) they take the premiums that subsidise older […]