Fee for service likened to GP co-payment

Fee for service likened to GP co-payment



As heated debate over remuneration continues, the federal government is being urged to consider what effects introducing fee for service will have on clients seeking risk advice. 

Speaking to Risk Adviser, Perera Crowther Financial Services principal Sam Perera said he will be calling on the government to realise the similarities between clients paying fees for insurance advice to patients paying the GP co-payment – they simply won't pay.

“To understand the willingness of consumers to pay fees [for advice], it may be appropriate to examine a recent debate regarding the GP co-payment where it was proposed by government for consumers to pay a $7 fee for consultations with their [doctor],” Mr Perera said.

“Following vehement debate, the proposal was scrapped. The medical fraternity, federal opposition and voting public skilfully argued that the proposed fee will discourage patients from visiting the doctor and as a result their health would be jeopardised.”

Mr Perera said if Australians are willing to “compromise their health” because of a $7 fee to see their doctor, then they will “compromise their financial health” if they are made to pay for insurance advice.

“A level commission remuneration structure does not compensate [an adviser] for the initial work undertaken to analyse, research and design an appropriate insurance solution for a client.”

“The client will be forced to pay a fee to a [risk adviser] to meet any shortfall towards complete cost recovery,” he said.

Mr Perera also said he will urge the government to realise the value risk advisers play in insuring Australians and how this takes pressure off the social welfare system.

“The essential work of [advisers] is to assist Australians to understand the importance of financial risk management and help them to transfer the risk from themselves to the private sector,” he said.

“The advocacy for the transference of this risk is significant to the government and taxpayers.

“Australians who do not have adequate financial resources and either knowingly or unwittingly choose to retain the financial risks of death and disability are relying on welfare safety nets that are ultimately underwritten by the taxpayer.”

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