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Economists propose HECS-like loans for healthcare costs

Health economists have put forward a proposal for the option to pay healthcare costs through a resource-contingent loan.

Similar to the way the Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) allows students to defer payment for their education, these health loans would allow patients to accumulate debts for their healthcare consumption that would be repaid out of their estate.

The scheme was proposed by professor Jane Hall, director of the Centre for Health Economics Research and Evaluation at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), along with health economist Kees Van Gool, also from UTS.

Hall said a resource-contingent loan similar to HECS has been discussed increasingly in the context of some services older people need, particularly around residential care.

“What’s new here is that we’re suggesting that is a very sensible, reasonable and fair way for older Australians to contribute their share to [cover] the growing healthcare costs.”

Click to hear more from Hall.

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