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Health minister Peter Dutton today announced that private health insurance premiums will rise by an average of 6.2 per cent in 2014.

Mr Dutton said he had approved premium increases after examination of applications by the private health insurer, Private Health Insurance Administration Council.

‘Each application has been closely scrutinised to ensure the increases sought are fully justified,’ he said.

During the 2013 premium year, insurers had experienced a higher than expected level of claims with the cost of benefits increasing by eight per cent, according to a media release from Mr Dutton.

He said he was confident that the increasing industry pressures would play a key role in ensuring that premium increases were kept as low as possible.

The announcement comes after the government earlier this month introduced legislation to simplify changes made by the former Labor government to government rebates on private health insurance.

‘We moved to make the changes easier for consumers to understand and to lower implementation costs which would only have increased cost pressures on the industry,’ Mr Dutton said.

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