Thursday, March 20th, 2014

The seven million Australian adults who don’t wear glasses or contact lenses are substantially less likely to take up private health insurance than their vision-impaired counterparts, data from Roy Morgan Research shows.

Half of Australians 18+ surveyed in the three years to December 2013 reported having Private Health Insurance. But adults who wear glasses and/or contact lenses are around 40% more likely overall to have private health insurance than those who don’t, with the pattern clearly visible across all groups.

Of 18-25 year-olds who wear glasses/contacts, almost 1 in 3 (32%) have taken up private health insurance, compared with just 22% of those who don’t require corrected eyewear.

While over 60% of spec- or contacts-wearers 35-64 have private health insurance, among those who don’t wear prescriptive eyewear uptake never quite reaches the majority, peaking at 48% among those aged 35-49.

Proportion of each group with Private Health Insurance:

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January 2011 – December 2013, n = 56,629 Australians 18+

Almost 11 million Australian adults wear glasses, contact lenses or both. Around 4.4 million buy some form of prescription eyewear in an average six month period. 

Angela Smith, Group Account Director - Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“With insurance companies regularly promoting the prescription eyewear benefits in their policies, the seven million Australian adults who don’t wear glasses or contacts are evidently less likely to see the benefits of private health cover. 

“With prescription eyewear a fixture in insurance policies, people who don’t need glasses are often expected to pay the same premiums as those who do.

“Perhaps with increased competition, the availability of online comparison websites, and rising premiums, there is a strategic space for health insurance providers to promote more flexible policies that exclude prescription eyewear to the 60% of fine-eyed Australians currently without cover.”  

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Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is Australia’s best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
Shaun Ellis
P: 03 9224 5332


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