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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has released a report shining a spotlight on private health insurance premiums.

WHAT DID THE ACCC FIND?

* Australians paid about $23.1 billion in premiums in 2016-17, an increase of $1 billion from the previous year.

* As at June 2017, 54.9 per cent of Australians held hospital or general health insurance cover – down 0.6 per cent from the year before.

* Health insurers paid 5.2 per cent more in hospital benefits, and 3.4 per cent more in benefits per person.

* Out-of-pocket expenses decreased by less than a per cent but increased by two per cent for general or extra treatments.

* Consumers are shifting towards lower-cost policies with greater exclusions or a higher excess.

* Complaints to the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman increased by 30 per cent.