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See? Those who can are visibly less likely to have private health insurance

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

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 age 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.”  

For comments or more information please contact:

Angela Smith, Group Account Director - Consumer Products
Telephone: +61 (2) 9021 9101

Please click on this link to the Roy Morgan Online Store

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About Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices in each state of Australia, as well as in New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan Research has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

In Australia, Roy Morgan Research is considered to be the authoritative source of information on financial behaviour, readership, voting intentions and consumer confidence. Roy Morgan Research is a specialist in recontact customised surveys which provide invaluable and effective qualitative and quantitative information regarding customers and target markets.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate



25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%