Australian women's cricket team receives $500,000 in health insurance

It was earlier in February when Sports Minister Sussan Ley told the world how big the disparity is between our male and female sports stars. Ms Ley said there is "no defensible reason" why different genders of sports people should be given different standards of travel and accommodation, with female sports teams often missing out.

"It's nice to know that some of that has gone towards helping the female members."

The hot topic spilled over more recently into the realm of health insurance, with the conversation moving to how male cricketers are provided private health benefits, though their female counterparts are not.

To make the cost of health insurance more galling, female athletes commonly command less attractive pay packets than male ones, making the price of health insurance more difficult to afford. It is something many policyholders can understand as premiums are set to rise again as of April 1, 2016.

However, it wasn't a government policy changing things in the cricket world, nor was it pressure from a peer group; it was the players themselves who took action. 

Australia's male cricketers have contributed $500,000 to the Female Private Health Insurance Scheme, which was created by the Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) earlier in the summer. Now, 111 women in the domestic leagues and Southern Stars team will have private health insurance coverage for at least the next two years, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

The Southern Stars' perfect World T20 preparation:

— Southern Stars (@SouthernStars) February 19, 2016

It's understood that there were profits left over in the cricketing coffers from the World Cup and the cancelled Champions League tournament. Instead of distributing these funds among the male members, the athletes agreed to share the spoils by funding their female counterparts' private health insurance.

Alex Blackwell,vice-captain of the Southern Stars, said it was pleasing to hear the news.

"It's nice to know that some of that has gone towards helping the female members," the SMH reported her telling ABC Radio. "I think it's a great initiative from the ACA and the male players to dip into those existing funds, which come under an existing agreement with Cricket Australia."

While it's a sentiment that shows the importance of pay and benefits equality, it might not be much consolation to those struggling to afford their own private health insurance. With the cost potentially raising by up to 6 per cent in a little over a month's time, we've created a health insurance checklist to help you make the most of your policy.

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