Bringing back the 30 per cent rebate for Australians with private health insurance would cost the federal government more than $3 billion each year by 2030.
The Parliamentary Budget Office has laid out the figure in its review of the federal election commitments of the two major parties and the Greens.
After the coalition, Labor and the Greens told the PBO what their commitments were and how much they would cost, the independent agency came knocking to see if there were other promises that weren't canvassed.
For the coalition, this included comments Health Minister Greg Hunt made during a National Press Club debate about the government's long-held hopes of reinstating the 30 per cent private health insurance rebate.
The rebate was ditched in 2012 under the Gillard government, which brought in a means-tested scheme instead to stem a blowout in payments.
Mr Hunt told the Press Club the government would take steps to restore the rebate once it had a healthy budget surplus.
"The definition of a sustainable surplus is one per cent, and at that point we will be able to take further steps to return to the 30 per cent," he told the event in May.
"That was the language that has been agreed and our commitment is there."
When asked about the comments, Prime Minister Scott Morrison told the PBO the minister's "qualified statement" didn't represent an election commitment with a "quantifiable impact on the underlying cash balance".
Mr Hunt had been talking about a review of existing reforms aimed at reducing private health insurance costs, the prime minister said.
"The further steps Minister Hunt referred to reflect that the government will undertake a review of the implementation of the current reforms to ensure the reforms are meeting their stated intent."
The PBO determined the comment was not a "commitment" that should be included in its report, but noted the measure wouldn't come for free if implemented.
"The impact of restoring the private health insurance rebate to previous levels could have a budget impact of over $3 billion per year by the end of the medium term," the report states.
Mr Hunt's comments mark one of several policies the report refers to as "aspirational in nature" because parties didn't lock in details of how they would be considered.
Labor's target for 50 per cent of new cars bought in Australia in 2030 to be electric also fell into this category.
So too did the Greens' plan to legislate a minimum wage that was "at least 60 per cent of the adult median wage".
The surplus figures that each of the three parties would have achieved are largely consistent with what the parties put forward in the lead up to the national poll.
Without considering the measures it laid out in its April budget, the coalition commitment which will have the most significant impact is its extension of a two per cent "efficiency dividend" on government departments.
The measure, which will force various departments to cut back on spending, will add $1.5 billion to the government's purse over the next three years.
The Labor policy that would have had the biggest fiscal impact would have been its reforms to franking credit refunds, which would have given it an extra $14.3 billion to use in the same period.
Australian Associated Press