Health fund complaints increase

There has been a 23 per cent rise in complaints against private health insurers in the three months to July, according to the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman’s office. The rush to take out private health cover under the Government’s Lifetime Health Cover scheme appears to have caused confusion for consumers and overloaded the funds' call centres. The report identifies Australian Unity, AXA Australia, Manchester Unity and NIB as the funds that received the most complaints. However, AXA Australia Health Insurance managing director Richard Bowden said that most of its complaints came from new members – attracted by AXA’s no-gap cover – who were refused claims because their medical conditions were believed to have existed prior to taking out their policy. Mr Bowden stated that “it is not a matter of not wanting to pay out claims, AXA has paid out $35 million in no-gap claims”.

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