Medibank forced to aid consumers it misled

Medibank Private has been forced by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to establish a $5 million fund to assist consumers misled by one of its advertising campaigns. In 2000, Medibank tried to lure new customers with promises to cap fees and offer shorter waiting periods. But the Federal Court found that Medibank had misled consumers as the insurer had increased fees and did not waive some waiting periods. The ACCC tried to make Medibank pay out refunds to its customers but the health fund challenged the commission, subsequently losing the battle in the High Court in June last year. The $5 million fund will be used to pay for clinical procedures that Medibank would not normally provide.