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Customers get less from their health fund

Customers get less from their health fund

Medibank claims to give it’s customers more from their health fund but it seems like the total opposite. Medibank recently received bad press when it was revealed that they’ve been deceiving their members. They tried to conceal important information regarding its decision to limit benefits for in-hospital pathology and radiology services.

As a result, many customers had a rude shock when they were billed for out of pocket expenses they had no idea they’d incur. For example, one customer, 89 year old Phyllis Dixon could not believe it when she received a bill for $1500. Whilst she was notified of other changes to premium and cover, never once was she informed of the changes to pathology and radiology.

Image Credit Eddie Jim

Image Credit Eddie Jim

Another woman Sam Harrison came out to the media today that she received a whooping bill of $500 for an MRI scan and $200 for tests. The Chrones disease sufferer has been with Medibank for 15 years, having chosen the fund for its cost effective nature to ensure no out of pocket expenses. She’s been in and out of hospital for the best part of those 15 years and relies heavily on her health provider.

Image Credit Justin McManus

Image Credit Justin McManus

Court documents show that it was in September 2014  that Medibank terminated the agreement they had with pathology and radiology providers. Before that, they would cover the gap if it was above the Medicare Benefit Schedule fee. You would expect that one of Australia’s largest health care providers would be notifying their customers to changes of their private health insurance in advance. The Private Health Insurance Act 2007 says insurers must notify members of changes that might be “detrimental” to the policyholder. This must be made within a reasonable period of time before the changes take effect.

The Australian Consumer Law works to enforce penalties and consumer redress options if this is exploited. Medibank Private believes they weren’t in the wrong as they believe it was merely an alteration to its “agreements with health care providers”.

 

 


Scarlett is a recent journalism graduate interested in writing, human resource management and workplace culture. When she isn't being a nerd, she enjoys singing, reading and seeing friends.

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