Health insurance crisis looms

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd
The Australian – Page: 17 & 18 : 9-Dec-19

Medibank Private’s chief customer officer David Koczkar and NIB Holdings MD Mark Fitzgibbon have stressed the need to reign in rising costs in Australia’s health care system. Private Healthcare Australia CEO Rachel David has warned that smaller private health insurers in particular may not be viable unless reforms are implemented. The federal government has approved a 3.27 per cent increase in Medibank’s premiums for 2020, while NIB and Bupa will lift their premiums by 2.9 per cent and 3.26 per cent respectively.

CORPORATES
MEDIBANK PRIVATE LIMITED – ASX MPL, NIB HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NHF, BUPA AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, PRIVATE HEALTHCARE AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HEALTH, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, GRATTAN INSTITUTE

ASIC bans life and consumer credit insurance cold calls

Original article by James Fernyhough
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 16 : 5-Dec-19

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission will crack down on the practice of hawking in the financial services sector. Insurers will not be allowed to sell life and consumer credit insurance products via unsolicited telephone calls from 13 January. ASIC says no insurer had objected to the proposed ban during a consultation period. The Hayne royal commission had recommended a total ban on cold calling for all insurance and superannuation products.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, COMMINSURE, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, SELECT AFSL

Super funds approach double-digit returns, but Chant West urges caution

Original article by David Rogers
The Australian – Page: 27 : 19-Nov-19

Data from Chant West shows that superannuation funds have achieved an average return of 14.3 per cent so far in 2019. The median growth fund gained 12.8 per cent in the first 10 months of the calendar year, after eking out a gain of 0.4 per cent in October. Mano Mohankumar of Chant West says the median growth fund appears to be on track to deliver a double-digit return in 2019, although he warns that the strong returns since the global financial crisis are not sustainable.

CORPORATES
CHANT WEST FINANCIAL SERVICES PTY LTD, SUPERRATINGS PTY LTD

Satisfaction with performance of Industry Super Funds remains ahead of Retail Funds for 17th year

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 29-Oct-19

New research by Roy Morgan shows that satisfaction with the financial performance of Retail superannuation funds was only 58.7% in the six months to September 2019, compared to 64.1% for Industry Funds and 76.7% for Self-Managed Funds. Retail Fund satisfaction has lagged behind satisfaction with Industry Funds for the last 17 years. These are the latest findings from the September 2019 Roy Morgan Research ‘Superannuation Satisfaction’ report based on around 50,000 interviews with people per annum, including over 30,000 who have superannuation.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED

RACT marginally ahead of RAA in general insurance customer satisfaction

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 28-Oct-19

RACT is the winner of Roy Morgan’s General Insurer of the Month Award for September 2019, with a customer satisfaction rating of 93%. The insurance arm of the Tasmanian motoring organisation now has an unbeatable lead in the general insurer category for the annual customer satisfaction award. South Australia-based RAA (92%) was a close second in the category, followed by People’s Choice Credit Union (90%), Shannons (90%) and Western Australia’s RAC (88%). The four leading general insurers improved their satisfaction ratings when compared to a year ago, with Shannons showing the largest gain of 5%. RAC was the only top-five general insurer that slipped in ratings over the same period, although it only declined 1%. These latest customer satisfaction ratings have been drawn from the Roy Morgan Single Source survey, derived from in-depth face-to-face interviews with around 50,000 Australians each year in their homes.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, RACT INSURANCE PTY LTD, RAA INSURANCE LIMITED, PEOPLE’S CHOICE CREDIT UNION, SHANNONS, RAC INSURANCE PTY LTD

Multiple super accounts cost $2.6bn a year

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 7 : 25-Oct-19

Superannuation fund members pay a combined $32bn in fees each year, including some $2.6bn in fees on lost and forgotten super accounts. Data from the Australian Taxation Office highlights the issue of multiple super accounts; some 23 per cent of the nation’s 16 million workers have two super accounts, while eight per cent have three and one per cent have six or more super accounts. The ATO also notes that more Australians have opted to consolidate their super accounts over the last five years.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE, AUSTRALIA. PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Super fees twice as high for under 35s

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 6 : 10-Oct-19

Rainmaker Information Services has released a report which shows that workers who are under the age of 35 pay an average fee of 2.3 per cent, compared with just 1.2 per cent for those aged 35+. The report also contends that male workers pay an average of 1.1 per cent in super fees, compared with 1.3 per cent for female workers. Alex Dunnin of Rainmaker stresses that super funds are not overcharging or ripping members off; rather, the super industry has not been designed with young workers and those with low balances in mind.

CORPORATES
RAINMAKER INFORMATION SERVICES PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FINANCE

Super fee gap shrinking as retail funds catch up

Original article by Joanna Mather
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 9-Oct-19

Data from Rainmaker shows that the superannuation industry’s fees fell by about four per cent in 2018-19, to $31.8bn. It was the first decline in fees since 2014, with retail super funds recording the biggest fall. Rainmaker notes that as a result, the traditional fee gap between retail and industry super funds has narrowed to almost zero. This is particularly so in the case of MySuper funds; the average fee for non-profit MySuper products is now 1.15 per cent, compared with an average of 1.17 per cent for retail MySuper products.

CORPORATES
RAINMAKER INFORMATION SERVICES PTY LTD

Cbus’ climate change quotas queried

Original article by Joanna Mather
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 8 : 6-Sep-19

Construction industry superannuation fund Cbus will allocate one per cent of its $52 billion worth of funds under management to climate change initiatives. Its decision has been queried by Senator James Paterson, who said that establishing quotas seems like a bad idea; Paterson is the chair of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services. Scott Donald, the director of the Centre for Law, Markets & Regulation at the University of New South Wales, says Cbus is not violating any laws by making such a decision.

CORPORATES
CONSTRUCTION AND BUILDING UNIONS’ SUPERANNUATION FUND, AUSTRALIA. JOINT COMMITTEE ON CORPORATIONS AND FINANCIAL SERVICES, UNIVERSITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES

Watchdog takes aim at Medibank as patients denied payments

Original article by Sarah-Jane Tasker
The Australian – Page: 17 & 21 : 4-Sep-19

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission has launched legal action against Medibank Private, accusing the health insurer of making false representations about the benefits covered by its policies. It will be alleged that Medibank had wrongly advised customers that its AHM Lite and Boost policies did not cover medical procedures such as knee reconstructions and spinal surgery. ACCC chairman Rod Sim says this forced many policyholders to delay necessary surgery.

CORPORATES
MEDIBANK PRIVATE LIMITED – ASX MPL, AHM HEALTH INSURANCE, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA