Medibank pays back unused $105m

Original article by Liam Walsh
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 20 : 30-Jun-21

Private health insurer Medibank expects about two million customers of its flagship and ahm brands to be eligible for a discount on their next premium payment. Medical procedures such as elective surgery were cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, preventing policyholders from making full use of their private health coverage. HBF is among the other health funds that have previously revealed plans to return some money to its members.

CORPORATES
MEDIBANK PRIVATE LIMITED – ASX MPL, AHM HEALTH INSURANCE, HBF HEALTH LIMITED

More Australians switching insurance since COVID-19

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 9-Jun-21

New data from Roy Morgan shows that since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Australians with either vehicle insurance or household insurance have been far more likely to switch their insurance provider, and also far more likely to consider switching after looking for deals from other companies. In the year to March 2021, only 62.9% of the nation’s 30 million+ vehicle insurance policies (including Compulsory Third Party) were renewed without approaching another company, down from 77.9% in the year to March 2020. There was a significant increase in vehicle insurance policies that were renewed only after approaching other companies, up 9.2% points to 23.5%. There was a similar trend in the household insurance market, which comprises nearly 25 million policies. Some 68.1% of these policies were renewed without approaching another company, down 12.3% points from the year to March 2020 when 80.4% of household insurance policies were renewed. Meanwhile, 22% of household insurance policies were renewed after approaching other companies, up 7.7% points from a year ago, and 6.1% of policies were ‘switched’ from another company, up from 3.7% a year ago. These are some of the latest findings from Roy Morgan’s Single Source insurance data derived from in-depth personal interviews conducted with over 50,000 Australians per annum, including details of over 75,000 vehicle insurance policies and over 65,000 household insurance policies.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED

Under-insurance risk in super: Cbus

Original article by Glenda Korporaal
The Australian – Page: 13 & 14 : 25-Jan-21

Cbus CEO executive Justin Arter has called for the government to exempt workers in high-risk jobs from the ‘stapling’ provisions of its proposed superannuation legislation. Under the legislation, a person’s superannuation fund would be the first fund that they signed up for. Arter notes that many of its members work in dangerous roles, but that 80 per cent are not first-time workers and would have super funds from their previous occupations; he is worried they risk being under-insured under the government’s proposals. He says Cbus offers superior insurance for people killed or injured while working, with Cbus insurance paying out $298 million in claims in 2019-20.

CORPORATES
CONSTRUCTION AND BUILDING UNIONS’ SUPERANNUATION FUND

NEO-Millennials provide hope to health funds

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 8-Jul-20

New private health insurance data from Roy Morgan shows that just 44 per cent of Australians had hospital cover at the end of March, the lowest since 2007. With a focus on Millennials, the data shows that 42% of Millennials pay for hospital cover. This rises to 57% in the case of new economic order (NEO) Millennials, compared with just 27% of traditional Millennials. NEO-Millennials spend more, are highly educated and early adopters of technology. In total, 91% of NEO-Millennials have some kind of insurance, compared to just 76% of traditional Millennials. Conversely, traditional Millennials – who give younger Australians a bad name in health insurance – are less educated, unable or unwilling to spend, and technology laggards. These findings are from the Roy Morgan Single Source survey, derived from in-depth interviews with over 1,000 Australians each week and around 50,000 Australians per year.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED

CBA sued over junk credit card insurance

Original article by Lachlan Moffet Gray
The Australian – Page: 17 : 11-Jun-20

Plaintiff law firm Slater & Gordon has launched a class action on behalf of Commonwealth Bank customers who were sold inappropriate credit protection policies. The Federal Court action will allege that the bank sold credit card and personal loan insurance products to about 200,000 people whose employment status meant they would be unlikely to claim against the policies. The insurance products, which came under scrutiny by the Hayne royal commission, were discontinued in March 2018.

CORPORATES
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, SLATER AND GORDON LIMITED – ASX SGH, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY

Insurers face big loss from income policies

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 23 : 5-Jun-20

The Australian individual disability insurance sector has lost a combined $5 billion over the past five years. Australian Prudential Regulation Authority executive member Geoff Summerhayes warned in late 2019 that individual disability insurance products may soon become unviable in Australia if the industry did not take suitable action. However, despite his warnings and the sector’s ongoing losses, individual disability insurance providers are continuing to sell unsustainable products during the COVID-19 shutdown.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, CLEARVIEW WEALTH LIMITED – ASX CVW, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP

Medibank mulls cash refunds

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 16 : 7-May-20

Health fund Medibank Private expects its earnings and dividends to be in line with previous guidance, despite the coronavirus pandemic. Customers will save about $120m after Medibank opted to delay premium increases for six months, while CEO Craig Drummond has indicated that it may be open to providing partial refunds due to a fall in claims during the lockdown. NIB Holdings recently flagged the possibility of providing fund members with cash rebates due to the coronavirus.

CORPORATES
MEDIBANK PRIVATE LIMITED – ASX MPL, NIB HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NHF

Health funds fear surge in fire claims

Original article by Jared Lynch
The Australian – Page: 15 & 16 : 15-Jan-20

Private health insurers expect the bushfire crisis to result in a sharp increase in insurance claims, particularly from customers who have been affected by the smoke haze. However, they say it is too soon to determine the exact impact of the fires. Latrobe Health Services CEO Ian Whitehead anticipates a big increase in claims related to mental health issues arising from the bushfires, as well as physical health problems. Australian Medical Association president Tony Bartone says the longer-term effects of inhaling hazardous smoke will not be known for some time.

CORPORATES
LATROBE HEALTH SERVICES, AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION LIMITED, BUPA AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, MEDIBANK PRIVATE LIMITED – ASX MPL, AUSTRALIAN UNITY LIMITED

Call to regulate medical devices

Original article by Natasha Robinson
The Australian – Page: 3 : 2-Jan-20

Sheena Jack, the CEO of health insurance company HCF, has called for the creation of an independent regulator of medical devices. Jack says there should be a review of the ‘clinical efficacy’ of items that are on the prostheses list, similar to what is done for items on the pharmaceuticals list. Research conducted by Private Healthcare Australia indicates big price differences between medical devices in Australia and comparable products provided in other countries, while Jack claims public hospitals often have to pay much less for medical devices than private ones.

CORPORATES
THE HOSPITAL CONTRIBUTIONS FUND OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED

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