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

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

Private health insurance satisfaction up slightly

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 1-Oct-19

New research from Roy Morgan shows that customer satisfaction among Australians aged +14 who have private health insurance was 72.2% in August 2019, compared with 70.9% in August 2018. However, it is still lower than satisfaction rates in August 2016 (74.5%) and August 2015 (76.3%). Customer satisfaction with private health insurance reached its lowest point in June 2018, when it hit 70.5%. Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine says Tasmanian not-for-profit fund St Lukes Health is performing far above average, with a satisfaction rating of 86%. These findings come from the Roy Morgan Single Source survey, which is based on in-depth face-to-face interviews with over 50,000 Australians each year in their homes.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, ST LUKE’S HEALTH INSURANCE

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

Book of death bid to keep default life insurance

Original article by John Kehoe
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 6 : 12-Aug-19

Parliament is due to vote on legislation in September that would see people under 25 and those with low account balances no longer automatically receive life insurance through their superannuation. It has been estimated the measure could reduce the premiums that life insurance companies receive by almost $3 billion. It is believed lobbyists for life insurer TAL have circulated a document featuring examples of dead and injured workers who have received insurance payouts but who would not have done so under the proposed changes. The document has been dubbed ‘the book of death’ by some MPs.

CORPORATES
TAL LIMITED