The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has instituted proceedings in Federal Court against Medibank Private, it has been announced.
The ACCC alleges that Medibank “contravened the Australian Consumer Law by engaging in misleading conduct, making false or misleading representations and engaging in unconscionable conduct,” a statement read.
Medibank allegedly did not provide members of both Medibank and ahm, about changes to limit benefits paid for in-hospital pathology and radiology services.
“Consumers are entitled to expect that they will be informed in advance of important changes to their private health insurance cover, as these changes can have significant financial consequences at a time when consumers may be vulnerable,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said.
“Private health insurers must ensure their disclosure practices comply with the Australian Consumer Law. Competition and consumer issues in the health and medical sectors are a current enforcement priority for the ACCC.”
Medibank refuted the claims made by the ACCC.
“Medibank is committed to acting in the best interests of our members and refutes claims by the ACCC related to activities that took place in 2014,” Medibank said in a statement.
“Medibank takes its obligations under the Australian Consumer Law seriously, and has appropriate processes in place to ensure compliance.
“We have been working cooperatively with the ACCC throughout its investigation.
“We encourage members to contact us if they have any concerns.”
According to Reuters,
the health insurer faces potential penalties of $1.1 million per breach of Australian consumer law but it remains to early to tell what a maximum fine would be if the ACCC is successful in its case.