Health insurer penalised by regulator

Health insurer penalised by regulator

Health insurer penalised by regulator NIB Health Funds has paid a $10,200 penalty following an infringement notice from the ACCC in relation to one of its advertising campaigns.

The campaign, which ran from December 2012 to November 2014, promoted combined health and extras cover and a waived waiting period on its extras option which the company said usually required a two-month wait.

The ACCC had “reasonable grounds to believe,” that the company had contravened consumer law by making false or misleading statements as the two-month waiting period was made redundant in December 2012 as the company began making the extras benefits available to customers immediately.

By paying the infringement, NIB is not admitting a contravention of the law but ACCC commissioner Sarah Court said that the advertising change will aid customers.

“Consumers should be able to make informed purchasing decisions. Claims that benefits are only available if a product or service is purchased by a specified date must be true and not mislead consumers,” Court said.

“Businesses which extend an offer for a considerable time beyond its original expiry date should ensure that representations made in connection with the offer do not become misleading to consumers as a result.”