Over the past 18 months The Prescription has commented on the ACCC’s strategic focus on the private health insurance sector and, in particular, the issue of communicating detrimental changes to policy holders.
A key aspect of the ACCC’s approach to the private health insurance sector has been a proposition that – from the perspective of the consumer – there is no distinction between a change in benefits because of a rule change and a change in benefits because of a change in underlying contracting arrangements with providers. That proposition was dealt a significant blow by the Federal Court yesterday, with the dismissal of the ACCC’s proceedings against Medibank alleging misleading and deceptive conduct and unconscionable conduct. The Federal Court rejected the ACCC’s proposition, readily drawing a distinction between a change in benefits arising from a rule change and a change in benefits due to a change in underlying contractual arrangements.
Our commentary on the outcome of the Medibank proceedings is available here.
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