Catholic Health worried about consumer rights

Catholic Health Australia has called on the Federal Government to safeguard privately insured patients from "falling prey to extra imposed waiting periods when switching health funds".

The peak body's CEO Francis Sullivan said: "As the Federal Government considers changes to the portability of health insurance benefits, it should not be spooked by some instances where health funds have had to honour the coverage of insured members from other funds."

"Rather the Federal Government should remain true to its commitment to privately insured people that preserves their benefits and entitlements if members shift between funds in order to gain better value for money."

Mr Sullivan said that for too long, some health funds have "sought to curtail benefits and entitlements of members with chronic conditions and histories of mental illness".

"Any further restrictions for individuals in these circumstances can only fairly be construed as discrimination," he said.

"CHA supports the research commissioned through Access Economics by the Australian Private Hospitals Association and calls on the Federal Government to move quickly to re-confirm its commitment to privately insured people that their right to shift funds will not result in any loss of benefit or entitlement" Mr Sullivan added."

Catholic Health Australia represents the largest grouping of non-government health and aged care providers.

Safeguarding Consumer Rights (Catholic Health Australia 7/7/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Catholic Health Australia

11 Jul 2005