Aussies happy to hand over medical data

Richard Laycock 6 July 2017

Doctor looking at camera smiling in hallway

68% of Australians will trade their medical history for cheaper insurance premiums.

Apparently Australia has nothing to hide when it comes to its health, as 68% of Australians are happy to share their medical history in return for cheaper insurance premiums.

A finder.com.au survey found that 70% of men and 65% of women are happy to hand over their medical records to a private health insurer in exchange for lower premiums.

The response is not so surprising. Earlier this year, GMHBA and AIA Australia announced that they would be joining forces and launching a new health insurance brand called myOwn.

The innovative joint life and health insurance product will be the first of its kind in Australia and offer members rewards such as discounted premiums for keeping fit.

Qantas Assure, backed by nib, offers its members a similar deal but instead of discounted premiums, members can earn Qantas Frequent Flyer points.

While sharing your data in return for cheaper premiums seems like an novel idea, there is the concern over data security.

Earlier this week, reports surfaced that the Medicare numbers of Australian citizens were for sale on the "dark web". If you were so inclined these numbers can, and have been, used in a number of instances of identity fraud. In the past, fake Medicare cards have been used to help fraudsters rent or buy property and cars.

When handing over your data to any company there is also the issue of ownership and access. That is, do you own your records or does the company?

At an insurtech meetup in June 2017, Nagib Kassis from Allianz spoke of a possible future where the consumers would own that data. In this hypothetical situation, a consumer could choose when to share their data and take it with them if and when they decided to switch insurers.

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