The top five private health insurance complaints
Payments and oral advice to blame for increased complaints.
Premium payments and issues regarding the provision of oral advice were responsible for the greatest number of complaints to the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman (PHIO) in the December quarter 2016.
Following an unusually high number of complaints in the September 2016 quarter, the latest PHIO figures show a slight reduction during the December 2016 quarter. However, last quarter's numbers represent a 25% increase on the same period in 2015.
Complaints by provider or organisation type
|Provider or organisation type||September 2016 Quarter||December 2016 Quarter|
|Overseas visitor & overseas student health insurers||143||95|
|Brokers and comparison services||16||15|
|Doctors, dentists, other medical providers||3||5|
|Hospitals and area health services||12||4|
|Other (e.g. legislation, ambulance services, industry peak bodies)||11||17|
The top five consumer complaints for the December quarter were driven by problems with payments. There were 102 complaints last quarter, primarily relating to complications with direct debit, such as incorrect or irregular transactions and accidental cessation of direct transfers.
The second-highest number of complaints were about oral advice, usually over the phone or during a visit to a retail branch. Misunderstandings occur, particularly when customer records are not maintained.
There was also a large number of complaints regarding membership cancellation and delays, hospital exclusions/restrictions, assumed benefits and general treatment.
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