History of private health insurance
The Australian insurance industry is regulated by various laws and regulations. The Private Health Insurance Act 2007 (the Act) is probably the most important piece of legislation for the health insurance industry and for consumers.
Prior to 2007, it was governed largely by the National Health Act 1953.
What the Act does
The legal framework of the Act is designed to encourage more Australians to have private health insurance. It regulates products in the industry, how insurers run their businesses, and gives power to bodies such as the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) and the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman.
APRA has power to monitor and regulate insurers, while the Ombudsman was set up to assist members with insurance problems or complaints.
Capital and prudential standards
With its powers, APRA has established capital and prudential standards that private health insurers must meet.
Standard Information Statements
The Act requires insurers to provide consumers with up-to-date Standard Information Statements for products. These statements provide information about cover and waiting periods and are available from www.privatehealth.gov.au. CBHS Corporate Health complies with this rule by providing our members and consumers with updated information in a timely manner.
High industry standards
The Private Health Insurance Act sets high standards for the Australian insurance industry by setting prudential standards and information provision requirements. It protects consumers with strenuous monitoring of regulations, as well as providing avenues for lodging any complaints. As the Act defines some common terms, it also improves uniformity and consistency for consumers when it comes to understanding insurance coverage and conditions.