A recent article in The Age newspaper by Peter Jean on 19th January has lighted the pitfalls of health funds selling “Exclusionary” products.
The article expresses concerns by senior industry officials that the surge in the number of people taking out exclusionary products will undermine the value of health insurance. The implication is that consumers may not be aware of what is covered and what is not covered. It will only be at the time they attempt to make a claim that they will find they could be out of pocket tens of thousands of dollars.
A health fund executive has defended the marketing of exclusionary product as market driven on the basis that these products are cheap. Of course, any cheap product, whether it be insurance or any consumer good, cannot argued to be adequate if it fails to meet its purpose. These days the stance of caveat emptor (let the buyer beware) does not stand up to modern ethics.
At HICA, we are genuinely concerned that a significant number of consumers are unaware of the extent of the coverage that their health cover provides. Consumers are basing their health insurance decision on how much they get back for their dental and optical services. They should ensure that their major risk factors are covered first under their hospital cover. It is often a case people trade off their hospital coverage for the promise of getting back 50% on their extras services.