Private health complaints drop but COVID issues increase

Complaints to the regulator about private health insurance dropped by 14.5% in the June quarter (year-on-year), probably because consumers could not access their benefits due to COVID-19, says the Commonwealth Ombudsman.

There was, however, an increase in complaints that could be related to COVID-19 and the hardship it has caused.

“We observed significant and rapid changes within the industry over this period due to consumers experiencing financial hardship and being unable to access planned hospital treatments and routine general treatment services,” says the Ombudsman’s latest report.

Most health insurers deferred their April 1 premium increase for six months and introduced measures to help people struggling to pay for cover.