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Medibankrupt - CHOICE warns Australians off private health shonks: SHONKYS 2019

"The marketing of private health is still out of control"

Following the introduction of a new Basic, Bronze, Silver and Gold system to private health earlier this year, CHOICE is warning Australians that rip-offs are still common, awarding Medibank a 2019 SHONKY for their expensive "Basic" cover.

Infographic available: https://infogram.com/1plx333vjgdrlzuqk6w00rj21ec3ddn1kx

"Medibank deserve this SHONKY because their Basic policies are ashamedly more expensive than those of their competitors. They are clearly relying on their brand to get away with tricking people into paying for a policy that offers little in return," says Alan Kirkland, CHOICE CEO.

"It's worth considering whether any Basic policy meets your needs. These policies provide you with very little coverage, which is why CHOICE calls them junk insurance."

"The way in which private health is marketed makes a confusing market even worse, with commercial comparison sites pushing people towards insurers that pay them the highest commissions, rather than those that offer the best deal, and lots of misinformation about the tax benefits of private health cover."

CHOICE is encouraging Australians to check whether private health insurance is really necessary for them at DoINeedHealthInsurance.com.au/

"Beware of private health insurers trying to sign you up for health insurance that doesn't meet your needs," says Kirkland.

Medibank 'Basic' Cover Health Insurance - for failing at the 'basics'

Basic more expensive than cheapest Bronze in NSW, ACT, NT, SA, WA and Tasmania

"2019 is the first year that private health insurance has topped the list of financial worries in CHOICE's regular national surveys and it's easy to see why. A new system that was meant to make things simpler has turned into a mess thanks to rip-offs like those from Medibank. Medibank's "Basic" junk cover costs more than many higher cover Bronze policies. Medibank deserves a SHONKY for failing at the basics - simple and affordable health insurance"

The full SHONKYS 2019 are:

Kogan - for dodgy customer care

Medibank "Basic" Cover Health Insurance - for failing at the "basics"

IKEA Nedkyld Fridge - for failing energy tests and being bad at its one job

AMP Superannuation - for ruined retirements

Freedom Foods XO Crunch - for telling us a bag of sugar is healthy

Pet insurance - for bad insurance riddled with exclusions

Infographic available: https://infogram.com/1p1rm56l9w21pxtmll2vrjd6pmu6g17nddm?live

Other media releases, photos, video and graphics available for media use here: https://shwca.se/SHONKYS2019

Media contact: 0430 172 669, media@choice.com.au