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Unhealthy confusion with bundled health insurance: CHOICE

CHOICE alleges deceptive pricing and forced bundling from GMBHA.

Consumer advocate CHOICE has called for major health insurer GMHBA to change its misleading practice of bundling health insurance and rewards programs costs. 

"GMHBA are duping people into signing up for their rewards program with tricky and misleading pricing. We're asking for something simple - transparent pricing from GMHBA," says CHOICE Health Campaigner Dean Price 

"GMHBA are bundling the cost of a rewards program with their health insurance policies. It is really difficult for people to see that the AIA Vitality rewards program will cost them an extra $120 a year. In addition, you can't simply opt-out when you buy online - the only way to opt-out of the extra $120 a year is by phone." 

GMHBA brand Frank Insurance was the worst offender across most of the country in CHOICE's 2019 analysis of junk Silver Plus policies, showing the company has form for confusing and poor value products.

"GMHBA is selling us confusion. Health insurance is complex. Rewards programs are complex. The two products bundled together create real disadvantages for people trying to understand what they're paying and what they're receiving," says Price. 

"The basic problem is this - GMHBA customers have the company's rewards program bundled in with their health insurance premiums. They're effectively paying more to access an opaque rewards program they may not even realise they're paying for or want. Transparency about discounts and pricing, along with being able to opt-out online, would make it easier for people to decide if they want a rewards program on top of their health insurance," says Mr Price.

Full article here, we'd appreciate a link back: www.choice.com.au/healthfundrewards

CHOICE has written to the ACCC asking for the regulator to step in, investigate and make sure that GMHBA customers aren't being ripped off.

CHOICE is calling for GMHBA to: 

  • Disclose the separate cost of the AIA Vitality program on their website 
  • Offer simple options for people to opt-out of extra costs online.

The full ACCC complaint is available for download here: http://bit.ly/2N4rd3P

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