Health Ombudsman a
The annual report of the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman (PHIO) has found a number of positive emerging trends including a large increase in the number of consumers who found their way to the PHIO’s consumer website.
hit with consumers
There were 621,865 unique visitors in 2012-13 - a 41 per cent increase from the previous year.
Other highlights in the annual report include a 29 per cent fall in higher-level complaints requiring more detailed investigation by the PHIO, reflecting PHIO’s work with insurers to reduce complaints from members, as well as the industry’s commitment to improving its internal complaints handling practices.
There was positive feedback from consumers in relation to the consumer website with 92 per cent of surveyed clients happy with the website’s visual appeal; 87 per cent rating it as easy to use; 79 per cent rating information as easy to find and 78 per cent rating the information as being of very good or satisfactory quality.
The PHIO found a continued high level of customer satisfaction with its complaint handling service, with 85 per cent of those surveyed reporting they were satisfied or very satisfied with the service.
Private Health Insurance Ombudsman, Samantha Gavel said the overall number of complaints received in 2012-13 was 2,955, a small decrease on the complaints received the previous year.
She said private health insurance membership continued to increase during 2012-13, with 47 per cent of the population covered by a Hospital Treatment policy and 54.9 per cent covered by a General Treatment (Extras) policy at 30 June.
Ms Gavel said the 29 per cent decrease in the number of higher-level complaints -down from 630 in 2011-12 to 450 - was the lowest annual number of high-level complaints for the past five years.
The Private Health Insurance Ombudsman’s 2012-2013 annual report can be viewed on the Ombudsman’s website at http://www.phio.gov.au and copies of the Report can be requested by contacting the Ombudsman’s office on (02) 8235 8777.
Edition 385, 29 October 2013