Medibank Private no longer covers artificial eyes for its members in Western Australia only.
But its members weren’t notified of the change of policy. Instead, they found out by accident. One of my clients recently asked me to contact Medibank on her behalf because she’d had trouble obtaining a refund for her last claim. It was only through this contact that we discovered that Medibank no longer provides cover for artificial eyes in Western Australia.
The lack of notification by Medibank was bad enough. Another client, though, received outright misinformation from the Company which cost her dearly. Just diagnosed with a melanoma in the eye, this client approached Medibank to find out about the cover provided for having an artificial eye made. She was told that her current cover was not adequate, that she needed to pay a higher premium to receive a refund. This she did, and went ahead with the life-saving operation that of course, could not be delayed. She then was informed that there was a one year qualifying period for this higher cover, and finally that the Company had dropped the service. She had taken seven weeks off work to recover, lost vital income, only to then be faced with a $1500 bill for her new artificial eye, all because she did the right thing by using the private health system.
In the week that Medibank pulled the pin on its West Australian members, SGIO announced that they would fully cover the cost of the first artificial eye. SGIO stated that they recognised the integral link between having an eye removed and getting the first prosthesis.
We don’t want to be seen as insurance company bashers. Our clients are a minority group and as such, can be easily pushed around by large companies. Someone needs to stand up for their rights. We have very few clients who are members of Medibank Private. The costs to Medibank of paying for artificial eyes would be minimal. Withdrawing such a service and increasing fees seems to be blatant profiteering on their part.
We’ve put out a media release about Medibank’s stance. We’ll keep you informed through this blog about upcoming TV and radio coverage. But if you’d like to voice your own concerns with Medibank, you can email Paul Batey at firstname.lastname@example.org