How to get the best insurance coverage
Insurers will be able to ask patients for details about their medical conditions, such as when they have cancer, heart disease, diabetes or a range of other illnesses.
But the information they can ask for will only be used to inform a claim process.
The Insurance Council of Australia says patients should be able access the information without asking.
“The ICAC has been clear on this from day one and we are pleased to see that the ICAC is moving in that direction,” a spokesperson said.
The ICAC says that when doctors provide information about their patients’ health to insurers they should also provide information that will help insurers make an informed decision.
“As soon as a claim is made, the insurance company should be given the opportunity to verify the information, including whether it was obtained by doctors or other health professionals, and to contact relevant medical providers if the information does not support the claim,” the organisation said in a statement.
“If the claim was approved, the insurer should make any necessary adjustments to the policy.”
The ICC also recommends that insurance providers provide patients with the option to withdraw the information when a claim was denied.
It also recommends insurers should provide patients the option of asking patients to confirm their medical condition when their conditions change, or provide a link to the doctor’s website or medical records to help them determine if they have a specific condition.
“This will help patients to make a decision on the basis of the information and should be done as soon as possible,” the ICC said.
“We urge insurers to do this.”
The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has also proposed making doctors’ and other health-care providers’ medical records public for patients to access.
However, the Australian Medical Association (AMA) says doctors should only provide information on their patients.
“Doctors should not be providing personal information about patients,” AMA spokeswoman Dr Lisa Robinson said. Loading