Private Healthcare Australia Limited

Summary

On 1 April 2020, Private Healthcare Australia Limited (PHA), on behalf of itself, its members and Members Health Fund Alliance (MHFA) and its members, lodged an application for authorisation to make and give effect to arrangements, and to discuss and share information with each other in relation to:

·        broadening private health insurance coverage to include COVID-19 treatments and modes of treatment that substitute for face-to-face interaction or admission to hospital;

·        providing financial relief regarding insurance premiums; and

·        other measures as notified to the ACCC to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic

(together, the Proposed Conduct).

PHA also requested interim authorisation for the Proposed Conduct on an urgent basis so that insurers could start providing relief to policyholders as soon as possible.

On 8 April 2020, the ACCC granted urgent interim authorisation to the Proposed Conduct, subject to conditions that:

·        require PHA to notify the ACCC of any measure formulated as part of the Proposed Conduct, prior to implementation;

·        prohibit any contract, arrangement or understanding arising from the Proposed Conduct from having the effect of increasing health insurance premiums to consumers; and

·        ensure that any contract, arrangement or understanding arising from the Proposed Conduct is terminated when no longer authorised by this interim authorisation or final authorisation.

Further information on PHA’s application for authorisation and the ACCC’s interim decision is available through the links below.

The ACCC is seeking submissions on the Proposed Conduct authorised in the interim authorisation and the substantive application for authorisation. Details regarding how to make a submission are available in the correspondence below.

If you intend to provide a submission please do so by Thursday 21 May 2020. Submissions should be emailed to adjudication@accc.gov.au with the subject ‘PHA - AA1000487 - Submission’. In addition, should you wish to make a submission beyond 21 May 2020 in relation to your experience with the impact of the Proposed Conduct, please contact the ACCC at adjudication@accc.gov.au.

An indicative timetable is below. This timetable is subject to change.

 

1 April 2020

Application for authorisation (and interim authorisation) lodged.

8 April 2020

Interim authorisation granted

30 April 2020

Public consultation process begins

21 May 2020

Closing date for submissions from interested parties

June 2020

Applicant responds to issues raised in the public consultation process

July 2020

Draft determination

July/August 2020

Public consultation on draft determination including any conference if called

September 2020

Final determination

Applicant(s)

  • Private Healthcare Australia Limited

Authorisation number(s)

  • AA1000487-1

Applications

Document title Date

Decisions

Document title Date

Consultations