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THE consumer watchdog has lost a court case in which it accused health fund Medibank of cutting benefits for hospital blood tests without telling its members.
In ruling in favour of the health fund the Federal Court said no reasonable consumer would understand the word “cover” used by a health fund to mean “entirely cover”.
The ACCC will have to cover Medibank’s court costs.
“We took this case because we believed that Medibank’s failure to advise customers of the changes to their cover for in-hospital pathology and radiology services affected vulnerable consumers,” ACCC chairman Rod Simms said.
“The ACCC believes that consumers have a right to be informed in advance of important changes to their private health insurance cover,” he said.
“In particular, we believed that Medibank’s changes affected those with chronic medical conditions who required these services regularly.”
“The ACCC is carefully considering the judgment,” Mr Sims said.
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