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Private Health Insurance Ombudsman

The Private Health Insurance Ombudsman[1] is an Australian Government agency but acts independently of the government in investigating complaints involving private health insurance and reporting.[2] The role and functions of the office are contained in Sections 230- 256 of the Private Health Insurance Act 2007.[3]

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Role and functionsEdit

The office protects the interests of people who are covered by private health insurance[4][5] by investigating complaints and assisting in the resolution of complaints.[6] It also publishes independent information about private health insurance and the performance of health funds.[7] According to the Australian Government's website, the ombudsman "provides private health insurance members with an independent service for health insurance problems and enquiries."[8]

The office has stated that it expects to fulfill this role by handling complaints in a high quality manner; by providing information and advice to consumers; and by providing information, advice, and recommendations to the Government.[9]

HistoryEdit

Originally, the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman was established on 4 March 1996 as the Private Health Insurance Complaints Commission (PHICC).[10] The name was changed in 1998.[11]

On 1 July 2015, the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman merged with the Commonwealth Ombudsman, as part of the smaller government measures in the 2014 federal budget.[12]

Ombudsman officeholdersEdit

Samantha Gavel was appointed Ombudsman on 1 April 2008 for a three-year term.[13] Gavel held the position until she was appointed National Health Practitioner Ombudsman and Privacy Commissioner in January 2015.[14] David McGregor was appointed acting Private Health Insurance Ombudsman until 30 June 2015, when the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman was merged with the Commonwealth Ombudsman.[12]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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