Media releases

May 14, 2004

ACCC and Medibank Private court action settled

The Federal Court has ordered Medibank Private to publish corrective advertising as part of the resolution of its legal action with the ACCC, which began in October 2000.

Medibank Private will establish a special purpose fund available only to resident members (who joined the fund prior to 13 May 2004) to make payments with regard to qualifying applications for certain leading-edge clinical intervention procedures, such as new drug therapies and surgical procedures, and other treatments not covered under the fund's rules. Over a three-year period, Medibank Private will contribute a total of $5 million to the fund.

Commenting on the outcome of the long-running legal action, Medibank Private Managing Director George Savvides said that the health insurer had not intended to mislead anyone as a result of the advertising campaigns.

"In the vast majority of cases, members who joined Medibank Private as a result of these advertising campaigns understood the nature and terms of the offers, and were satisfied with their purchase. However, we recognise that some members may not have fully understood the campaign messages.

"Four years after the advertising campaigns were run, we are pleased to have the matter resolved, and in a manner that is a good outcome for our members," Mr Savvides said.

In October 2000, the ACCC commenced the legal action against Medibank Private in relation to two advertising campaigns - a PackagePlus promotional campaign and a "Switch" campaign to attract members from other funds.

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