Media releases

November 30, 2005

Limitations lifted for private health members

In a win for the consumer, Medibank Private, Australia's largest private health fund, has removed Benefit Limitation Periods for most new and existing members with hospital cover.

Medibank Private Managing Director, George Savvides, said, "This change means that the approximate 2.6 million existing hospital cover members we have, along with most new members in the future, can now get more value out of the health cover, sooner.

A Benefit Limitation Period (BLP) is a period of time during which health fund members with hospital cover receive restricted benefits for hospital treatment. BLPs differ from waiting periods in the sense that members do receive some benefits during the specified BLP, however they are limited to Federal Government Default Benefits. BLPs are applied to a range of services, subject to a member's level of cover.

Medibank Private's lifting of BLPs follows a recent Federal Government decision requiring all private health funds to stop applying BLPs to members who:
� Transfer from one health fund to another
� Transfer from one health fund to another before serving their full BLP term
� Change hospital cover within the one health fund

Mr Savvides went on to say, "The even better news for our members is that Medibank Private has gone beyond just the Government requirements and extended the changes to most members.

"Most current Medibank Private members with hospital cover and most new members will no longer be subject to any BLPs for treatment they receive on or after 19th November, 2005. Members who change their level of hospital cover or transfer to Medibank Private from another fund will also be free of BLPs from this date, regardless of whether they applied under their previous cover or in their previous fund.

"For new and existing members with Priority hospital cover the BLPs will continue, but have been reduced from 12 months to six months.

"Our first duty continues to be to our members, who rightly expect us to deliver the best value and service we can for their premiums, and to do everything we can to contain premium growth. We hope this improved service offering adds to the peace of mind that Medibank Private health cover gives nearly three million members." Mr Savvides said.


For more information, please contact:
Libby Woolnough, Medibank Private, PH: 03) 8622 5181 / 0411 659 060

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