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    Medibank defends position on advertising campaigns

    Australia’s largest private health fund, Medibank Private, has denied any intention to mislead its members in two recent advertising campaigns.

    Medibank Private’s response comes after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission announced it was instituting legal proceedings against Medibank.

    In launching the action, the ACCC has claimed that two Medibank Private advertising campaigns run during the lead-up to Lifetime Health Cover may have been misleading to potential members.

    One campaign offered free extras cover during May and June for customers purchasing a Package Plus insurance product.

    The second campaign promoted both the waiving of certain waiting periods and 30 days free cover for customers switching to Medibank Private from another health fund.

    Medibank Private managing director Mark Burrowes said that the health fund had no intention of misleading potential members with either campaign.

    "The two campaigns the ACCC have targeted were in no way intended to offer misleading information to prospective members," Mr Burrowes said.

    "Nor were they intended to offer non-existent inducements to attract new members.

    "At no time would Medibank Private ever intend to mislead its members or potential members. Every effort was made in these advertising campaigns to convey accurate information.

    "Not only that, we are also currently conducting a direct mail campaign to our members to check that they are happy with the insurance product they purchased in the lead-up to Lifetime Health Cover and ensure that the policy is most suited to their needs.

    "Members are also being invited into our retail centres to conduct a ‘cover check’ with the same objective in mind."

    Mr Burrowes said that Medibank is currently taking legal advice on the ACCC claims.