Australian Unity gives undertaking to ACCC

Latest News

Australian Unity has given an undertaking and agreed to compensate members who held couple and family policies in 2015 in relation to an issue involving dental benefits.

In a statement, the ACCC said Australian Unity will pay at least $620,000 in compensation to the affected consumers. 

"At the start of 2015, Australian Unity’s Comprehensive Extras policy for couples and families included one overall limit for dental benefits, which was between $1,600 and $2,400 per calendar year. The insurer’s fact sheets, website and terms and conditions in 2015 represented to members that these benefits were fixed and would not change for that year," said the ACCC.

"Members had been able to choose how to split the annual limit among individual family members. For example, families could use all of the annual limit towards braces for one child. However, in September 2015 Australian Unity changed the way the annual limit worked. 

"While the total limit for dental benefits was the same, claims for each individual family member were limited to half of the total annual limit. For example, claims for dental work for an individual family member, which had been able to be made up to the entire $1,600 annual limit, were now subject to an $800 limit."

While the ACCC acknowledged Australian Unity wrote to members notifying them of the change in August 2015, it said it was too late for some who had already made plans about how they planned to use the dental spending limit during that year.

“Australian Unity has cooperated with the ACCC and acknowledged that it was likely to have made false or misleading representations and engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct in contravention of the Australian Consumer Law,” said the competition regulator.

It added Australian Unity has provided a court-enforceable undertaking to the ACCC.