PHI complaints fall in December quarter

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The Ombudsman received 963 private health insurance complaints in the final three months of 2018, down from 1.028 during the September quarter.

According to the Ombudsman's latest quarterly report, the top five complaint categories related to the pre-existing condition waiting period (95), verbal advice (80), insurer rule change (76), general treatment benefits (63) and membership cancellation (60).

The complaints were lodged against health insurers (816), overseas visitor and overseas student health insurers (98), brokers and comparison services (13), healthcare providers (5), hospitals and area health services (3), and others (16).

The total number of complaints against insurers fell steadily during 2018, from 1,055 in the March quarter to 1,019 in the June quarter, 854 in the September quarter and 816 in the December quarter.