Frontline Healthcare Workers are not excluded from life insurance coverage

Andrew Mo Published: 28 April 2020

The Coronavirus has put enormous pressure on the Australian healthcare system and it is no secret that our frontline healthcare workers have had to bear the brunt of this strain cause by the pandemic.

Unfortunately, in addition to the burden of looking after the health of their patients and themselves they also need to consider their financial health. Australia is currently seeing the sharpest economic decline in recent history and the sad reality is that we need to do everything we can now to make sure our lives can return to normal.

Earlier this month there was some discussion around potential life insurance policy exclusions for healthcare professionals as many were quick to either purchase life insurance policies or increase their coverage.

Fortunately, the ACCC (The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) rushed to the defence of these healthcare workers and put measures in place to ensure frontline healthcare workers are not excluded from coverage due to potential or actual exposure to COVID-19.

Rod Sims, ACCC Chair came out in support of health care workers who were protecting themselves financially with life insurance.

“This is a stressful time for everyone, but especially those working at the frontline of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s sadly understandable that such workers may consider life insurance coverage at this time.”

“I strongly encourage everyone looking to purchase life insurance to first check the cover they may have under existing policies and through their superannuation fund.”

The interim authorisation measure granted by the ACCC to the FSC (Financial Services Council) meant that potential exposure to COVID-19 alone was not an acceptable reason to reject or decline a life insurance policy application for frontline healthcare workers or use it as a basis for charging higher premiums.

FSC provided the below list of professions that this would apply to, however, Chief executive Sally Loane emphasised that they made sure a broad definition of a relevant frontline healthcare worker was put in place and the commitment is not limited to those specified on the list:

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • All hospital workers
  • Ambulance workers
  • Paramedics
  • People working on COVID-19 vaccines
  • Pharmacists
  • Police
  • Aged care workers
  • Volunteers supporting people with COVID-19

It is also worth noting that Sims specified that the ACCC authorisation applies to new policies, and does not include co-ordination on prices. While customers with existing policies will maintain all current benefits and exclusions. Which means that customers from the healthcare industry were still allowed the freedom to compare different insurance providers, should they not be happy with their existing provider’s cover.

If you are a healthcare professional who is looking to purchase life insurance feel free to call us on 1300 135 205 and one of our life insurance experts will be able to answer any questions you might have. Alternatively, if you’re looking to compare insurance services, our online comparison engine will make thing a lot easier by comparing up to eight life insurance brands for you. Simply enter your details in the form below and follow the instructions provided.

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