AIA Australia, one of Australia’s largest life insurers, is calling for the government to change legislation to allow life insurance companies to provide early rehabilitation and medical expenses. AIA Australia is advocating to better support rehabilitation programs by removing legislative barriers that currently prevent life insurers from funding medical treatment, and some forms of rehabilitation.
The CEO of AIA Australia and New Zealand, Damien Mu, said: “We at AIA Australia are dedicated to helping to lead reform and improvements to many facets of the insurance industry. Our aim is to benefit consumers and the community. Most importantly, we want to help people to live longer, healthier, happier lives.”
“For successful rehabilitation, we recommend supporting programs that seek to return people to productive work as soon as possible, which research shows improves their mental health and overall wellbeing.”
Under the current legislative system, primary health care payments are not permitted, with insurers restricted to occupational rehabilitation rather than medical assistance.
AIA Australia’s move for change is also supported and advocated by the Financial Services Council (FSC). Over 100 members including AIA Australia supported the FSC’s petition to the government recommending the change.
In its submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services - Inquiry into the Life Insurance Industry, the FSC said “life insurers wish to offer targeted rehabilitation payments for medical treatment or therapy that they determine to be relevant, appropriate and necessary to assist the life insured return to work.”
“If these restrictions were removed, life insurers would be able to use more effective early claim intervention practices which would increase a life insured’s probability of successful rehabilitation to assist in a speedy recovery and associated long term benefits for the individual and society.”
Early intervention is key: Research indicates that if a person is off work for 20 days, they have a 70% chance of returning to work. If they are off work for 45 days, the chance of returning to work reduced to 50%. After 70 days, the chance of returning to work reduces to only 35%.
Mu said: ”Advances in treatment and understanding of workplace injuries have resulted in earlier intervention and assistance to gain a better outcome for the injured worker. We at AIA Australia have a genuine desire to help Australians and to offer value for money products that protect our customers and their families. If the current legislation is changed, we will be better able to help our members to be well, get well and protect their financial future.”
Contact: Ingrid Nienaber
T: +613 9009 4143
About AIA Australia
AIA Australia Limited is an independent life insurance specialist with over 45 years of experience building real and sustainable partnerships. AIA Australia offers a range of products that protect and enhance the lives of nearly three million Australians and is widely recognised as a market leader in product innovation and development. AIA Group Limited and its subsidiaries (collectively “AIA” or the “Group”) comprise the largest independent publicly listed pan-Asian life insurance group. It has a presence in 18 markets in Asia-Pacific.
AIA Australia is one of the country’s largest life insurers by market share and works closely with major financial institutions and corporate partners to provide life insurance solutions for their customers. In addition, AIA Australia is the fastest growing provider of retail life insurance products sold through financial advisers. AIA Australia also works with a network of affinity partners that distribute life insurance products. By having a partnership philosophy at the core of its business, AIA Australia is focused on building genuine relationships and delivering real value to its business partners.
In March 2014, AIA Australia introduced ‘Vitality’ – the world’s leading scientifically-backed health and wellness program, to the Australian market. AIA Vitality aims to be the catalyst for real change to the positive health outcomes of Australians.