Medibank gets Shonky gong
Medibank Private's “rip-off” basic health cover has won it a Shonky Award from consumer group Choice.
The group has given its annual awards to the health insurer, embattled superannuation provider AMP, “serial offender” electronics company Kogan, a dodgy IKEA fridge, a sugary cereal, and the entire pet insurance industry.
Choice chief executive Alan Kirkland said the awards highlight “businesses and industries who have ripped off, misled and treated Australians like cash cows to be exploited”.
Offering “junk” accident and ambulance cover, Medibank “deserves a Shonky for failing at the basics - simple and affordable health insurance”, Mr Kirkland said.
It comes two days after Medibank called on the federal government to allow insurers to charge higher premiums for people with chronic illnesses and subsidising the difference.
It is the first year that private health insurance has topped the list of financial worries in Choice's regular national survey.
Choice also branded wealth manager AMP a “lemon” for causing “ruined retirements”.
Choice found AMP holds more “zombie accounts” – inactive accounts that eat away savings through fees and insurance – than any other super fund.
AMP is currently facing a class action from a million customers over its fees.
Choice also awarded a Shonky to the entire pet insurance industry.
Mr Kirkland described pet cover “one of this country's worst value insurance products”.
Out of 86 pet insurance policies it reviewed, Choice said there was not a single one that it could recommend to pet owners.
“Riddled with exclusions and technicalities ... It relies on emotionally manipulating your love of your pet to sell you worthless insurance.”