One of Australia’s biggest banks is in hot water after it was revealed they had intentionally changed medical evaluations so they wouldn’t have to payout terminally ill customers.
An investigation by ABC’s Four Corners and Fairfax media found the Commonwealth bank had instructed doctors to change their evaluations of patients so its insurance arm CommInsure would not have to pay them life insurance.
The program focussed on a number of patients, including Evan Pashalis, 37 who was diagnosed with leukaemia and given 12 months to live. When he tried to claim his life insurance, CommInsure rejected his payout claim.
“They figured, well, there might be a slight chance he survives, so why pay him?” Mr Pashalis told ABC.
The lies and deceit that were happening within CommInsure where only uncovered when a former employee turned whistleblower and revealed what was going on within the organisation.
Dr Koh (who kept his first name secret for privacy reasons) worked at CommInsure for nearly two years and says doctors were urged to change their medical opinion if it did not suit their “claims strategy”.
One of the most shocking aspects of this case is that if Dr Koh had not come forward, this kind of behaviour would most likely still be occurring today.
CommInsure customers have been left furious by the revelations with many people questioning how such an immoral practice could go on for so long.
Some Superannuation Funds, such as CARE, subcontract their life insurance policies though CommInsure, meaning thousands of Australians could be affected by this issue.
There have been calls for an Royal Commission into issue and Federal Assistant Treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer said the Government supported a Senate inquiry into the CommInsure scandal.