Commonwealth bank under fire for refusing to pay dying customers

One of Australia’s biggest banks is in hot water after it was revealed they had intentionally changed medical evaluations so

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.

What do you think about this news? Are you surprised to hear that such a high level of deceit was occurring in one of Australia’s biggest companies? Do you think there should be Royal Commission into this case?

  1. Rosemary Iloste  

    I think if you look into this a number of insurance companies are doing the same

    • AMP is doing much the same to me, they gone 16years into my past to find fault as not to pay, fault that has nothing to do with my illness

  2. Noel Baxendell  

    Reports in today’s newspapers that the ANZ Bank floated banking regulations. They were fined by ACIC $212,500. The brief newspaper item did not indicate how much money the bank made from forcing customers to take out overdraft facilities they did not need. However little additional money ANZ made from breaking banking laws, a $200,000 fine is peanuts for a major bank which counts its profits in the billions of dollars.

    We need a Royal Commission into banking ethics.

  3. Pam Binsley  

    Yes. An investigation into bank ethics should be mandatory.

  4. too bloody right who ever it was involved should be charged for fraud and theft and doctor involved stuck of for good after they get out of jail,this sort of thing has got too stop.

  5. [email protected]  

    Not surprised at all. We are well on the way to a dog eat dog society. A society where “fine print”rules the roost, and it is increasingly difficult to trust anyone, and to think it was only 50 years or so ago that a handshake could be relied upon most of the time, now you have to count your fingers! I don’t have a lot of faith in Royal Commissions, they tend to depend on who is on the commission and and the reason they were picked and by whom. Am I a cynic, you bet I am , and in today’s society it is wise to be one!

  6. Ian Vernon  

    I Took out “Trauma” Cover` some years back to cover me and my wages in the event that I took sick, well I was very sick 3 years ago nearly died and was in hospital for 6 weeks…My wife filled in all the necessary paperwork took it to the bank, only to get some woman and I use the term very loosely from Com Insure, say to me you are not covered, you are NOT DYING…Now what a contradiction…Because now this mob are not paying “Dying People” who have took out this type of insurance and have paid”Thousands” into these funds…No Wonder these “Grubbby Banks” make BILLIONS every year in profits…I took out Trauma Insurance, to pick up my wages and bills whilst I was incapacitated…I have used ALL MY WORK’S Leave entitlements…and I am still pissed off 3 years down the track.

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