A message from Alzheimer’s Australia: Insurance Company Discrimination

Odd behaviourTodays blog post is probably only relevant to my readers in Australia, and does not have to be specific to Insurance Company discrimination only related to dementia, but any form of discrimination by insurers.

I have previously been denied travel insurance cover for dementia. I do wonder what part of dementia makes me uninsurable????

Maybe the odd behaviour…

Please read this message below from Alzheimer’s Australia: Insurance Company Discrimination:

“You may or may not have seen in the media this week that beyondblue are launching a media campaign Beyond Blue Media Release_January 2013 to take on the insurance industries in regard to discrimination.

For the past ten years beyondblue and the Mental Health Council of Australia (MHCA) have been working to influence the insurance industry to make changes to their policies and practices.

Alzheimer’s Australia strongly supports the efforts that beyondblue are taking to remove the discrimination that exists currently.

Recently new legislation has been proposed to consolidate Australia’s existing anti-discrimination laws. Whilst the new legislation is an ideal opportunity for the Government to stop insurance companies’ discrimination, legal action may be the only way to hold insurance companies accountable.

We are interested in hearing your experience with discrimination, when applying for travel, income protection and/or life insurance, due to a diagnosis of dementia and/or a mental health condition. With a view that beyondblue will use these stories to investigate the possibilities of taking legal action, including a potential class action.

At this time we are looking for people to provide a brief summary (no more than a page) that addresses the following questions:

1.       Who were the insurance provider(s) you approached?

2.        What type of insurance did you apply for or make a claim against, and when was this?

3.       If/When you disclosed your mental health condition did it relate to a past or current mental health condition?

4.       From the point of contact with the insurance provider can you briefly outline what happened? Did you fill in an online form or did you speak to someone?

5.       Did they explain the product/protection you were applying for? (e.g. the Product Disclosure Statement)

6.       What did you understand as the impact of sharing your experience of a mental health condition or diagnosis of dementia? What was the result? (did the insurer offer a product, was there a higher price quoted OR was your claim rejected?)

7.       What was the outcome? Did you receive the product/protection you were expecting? If not, did you seek insurance elsewhere or did you take alternative action – such as complaining? What was the result?

8.       When did this happen?

If you are interesting in sharing your story, you can do so by emailing it to Samantha.Blake@alzheimers.org.au ASAP. Stories that Alzheimer’s Australia receive will be passed on to beyondblue.

A member of the beyondblue Health System Support & Advocacy team may wish to contact you to further discuss your experience. If you are comfortable with this, please indicate in your response and provide your preferred contact details.”

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