Private Health Insurance Ombudsman

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The Private Health Insurance Ombudsman[1] is an Australian Government agency but acts independently of the Government in dealing with complaints and reporting.[2] The role and functions of the office are contained in Sections 230- 256 of the Private Health Insurance Act.[3]

Role and functions[edit]

The office protects the interests of people who are covered by private health insurance by investigating complaints and assisting in the resolution of complaints.[4] It also publishes independent information about private health insurance and the performance of health funds.[5] According to the Australian Government's website, the ombudsman "provides private health insurance members with an independent service for health insurance problems and enquiries."[6]

The office is a government agency whose main role is to protect the interests of people covered by private health insurance.[7] The office is committed to that role.[8]

The office has stated that it expects to fulfill this role by handling complaints in a high quality manner; by providing information and advice to consumers; and by providing information, advice, and recommendations to the Government.[9]


The office was originally called the Private Health Insurance Complaints Commission (PHICC) and was established on 4 March 1996.[10] The name was changed to Private Health Insurance Ombudsman in 1998 [11]

Ombudsman officeholders[edit]

Ms Samantha Gavel was appointed Ombudsman on 1 April 2008 for a three-year term.[12] As of February 2012, Ms. Gavel still holds the office.[13]

Notes and references[edit]

External links[edit]