Rice Warner Actuaries is revising its report to private clearing house SuperChoice on Medicare’s clearing house for small employers, due to concerns about data and incorrect conclusions.

The revised report, due later this week, will revisit the contentious use of statistics regarding member choice, and life insurance cover.

In the original report of March 12, the figure given for fund choice in companies employing fewer than 20 people was 50 per cent.

However, in Rice Warner’s April 29 letter to Mike Fielding (general manager of clearing house SuperChoice), Michael Rice said “the data as presented does not support the contention that 50 per cent of SuperChoice members have exercised choice”.

The second concern for Rice Warner was about life insurance cover as SuperChoice had said employees would not be covered for this if the life company was not notified within 90 days of joining employment.

Michael Rice noted in his letter to SuperChoice that insurers were “far more flexible” and they accepted “that documentation is not always satisfactory”.

In response to both these reservations, SuperChoice’s CEO Peter Philip said that the paper-based product disclosure statement issued by each fund “is a legal document that the fund is obligated within its trust deed and operating standards to follow.

“Life insurers have no legal obligation to honour the policies for employees which have not been completely and/or correctly processed,” he said.

Philip said that SuperChoice was seeking more verification from super funds and group insurers about their approaches to incomplete data.

This verification, Philip said, “backs the position that there are issues in completing the insurance registration process where there is data missing”.






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