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Private Health Insurance Bill 2007

Part 6-6 Private health insurance levies

Division 304 Introduction

304-1   What this Part is about

Each private health insurance levy is imposed under a levy Act. This Part deals with collection of the levies and other matters relating to their administration.

304-5   Private Health Insurance (Levy Administration) Rules

                   The collection of * private health insurance levies and other matters relating to administration of the levies are also dealt with in the Private Health Insurance (Levy Administration) Rules. The provisions of this Part indicate when a particular matter is or may be dealt with in these Rules.

Note:          The Private Health Insurance (Levy Administration) Rules are made by the Minister under section 333-20.

304-10   Meaning of private health insurance levy

                   Each of the following levies is a private health insurance levy :

                     (a)  levy imposed under the Private Health Insurance (Collapsed Insurer Levy) Act 2003 ( collapsed insurer levy );

                     (b)  levy imposed under the Private Health Insurance (Complaints Levy) Act 1995 ( complaints levy );

                     (c)  levy imposed under the Private Health Insurance (Council Administration Levy) Act 2003 ( Council administration levy );

                     (d)  levy imposed under the Private Health Insurance (Risk Equalisation Levy) Act 2003 ( risk equalisation levy ).



 

Division 307 Collection and recovery of private health insurance levies

307-1   When private health insurance levy must be paid

             (1)  A * private health insurance levy that is imposed on a particular day (the imposition day ) becomes due and payable on the day specified as the payment day for that imposition day in:

                     (a)  a determination made by the Minister, by legislative instrument, if the levy is:

                              (i)  * collapsed insurer levy; or

                             (ii)  * Council administration levy imposed on a supplementary Council administration levy day (within the meaning of the Private Health Insurance (Council Administration Levy) Act 2003 ; or

                            (iii)  * complaints levy imposed on a supplementary complaints levy administration day (within the meaning of the Private Health Insurance (Complaints Levy) Act 1995 ; or

                            (iv)  * risk equalisation levy imposed on a supplementary risk equalisation levy day (within the meaning of the Private Health Insurance (Risk Equalisation Levy) Act 2003 ; and

                     (b)  otherwise—the Private Health Insurance (Levy Administration) Rules.

             (2)  The Minister must obtain, and take into account, advice from the Council in relation to the day that is to be specified as the payment day in a determination made under subparagraph (1)(a)(i), (ii) or (iv).

             (3)  Advice given to the Minister under subsection (2) in relation to a determination under subparagraph (1)(a)(i) must be laid before each House of the Parliament with the determination to which it relates.

307-5   Late payment penalty

             (1)  If a * private health insurance levy remains wholly or partly unpaid by a private health insurer after it becomes due and payable, the insurer is liable to pay a late payment penalty under this section.

             (2)  The * late payment penalty is calculated:

                     (a)  at the rate specified in the Private Health Insurance (Levy Administration) Rules (which must not be higher than 15%); and

                     (b)  on the unpaid amount of the levy; and

                     (c)  for the period:

                              (i)  starting when the levy becomes due and payable; and

                             (ii)  ending when the levy, and the penalty payable under this section, have been paid in full.

307-10   Payment of levy and late payment penalty

             (1)  The following must be paid to the Commonwealth:

                     (a)  a * complaints levy;

                     (b)  a * late payment penalty in respect of a complaints levy.

             (2)  An amount of a kind specified in column 2 of the table must be paid to the Council. The amount is paid to the Council for the purpose specified in column 3 of the table:

 

Amounts payable to Council for certain purposes

Item

An amount of this

kind ...

is payable to the Council for the purpose

of …

1

* collapsed insurer levy that is due and payable

helping a private health insurer that is unable to meet its liabilities to its contributors to meet those liabilities.

2

* late payment penalty in respect of * collapsed insurer levy

helping a private health insurer that is unable to meet its liabilities to its contributors to meet those liabilities.

3

* Council administration levy that is due and payable

meeting the general administrative costs of the Council.

4

* late payment penalty in respect of * Council administration levy

meeting the general administrative costs of the Council.

5

* risk equalisation levy that is due and payable

the * Risk Equalisation Trust Fund

6

* late payment penalty in respect of * risk equalisation levy

the * Risk Equalisation Trust Fund

             (3)  The Consolidated Revenue Fund is appropriated for the purposes of subsection (2).

307-15   Recovery of levy and late payment penalty

             (1)  A * private health insurance levy that is due and payable is a debt due to the Commonwealth.

             (2)  A * late payment penalty is a debt due to the Commonwealth.

             (3)  An amount referred to in subsection (1) or (2) may be recovered as a debt by action in a court of competent jurisdiction by:

                     (a)  the Commonwealth, in respect of a debt payable to the Commonwealth under subsection 307-10(1); or

                     (b)  the Council, in respect of a debt payable to the Council under subsection 307-10(2).

307-20   Waiver of late payment penalty for levies other than collapsed insurer levy

             (1)  The Minister may waive the whole or part of an amount of * late payment penalty in respect of an unpaid amount of * complaints levy, if the Minister considers that there are good reasons for doing so.

             (2)  The Council may waive the whole or part of an amount of * late payment penalty in respect of an unpaid amount of:

                     (a)  a * Council administration levy; or

                     (b)  a * risk equalisation levy;

if the Council considers that there are good reasons for doing so.

307-25   Waiver of collapsed insurer levy and late payment penalty for that levy

             (1)  If an amount of * collapsed insurer levy or * late payment penalty in respect of an amount of collapsed insurer levy (a collapsed insurer levy amount ) is payable by a private health insurer, the insurer may apply for a waiver under this section.

             (2)  The application must be in writing and in the * approved form.

             (3)  The Minister may waive the whole or a part of the collapsed insurer levy amount if satisfied that the payment of the amount by the insurer would have a significantly adverse effect on the insurer’s ability to comply with:

                     (a)  the * solvency standard or a * solvency direction; or

                     (b)  the * capital adequacy standard or a * capital adequacy direction.

Note:          Decisions under subsection (3) are reviewable under Part 6-9.

             (4)  Before making a decision under subsection (3), the Minister must obtain, and take into account, advice from the Council as to whether to waive the collapsed insurer levy amount.

             (5)  The Minister must notify the insurer of the Minister’s decision under subsection (3).

             (6)  The notification must be:

                     (a)  in writing; and

                     (b)  given to the insurer within 28 days after the day on which the decision under subsection (3) is made.



 

Division 310 Returns, requesting information and keeping records

310-1   Returns must be lodged with Council and Department

             (1)  A private health insurer must lodge a return for each * census day for the following levies:

                     (a)  * collapsed insurer levy;

                     (b)  * complaints levy;

                     (c)  * Council administration levy.

             (2)  A census day for a levy means the day specified as the census day for that levy under the Act imposing the levy.

             (3)  The return must:

                     (a)  be in the * approved form; and

                     (b)  be lodged with:

                              (i)  if the return relates to * complaints levy—the Secretary of the Department; and

                             (ii)  otherwise—the Council; and

                     (c)  be lodged within 28 days after the * census day for the levy to which it relates.

             (4)  A private health insurer commits an offence if the insurer fails to lodge the return.

Penalty:  60 penalty units.

             (5)  Strict liability applies to subsection (4).

Note:          For strict liability , see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code .

310-5   Insurer must keep records

             (1)  A private health insurer must keep all records that are relevant to either or both of following:

                     (a)  whether the insurer is liable to pay a * private health insurance levy;

                     (b)  the amount of the private health insurance levy that the insurer is liable to pay.

             (2)  The records must be kept in:

                     (a)  an electronic form; or

                     (b)  if the Council approves another form—that form.

             (3)  The records must be retained for a period of 7 years (or a shorter period allowed by the Private Health Insurance (Levy Administration) Rules) starting on the later of:

                     (a)  the day on which the records were created; or

                     (b)  1 July 2004.

             (4)  A private health insurer commits an offence if the insurer fails to:

                     (a)  keep the records; or

                     (b)  keep the records in the form required by or under subsection (2); or

                     (c)  retain the records for the period required by or under subsection (3).

Penalty:  60 penalty units.

             (5)  Strict liability applies to subsection (4).

Note:          For strict liability , see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code .

             (6)  Nothing in this section is to be taken to have required an insurer to do an act or thing before the day on which this Act commences.

310-10   Council may request information from insurer

             (1)  The Council may, if it believes on reasonable grounds that a private health insurer is capable of giving information that is relevant to:

                     (a)  whether the insurer is liable to pay a * private health insurance levy (other than * complaints levy); or

                     (b)  the amount of the private health insurance levy (other than complaints levy) that the insurer is liable to pay;

request the insurer to give the Council the information or records that are specified in the request, before the end of the period specified in the request.

             (2)  The Secretary of the Department may, if he or she believes on reasonable grounds that a private health insurer is capable of giving information that is relevant to:

                     (a)  whether the insurer is liable to pay * complaints levy; or

                     (b)  the amount of complaints levy that the insurer is liable to pay;

request the insurer to give him or her the information or records that are specified in the request, before the end of the period specified in the request.

             (3)  A request under subsection (1) or (2):

                     (a)  must be served on the * chief executive officer of the insurer; and

                     (b)  may require the information to be verified by statutory declaration; and

                     (c)  must specify the manner in which the information must be given; and

                     (d)  must contain a statement to the effect that a failure to comply with the request is an offence.

             (4)  A private health insurer commits an offence if the insurer fails to comply with a request under subsection (1) or (2).

Penalty:  60 penalty units.

             (5)  Strict liability applies to subsection (4).

Note:          For strict liability , see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code .



 

Division 313 Power to enter premises and search for documents

313-1   Authorised officer may enter premises with consent

             (1)  A person who is a member of staff of the Council or authorised in writing by the Minister for this purpose (both of these kinds of persons are authorised officers ) may enter any * premises for the purpose of exercising * search powers in relation to * levy-related documents if:

                     (c)  the * occupier of the premises consents to the entry; and

                     (d)  the officer shows the occupier his or her identity card.

             (2)  A levy-related document is a document (including a copy of a document) that contains information relevant to:

                     (a)  whether a private health insurer is liable to pay a * private health insurance levy; or

                     (b)  the amount of the private health insurance levy that the insurer is liable to pay.

             (3)  Before obtaining the consent of the * occupier, the * authorised officer must inform the occupier that he or she may refuse consent.

             (4)  An entry by an * authorised officer with the consent of the * occupier is not lawful if the consent of the occupier is not voluntary.

             (5)  The * authorised officer must leave the * premises if the * occupier asks the officer to do so.

313-5   Authorised officer may enter premises under warrant

             (1)  If an * authorised officer has reason to believe that there are * levy-related documents on particular * premises, the officer may apply to a magistrate for a warrant authorising the officer to enter the premises for the purpose of exercising * search powers in relation to the documents.

             (2)  If the magistrate is satisfied by information on oath or affirmation that there are reasonable grounds for believing that there are * levy-related documents on the * premises, the magistrate may issue a warrant.

             (3)  The warrant must:

                     (a)  authorise one or more * authorised officers to enter the * premises for the purpose of exercising * search powers in relation to * levy-related documents; and

                     (b)  state whether the entry is authorised at any time of the day or night or during specified hours of the day or night; and

                     (c)  authorise the officers to use such assistance and force as is necessary and reasonable to enter the premises for the purpose of exercising search powers in relation to levy-related documents.

             (4)  The * authorised officers do not have to be named in the warrant.

313-10   Announcement before entry

                   An * authorised officer executing a warrant under section 313-5 in respect of * premises must, before entering the premises under the warrant:

                     (a)  announce that he or she is authorised to enter the premises; and

                     (b)  before using assistance and force under the warrant to enter the premises—give any person on the premises an opportunity to allow the authorised officer to enter the premises without the use of assistance and force.

313-15   Executing a warrant to enter premises

Circumstances in which this section applies

             (1)  This section applies if:

                     (a)  a warrant under section 313-5 is being executed by an * authorised officer in respect of * premises; and

                     (b)  the * occupier of the premises is present.

Obligations of authorised officer executing a warrant

             (2)  The * authorised officer must:

                     (a)  make a copy of the warrant available to the * occupier; and

                     (b)  show the occupier the officer’s identity card; and

                     (c)  inform the occupier of the occupier’s rights and responsibilities under subsections (3) to (6).

Persons entitled to observe execution of warrant

             (3)  The * occupier, or a person nominated by the occupier who is readily available, is entitled to observe the execution of the warrant.

             (4)  The right to observe the execution of the warrant ceases if the * occupier or the nominated person impedes that execution.

             (5)  Subsection (3) does not prevent the execution of the warrant in 2 or more areas of the * premises at the same time.

Occupier to provide reasonable facilities and assistance

             (6)  An * occupier commits an offence if the occupier fails to provide the * authorised officer and any person assisting that officer with all reasonable facilities and assistance for the effective exercise of their powers under the warrant.

Penalty:  60 penalty units.

313-20   Identity cards

             (1)  For the purposes of this Division, the Council must issue an identity card to an * authorised officer in the * approved form. It must contain a recent photograph of the authorised officer.

             (2)  A person commits an offence if:

                     (a)  the person has been issued with an identity card; and

                     (b)  the person ceases to be an * authorised officer; and

                     (c)  the person does not, as soon as it is practicable after so ceasing, return the identity card to the Council.

Penalty:  1 penalty unit.

             (3)  Strict liability applies to subsection (2).

Note:          For strict liability , see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code .

             (4)  An * authorised officer must carry the identity card at all times when exercising powers or performing functions under this Division as an authorised officer.