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Private Health Insurance Bill 2007

Part 1-1 Introduction

Division 1 Preliminary

1-1   Short title

                   This Act may be cited as the Private Health Insurance Act 2006 .

1-5   Commencement

                   This Act commences on 1 April 2007.

1-10   Identifying defined terms

             (1)  Many of the terms in this Act are defined in the Dictionary in Schedule 1.

             (2)  Most of the terms that are defined in the Dictionary are identified by an asterisk appearing at the start of the term: as in “ * health benefits fund”. The footnote with the asterisk contains a signpost to the Dictionary.

             (3)  An asterisk usually identifies the first occurrence of a term in a section (if not divided into subsections), subsection, definition, table item or diagram. Later occurrences of the term in the same provision are not usually asterisked.

             (4)  Terms are not asterisked in headings, notes, examples or guides.

             (5)  If a term is not identified by an asterisk, disregard that fact in deciding whether or not to apply to that term a definition or other interpretation provision.

             (6)  The following basic terms used throughout the Act are not identified with an asterisk:


Terms that are not identified with an asterisk


This term ...

is defined in ...



the Dictionary in Schedule 1


Federal Court

the Dictionary in Schedule 1



section 5-1


Medicare Australia CEO

the Dictionary in Schedule 1


Private Health Insurance Ombudsman

the Dictionary in Schedule 1


private health insurer

the Dictionary in Schedule 1



Division 3 Overview of this Act

3-1   What this Act is about

                   This Act is about private health insurance. It:

                     (a)  provides incentives to encourage people to have private health insurance; and

                     (b)  sets out rules governing private health insurance * products; and

                     (c)  imposes requirements about how insurers conduct * health insurance business.

3-5   Incentives (Chapter 2)

                   Chapter 2 provides the following incentives:

                     (a)  reductions in premiums for * complying health insurance policies;

                     (b)  payments by the Commonwealth in relation to premiums paid for complying health insurance policies;

                     (c)  a lifetime health cover scheme, under which premiums may rise for people who do not maintain private health insurance from an early age.

3-10   Complying health insurance products (Chapter 3)

                   Chapter 3 requires insurers who make private health insurance available to people to do so in a non-discriminatory way, to offer * products that comply with this Act, and to meet certain other obligations imposed by this Act in relation to those products.

3-15   Private health insurers (Chapter 4)

                   Chapter 4 requires registration of anyone carrying on * health insurance business, and imposes obligations aimed at ensuring health insurance businesses, and in particular * health benefits funds, are conducted appropriately.

3-20   Enforcement (Chapter 5)

                   Chapter 5 provides for a range of enforcement mechanisms aimed at monitoring and ensuring compliance with this Act and protecting the interests of * policy holders.

3-25   Administration (Chapter 6)

                   Chapter 6 contains administrative and machinery provisions relating to the operation of this Act.

3-30   Dictionary (Schedule 1)

                   The Dictionary in Schedule 1 contains definitions of terms used throughout this Act.


Division 5 Constitutional matters

5-1   Meaning of insurance

                   In this Act:

insurance means insurance to which paragraph 51(xiv) of the Constitution applies.

5-5   Act not to apply to State insurance within that State

                   This Act does not apply with respect to State insurance that does not extend beyond the limits of the State concerned.

5-10   Compensation for acquisition of property

             (1)  If the operation of this Act would result in an acquisition of property from a person otherwise than on just terms, the Commonwealth is liable to pay a reasonable amount of compensation to the person.

             (2)  If the Commonwealth and the person do not agree on the amount of the compensation, the person may institute proceedings in the Federal Court for the recovery from the Commonwealth of such reasonable amount of compensation as the court determines.

             (3)  In this section:

acquisition of property has the same meaning as in paragraph 51(xxxi) of the Constitution.

just terms has the same meaning as in paragraph 51(xxxi) of the Constitution.