On 27 March 2018, the House of Representatives referred an inquiry into options for greater involvement by private sector life insurers in worker rehabilitation for report by 20 September 2018. The terms of reference are as follows:
Options for greater involvement by private sector life insurers in worker rehabilitation, including support after return to work, with particular reference to the following:
(1) the interaction of Income Protection (IP) insurance and Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) insurance with State, Territory, and Commonwealth legislative and regulatory frameworks including Medicare, government employment schemes, workers compensation arrangements, national injury insurance schemes, the National Disability Insurance Scheme, and private health insurance;
(2) the interaction of IP and TPD insurance products with social security benefits in the context of the Life Insurance Act 1995, Health Insurance Act 1973 and Private Health Insurance (Prudential Supervision) Act 2015;
(3) how benefits available under continuous disability policies, such as TPD, could be utilised to provide assistance and incentives to people returning to work, such as covering the cost of professional nursing care and other rehabilitation related expenses, including:
(a) whether there are any legal impediments to this; and
(b) whether there are any identifiable limits to this, for example with respect to cover arrangements for small business employees and the self-employed;
(4) the current definitions, standards, and requirements claimants must meet to access services and payments, including waiting periods or prerequisites;
(5) the consistency and transparency of IP and TPD insurance definitions, policies, and disclosure documents in the context of other rehabilitation schemes; and
(6) information available to consumers about IP and TPD insurance in the context of other rehabilitation schemes.
The structure of this report is as follows:
- Chapter 2 provides context for the inquiry and outlines the proposal for life insurers to have greater involvement in worker rehabilitation.
- Chapter 3 examines the key issues raised in evidence to the inquiry and provides the committee's views.