Explanatory Memorandum(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Health and Ageing, the Honourable Tony Abbott MP)
PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE COMPLAINTS LEVY AMENDMENT BILL 2006
Clause 1 Short title
This clause sets out the short title of the Bill.
Clause 2 Commencement
This clause sets out the commencement day for the various provisions in the Bill.
Clause 3 Schedule(s )
This clause provides that each Act specified in a Schedule to the Bill is amended or repealed as set out in the Schedule, and any other item in a Schedule has effect according to its terms. Schedule 1 - Amendments
Private Health Insurance Complaints Levy Act 1995
Item 1 amends the title to replace businesses conducted by registered organizations to business conducted by private health insurers to reflect the replacement of the National Health Act 1953 by the proposed Private Health Insurance Act.
Item 2 amends the short title of the Act in section 1 from Complaints Levy to ( Complaints Levy ).
Item 3 replaces within the definition of health insurance business in subsection 3(1) the reference to section 67 of the National Health Act 1953 with a reference to the proposed Private Health Insurance Act.
Item 4 inserts in subsection 3(1) a definition of complaints levy day as the day specified by the Private Health Insurance (Complaints Levy) Rules under proposed new subsection 5(2)
Item 5 inserts a definition in subsection 3(1) of supplementary complaints levy day as a day specified in a determination by the Minister under the proposed new section 5.
Item 6 repeals subsection 3(2) and replaces it with a new subsection which provides that other expressions used in this Act have the same meanings as in the proposed Private Health Insurance Act.
Item 7 repeals section 5, and replaces it with a new section, which imposes complaints levy on the conduct of health insurance business by private health insurers on each day specified in the Private Health Insurance (Complaints Levy) Rules as a complaints levy day for a financial year, and on each day determined by the Minister as a supplementary complaints levy day for a financial year. There may be no more than four complaint levy days and two supplementary complaint levy days for a financial year.
Item 8 repeals section 6, and replaces it with a new section. Proposed subsection (1) defines a complaints levy day as that specified in the Private Health Insurance (Complaints Levy) Rules and a supplementary complaints levy day as that determined by the Minister by legislative instrument.
Subsection (2) provides that the rate of levy must be based on the number of complying health insurance policies on issue, may be different for complying health insurance policies under which different numbers of people are insured, may be set at zero, and must not exceed:
- 50 cents a quarter in respect of complying health insurance policies under which only one person is insured; and
- $1 a quarter in respect of other policies.
These rates have not been increased since the Act was passed in 1995, and are now aligned with the rates in the Council Administration Levy Act passed in 2003.
Item 9 replaces the reference in section 7 to the registered organization conducting the health insurance business to each private health insurer conducting the health insurance business.
Item 10 repeals section 8, and replaces it with a new section under which the Minister may, by legislative instrument, make Private Health Insurance (Complaints Levy) Rules providing for matters required, permitted, necessary or convenient to carry out or give effect to this Act.