We are committed to protecting all personal information we obtain, in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988. This includes the Australian Privacy Principles, which specify how we must handle, hold, use, access, and correct personal information.
What is personal information?
Personal information is any information about you that could reasonably be expected to identify you.
Sensitive information is a subset of personal information which is subject to greater controls. It includes health information and union membership details. For the purposes of this policy, any reference to personal information includes sensitive information.
Why do we collect and use personal information?
We collect personal information primarily to enable us to provide private health insurance benefits and health care services and programs. We may also use your personal information for direct marketing purposes, unless you opt out of marketing communications.
Policy holder and membership
The health insurance policy holder is the person in whose name the membership is held and holds the legal responsibility for the membership. We direct all correspondence to the policy holder unless we are responding to a request from another person covered by that policy, or a suitable alternative authority or direction is in place.
What personal information do we collect?
We only collect the personal information we require to provide you with products, services, or information, or to manage our relationship with you. This information will vary depending on the nature of our relationship and the products or services you’ve used. We only collect information with your consent or as permitted by law.
How do I provide consent?
By making an enquiry about our products or services, becoming a member, patient or client, making a claim for benefits or otherwise making use of services offered by us (including where the services are provided by organisations contracted by us), you are regarded as having consented to the following:
The collection of personal information by us, including from third parties; and
The use and disclosure of personal information;
in accordance with this policy.
If the policy held by you includes anyone aged 16 and over, it is important that you obtain their approval to provide their personal information to us. If you provide such information, we will consider that you have obtained this consent. We will also assume that you have authority to provide us with the personal information of anyone covered by the policy who is aged under 16.
How do we collect personal information?
Where it is reasonable and practicable to do so we will collect personal information directly from you, such as when you contact us by phone or email, lodge a claim, use our website or an app we have established, or receive a health care service.
Cookies and Google Analytics
Cookies are small pieces of data sent by your browser when you use many websites, including our website. The cookies are stored on your computer or device. They capture information, such as your viewing preferences, to make your use of the website more efficient.
We collect cookies data to help us understand which pages are viewed the most, when peak usage times occur along with other information that helps us improve the content and make navigation easier.
You can choose to disable cookies through your browser settings.
We may also use Google Analytics and similar tools from other organisations such as Facebook and YouTube to better understand how our website is used. This makes information stored in server logs available to these companies. The information is aggregated and does not identify individuals.
Third party vendors, including Google, show our ads on sites across the internet. 3rd party cookies from Google and other organisations analyse website visits and provide ads based on these visits using applications that include:
Remarketing with Google Analytics,
Google Display Network Impression Reporting,
DoubleClick Platform integrations, and
Google Analytics Demographics and Interest Reporting.
You can choose to disable Google ad personalisation here.
What about linked websites?
On our website, we provide links to third party websites. Since we do not control these sites, we encourage you to review the privacy policies posted on these third-party sites. We are not responsible for any practices on linked websites that might breach your privacy.
Information collected from third parties
We may collect information about you from another person or organisation. For example, other individuals on your policy, your hospital or a health provider, or another person that you have provided authorisation to deal with us.
Who can access personal information?
Any dependant aged 16 years and over may access their own personal information.
Any other adult member under a policy can access personal information, including financial, billing, benefit and health information about other members on the policy via our Member Services Online facility or upon request.
You must discuss your options with us if you do not want to provide access to your personal information to other members of your policy.
When do we disclose personal information?
We will only disclose information to third parties when:
- You have authorised or would reasonably expect us to provide information;
- Another organisation or person provides a service for, or to, us and has an agreement with us that includes confidentiality provisions;
- We obtain expert advice such as from medical referees, claims consultants and legal advisers;
- You receive a health care service or participate in a health program provided by a third party on our behalf;
- You receive a health care service from one of the co-located Health Hub providers who provide dental, optometry, podiatry, massage, physiotherapy and audiology services - in which case, as an integrated health care centre, your personal and/or health information may be shared between health care providers as relevant to your clinical needs, and with administrative staff for billing and appointment bookings;
- We use or assist service providers, other health insurers and other third parties to prevent and detect fraud;
- Required by law; or
- The safety of our members or if the safety of others in the community is at risk.
At times we may send your information to organisations outside Australia that we have contracted with (directly or indirectly via an Australian organisation) to provide services on our behalf. We will only do this where we are satisfied that the recipient of the information will handle and protect your information in a manner that is consistent with the Australian Privacy Principles.
In the event of unauthorised access to, or disclosure of, your personal information, Union Health has procedures in place to immediately take appropriate action including notifying you, consistent with our Privacy Act obligations.
How can you correct personal information?
We will take reasonable steps to ensure the personal information collected, used or disclosed is accurate, complete and up to date.
If you believe that your personal information is not accurate, please advise us. We will amend your records promptly unless we disagree with the change requested. If that occurs, we will explain the reason and document it on your records.
Is there a cost?
There is no charge for correcting your personal information or requesting access to it. However, you may be charged a processing fee for retrieving and providing the information depending on the complexity of the request. We will advise if a charge may apply when we respond to your request.
How do we communicate with you?
Where you have provided us with an email address, including by using one of our Apps, we will use that as the main method of communicating with you, unless you have nominated another preferred method. We may also contact you by phone, mail or SMS.
You can choose how we communicate with you by letting our Customer Contact Centre know.
Who do I contact if I want more information or to make a complaint?
You should also contact our Privacy Officer if you have any concerns or a complaint about how we have handled your personal information or have complied with the Australian Privacy Principles. We will acknowledge receipt within three working days and aim to resolve any complaint as soon as possible.
Office of Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC)
Further information about the Privacy Act can be found at OAIC's website. You can also contact the OAIC if you are not satisfied with our response or the way we have handled your complaint.
Office of Australian Information Commissioner
Phone: 1300 363 992
It has been estimated that fraud costs the private health insurance industry millions of dollars annually. This amount would otherwise be available as benefits to cover the legitimate costs of members.
Simply put, fraud is gaining advantage by deception. It is a crime and any persons found to be involved in such activity may be prosecuted.
Union Health is committed to discouraging fraudulent behaviour. We actively monitor claims, regularly conduct member and provider audits to verify that services charged have been received and investigate concerns regarding member or provider behaviour brought to our attention.
You can help us protect the interests of all our members:
Verify benefit statements that you receive from us. Check that all services were received on the dates provided.
Prior to authorising electronic payments via your membership card, check that the services you are being charged for were actually received.
Treat your Union Health membership card like your credit card. Don't leave it with your provider.
Allow only persons named on your membership card to use the card.
Notify us promptly if your card has been lost or stolen or if your contact details change.
We have employees that specifically deal with fraud matters. We protect the identity of anyone providing information; you can also remain anonymous. Preventing and detecting fraud saves you and every other member money.
If you suspect health insurance fraud, tell us about it: free call 1300 360 701, or contact the Fraud Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org or PO Box 265, Fortitude Valley, QLD, 4006.