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Health insurance premiums & the Human Rights Act

Complying with human rights law has just got easier for health insurers with the release of a new Human Rights Commission publication.

Guidelines: Health Insurance Premiums and the Human Rights Act 1993 will help to clarify an area many people find confusing.

While it is generally inconsistent with New Zealand's human rights law to charge different prices to people of different ages, the Human Rights Act provides a specific exemption relating to insurance.

The Commission hopes the Guidelines will help ensure a better understanding of the relationship between health insurance and human rights law and how it works.

The Guidelines represent the culmination of several years of co-operative work between the insurance industry, actuaries and the Commission.

Production of the Guidelines was prompted by a number of complaints to the Commission which eventually led to an agreement that the production of guidelines would be useful.

The Guidelines also fulfill one of the Commission's statutory functions which is to produce, where appropriate, guidelines for the avoidance of acts or practices that may be inconsistent with the Human Rights Act.

Although the Commission's guidelines are not legally enforceable, Courts do have regard for them when adjudicating on issues that arise in the related area.

Read the guidelines:

You can read 'Guidelines: Health Insurance Premiums and the Human Rights Act 1993' here