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"A penny for your thoughts"

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sydney health insurers billed for brothel sex

HEALTH funds have been paying rebates to members who get sexual services which cost $60 were billed as a massage or as acupuncture and attracted a health fund rebate of $40 in Sydney brothels a fraud investigation has found. Health funds uncovered the practice after chasing up Chinese community newspaper advertisements offering to provide "young attractive masseuse with a health fund rebate". Others were identified because all their clients were males aged 36-72 who were charged for acupuncture treatments over consecutive days.

The health fund rebates provided to brothels are just a small part of the fraudulent claims made on private health insurers. Unscrupulous optometrists has a fair share too. Almost half of the optical stores targeted by health fund investigators offered to pretend the sunglasses they sold were prescription items so the customer could claim a health fund rebate. It's estimated fraudulent health fund claims could be adding about 2 per cent to the cost of the health insurance business every year.

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