There is a sociopathic policy of the leadership at ACC, which sees staff financially incentivised to push long-term claimants off ACC leading to many of them going on the benefit rather than getting rehabilitation. Now, we have proof that this policy came right from the top. National ministers set arbitrary targets for the number of long-term claimants to be booted.
The financial incentives worked even better than expected with the ‘quotas’ being exceeded by hundreds.
It’s clear that this is all part of National’s privatisation agenda. General manager of claims management Denise Cosgrove described this policy to a conference of Australian private insurance providers in the language of a private insurer:
“an absolute strategy … and we’re not reporting it as a public measure yet”. Its focus was now on high-cost claims because the “actuarial release”
“Actuarial release” means that, in the fully-funded model where an insurer has to have reserves adequate to cover the future costs of all its existing claims, the insurer doesn’t have to have such large reserves (it can ‘release’ them) because its got the claimants off its books.
That’s obviously attractive in a privatisation agenda because, by getting rid of the people who have the most serious and long-term injuries that will have the largest future costs, ACC can reduce the amount of reserves it needs to hold, which means it can achieve full-funding at an earlier.
Once fully-funded, ACC is in the same financial situation as a private insurer is required to be and, so, ready for privatisation.
If, heaven forbid, National gets a third term, ACC will be one of the last big government operations that has the potential to become a large source of private profit. You can bet the Nats would sell it – and that’s why they’re denying coverage to New Zealanders with costly injuries.