Divest for health!
Health insurers are finally starting to wake up to the health impacts of fossil fuels and the resulting impacts of climate change following clarion calls on the issue from medical bodies around the world, including the Australian Medical Association and the Royal Australian College of Physicians.
The World Health Organisation has predicted that between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause approximately 250,000 additional deaths per year from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea and heat stress.
Health insurance funds have led the broader divestment out of tobacco and in many cases munitions, acknowledging the hypocrisy of investing in products which threaten human health. Now it’s time for all Australia’s health insurers to ditch dirty fossil fuels for exactly the same reason.
Update: Three of Australia’s four biggest private health insurers, HCF, NIB and Medibank have all begun the process of divesting from fossil fuels:
- Medibank has divested its international share portfolio of fossil fuels and shifted its Australia shares to a “low-carbon” product. It says it has reduced its carbon exposure in its equity (shares) portfolio by 40-50% since 2017.
- HCF has dumped fossil fuels from their international share portfolios, but so far has done nothing about its Australian shares’ exposure to health-destroying coal, oil and gas.
- NIB has divested from primarily thermal coal and tar sands companies across both international and Australian share portfolios, but remains invested in other fossil fuels.
Three other funds, Latrobe Health Services, Doctors Health Fund and Westfund have confirmed that they are not invested in fossil fuels.
Take action! Complete this form to demand your health insurer divests from fossil fuels now.
|HEALTH INSURER||EQUITIES INVESTMENTS (AU$)*||POSITION|
|ACA Health Benefits Fund||$3.5 million||Likely to be invested in fossil fuels.|
|ahm by Medibank||See Medibank||See Medibank.|
|AIA||**||“As of October 2021, AIA has completely divested its directly-managed listed equity and fixed income exposure to coal mining and coal fired power businesses.” Likely to still be invested in coal via passive investments and likely to still be invested in oil and gas companies.|
|Australian Unity||$33 million||Invested in fossil fuels.|
|BUPA||$395 thousand||BUPA has a relatively small equity (share) investment portfolio, which is likely to be exposed to fossil fuels.|
|CBHS||$79 million||Likely to be invested in fossil fuels.|
|Cessnock District Health Benefits Fund||$1 million||Likely to be invested in fossil fuels.|
|CUA Health||$12.5 million||Likely to be invested in fossil fuels.|
|Defence Health||$167.5 million||Invested in fossil fuels.|
|Doctors Health Fund||–||“Doctors’ Health Fund has no investments in fossil fuels – including coal, gas & oil companies in addition to fossil fuel infrastructure.” Doctors’ Health Fund’s risk appetite and capital requirements prevent them from investing in shares, so they won’t be investing in fossil fuel companies in the future.|
|Emergency Services Health||–||Unlikely to be invested in fossil fuels.|
|GMHBA||$90 million||Likely to be invested in fossil fuels – currently reviewing position.|
|GU Health||–||See Australian Unity.|
|HBF||$384.6 million||Likely to be invested in fossil fuels – currently reviewing position.|
|HCF||$588 thousand||Announced divestment from fossil fuels. Has completed international shares divestment in March 2017. Promised to develop a plan for divestment of its Australian shares but has so far done nothing.|
|Health Care Insurance||$3.4 million||Likely to be invested in fossil fuels.|
|Health Partners||$39 million||Likely to be invested in fossil fuels.|
|HIF||$33.9 million||Likely to be invested in fossil fuels.|
|Latrobe Health Services||$43.4 million||“Latrobe has never and does not intend to hold equity investments in any fossil fuel industries and or organisations.“|
|Medibank||$266.7 million||Completed divestment of international shares in March 2018. Shifted its Australian share portfolio into a “low-carbon” investment product in February 2019. However, Market Forces is unable to discern just how “low-carbon” this investment portfolio is. We are waiting for a response with further details from Medibank.|
|Mildura Health Fund||$9.3 million||Likely to be invested in fossil fuels.|
|Navy Health||$42.6 million||Likely to be invested in fossil fuels.|
|NIB||$206.5 million||Has divested from companies primarily involved in coal and tar sands across its international and Australia share portfolios. Presumed to still be invested in other fossil fuels.|
|Nurses and Midwives Health||–||Unlikely to be invested in fossil fuels.|
|onemedifund||–||Unlikely to be invested in fossil fuels.|
|Peoplecare||$19.8 million||Likely to be invested in fossil fuels.|
|Phoenix Health Fund||$7.9 million||As of May 2022, is invested in “fossil fuel related companies,” specifically 1.75% of the portfolio.|
|Police Health||$17.6 million||Likely to be invested in fossil fuels.|
|Queensland Country Health Fund||$29.2 million||Likely to be invested in fossil fuels.|
|RBHS||–||Unlikely to be invested in fossil fuels.|
|rt health||–||Unlikely to be invested in fossil fuels.|
|St Luke’s Health||$36.5 million||Likely to be invested in fossil fuels.|
|Teachers Health Fund||$73.7 million||Teachers Health has shifted its international share portfolio to exclude coal and tar sands companies as well as those with large fossil fuel reserves. Has yet to do anything about its fossil fuel exposure in its domestic share portfolio.|
|Transport Health||–||Unlikely to be invested in fossil fuels.|
|TUH Health Fund||$30.2 million||Likely to be invested in fossil fuels.|
|Westfund||$58.4 million||“Westfund does not hold any investment in companies or enterprises involved with the fossil fuel industry.“|
*As at 27 October 2021 (Source: APRA).
**According to Insure Our Future’s AIA briefing paper, AIA invests around 10% of its US$200 billion investment portfolio in equities.