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 committed to be fossil fuel free by 30 June 2019. NIB and HCF have dumped fossil fuels from their international share portfolios, but have so far done nothing about their Australian shares’ exposure to health-destroying coal, oil and gas. Three other funds, Latrobe Health Services, Doctors Health Fund and Westfund have confirmed that they are not invested in fossil fuels.

Take action! Complete the form below to ask your health insurer to divest from fossil fuels. 

HEALTH INSURER EQUITIES INVESTMENTS (AU$)* POSITION
ACA Health Benefits Fund Unlikely to be invested in fossil fuels.
ahm by Medibank See Medibank See Medibank
Australian Unity $35 million Invested in fossil fuels.
BUPA Unlikely to be invested in fossil fuels. Bupa has confirmed that they don’t have equity (share) investments.
CBHS $57m Likely to be invested in fossil fuels
Cessnock District Health Benefits Fund Unlikely to be invested in fossil fuels
CUA Health Unlikely to be invested in fossil fuels.
Defence Health $61m 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 $23m Likely to be invested in fossil fuels – currently reviewing position
GU Health $9m See Australian Unity
HBF $277m Likely to be invested in fossil fuels – currently reviewing position
HCF $244m 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 $1m Likely to be invested in fossil fuels
Health Partners Unlikely to be invested in fossil fuels
health.com.au See GMHBA
HIF $17m Likely to be invested in fossil fuels
Latrobe Health Services Latrobe has never and does not intend to hold equity investments in any fossil fuel industries and or organisations
Medibank $443m Completed divestment of international shares in March 2018. Has set a date of 30 June 2019 for shifting Australian share portfolio into a low-carbon investment product.
Mildura Health Fund $3m Likely to be invested in fossil fuels
Navy Health $27m Likely to be invested in fossil fuels
NIB $93m Has divested from fossil fuels in their international share portfolio in March 2016. Is still invested in fossil fuels in their Australian share portfolio.
Nurses and Midwives Health Unlikely to be invested in fossil fuels
onemedifund Unlikely to be invested in fossil fuels
Peoplecare $11m Likely to be invested in fossil fuels
Phoenix Health Fund Unlikely to be invested in fossil fuels
Police Health $8m Likely to be invested in fossil fuels
Queensland Country Health Fund $6m 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 $13m Likely to be invested in fossil fuels
Teachers Health Fund $24m Likely to be invested in fossil fuels. Has recently updated their investment policy to avoid “unacceptable damage to the environment” where “practical, reasonable and appropriate”. The updated policy is still to be implemented.
Transport Health $1m Likely to be invested in fossil fuels
TUH Health Fund $23m Likely to be invested in fossil fuels
Westfund Westfund does not hold any investment in companies or enterprises involved with the fossil fuel industry.

*As at 30 June 2016 (Source: APRA)

TAKE ACTION – COMPLETE THE FORM ABOVE TO TELL YOUR HEALTH INSURER TO DIVEST!