Health Insurance. What is it, why do we need it?

How it works

When a person takes out a health insurance policy, they join a group that together shares the expense of injury or illness. Health insurance pools the financial resources of many to pay the medical cost of group members who require specialists and/or hospitalisation to maintain their health.

So what about the public health system?

The New Zealand public health system gives immediate treatment for acute conditions (life threatening). If you have a condition which does not need immediate treatment, even if it is serious, then you could end up on a public waiting list.

Waiting lists versus private treatment.

According to current research, the average time it took a person to get from their GP to surgery was 100 days more in the public system when compared to the private system*.

That wait time, of course, also affects work and family. Consider the time that you may need to potentially take off work before or after treatment as well as the required help from family members, who also had to take time off work.

Making health insurance affordable for you.

Focusing on the big risks, the treatment that could potentially affect you the most financially is the usually the best place to start. Skipping day to day cover (i.e. GP cover) and choosing hospital only cover gives you great protection and security for a lower premium.

You could also choose a higher excess, which means that if you do require any treatment, you pay an initial agreed sum towards the treatment before the insurer continues with the payment of the claim. The higher the excess you choose they lower your monthly premium becomes.

If you also require life, trauma or income protection insurance bundling these with the family health insurance can also dramatically discount your health insurance premiums depending on which insurer you are looking at.

How to find the best policy for you?

It is always best to speak to an adviser. They know the market and will also explain why a certain product is best for your needs and circumstances. Not all insurance policies are created equal, and some insurers are more lenient around certain pre-existing conditions than others, so to get the best for you it is best to speak to someone that knows the insurer inside out. Give us a bell anytime at Absolute Insurance to have a discussion about what you are looking for.

* Health Funds Association of New Zealand and the New Zealand Private Surgical Hospitals Association




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