1. WHAT IS HEALTH INSURANCE?
Health Insurance is designed to complement the Public Health system.
If you have an immediately Life threatening medial situation (eg: car crash, heart attack) you are initially taken to and treated in the Public Health system. But once your situation has stabilised, any further treatment is determined by the ‘Waiting List’ for that procedure.
The length of the Waiting List is determined by the amount of money the Govt is prepared to allocate to our Hospitals.
If you have a Health Insurance policy and your condition is medically necessary (ie: not cosmetic or elective) then your Health Insurance policy will pay for your treatment in a private hospital – almost immediately.
Many people, whose conditions aren’t acute, have died waiting for treatment in the Public system; or waited in pain and agony for months or years for treatment.
With the Govt looking at ways to save money, this situation is unlikely to improve much.
2. WHO NEEDS HEALTH INSURANCE?
- Everybody who values their health !!
- Everybody who realises the cost of healthcare is enormous and that the Govt can only do so much with our tax money !!
- Everybody who understands the ‘Waiting List’ is getting longer !!
- Everybody who can imagine living in pain and agony on the waiting list – now that’s scary !!
Many wealthy people have been known to say “they’d give all their money away if they could have their health back”
3. BASE COVER
All Health Insurance policies provide a ‘Base Cover’ plus options you can add to increase the benefits you want covered.
The base cover pays for all surgical procedures, both major and minor, PLUS all ‘In-Hospital’ treatments. eg: cancer treatment.
The base cover also pays for the major diagnostic procedures like MRI’s, CT Scans, colonoscopy and laproscopy.
Also covered is numerous smaller benefits too many to mention here, but here are some;
- daily cash allowance when admitted to hospital
- minor surgery in GP rooms
- Overseas treatment benefit for procedures not available in NZ
- home nursing care treatment cost assistance
- parent accommodation allowance if your child is hospitalised
4. OPTIONAL EXTRAS – ‘SPECIALISTS & TESTS’
Most Health Insurance policies have a base cover that provides surgical and in-hospital treatment only. This base cover will also cover the cost of any specialists visits and minor tests,
but ONLY if they are within 6 months before and after a surgical procedure.
You can choose to add ‘Specialists & Tests’ to your base health insurance cover so the cost of specialists and tests not resulting in a surgical procedure may be claimed.
If your health insurance policy has an ‘excess’ this is not generally offset against these claims – but some do.
OPTIONAL EXTRAS – ‘DOCTORS, DENTAL, OPTICAL’
Some Health Insurance policies have the option to add Doctors, Dental and Optical cover.
The cost of these optional extras is very high and not recommended for most people as the amount you can claim under these options is not much more than the cost of the additional premium.
It is mostly an option offered when an employer is paying for a Health Insurance package for it’s staff as an employee benefit.
5. EXCESS OPTIONS
Health Insurance has various excess options to help you control costs.
Options are generally; NIL; $250; $500; $1,000; $2,000; $4,000; $6,000.
You can change your excess option to suit your budget.
NB: Most companies don’t apply the excess to any claims under the ‘Specialists & Tests’ option – but some do.
All Health Insurance policies have a Rate for Age premium.
A rate for age premium means the price rises each year.
As our age increases – so does the premium!!
If you find, as you get older, the cost of your Health Insurance is becoming too high for your budget, you can increase the excess to lower the cost and keep the policy when you probably need it the most – in your ‘Golden Years’.
Most older people would have some assets or equity in their house they could use to pay a $4,000 excess for a $60,000 heart operation, especially if that meant the difference between living in pain or not – or even dying or not!!
6. HOW MUCH DOES HEALTH INSURANCE COST?
NB: Health Insurance policies don’t ‘load’ the premium if you have health issues – they exclude any pre-existing medical conditions.
|$250 excess||$500 excess||“Specialists & Tests”|
|30 yr old male non-smoker||$40pm||$37pm||$18pm extra|
|30 yr old female non-smoker||$40pm||$37pm||$18pm extra|
|40 yr old male non-smoker||$53pm||$45pm||$18pm extra|
|40 yr old female non-smoker||$53pm||$49pm||$25pm extra|
|50 yr old male non-smoker||$75pm||$69pm||$23pm extra|
|50 yr old female non-smoker||$75pm||$69pm||$30pm extra|
NB:These prices are indicative only. Even if you fit one of the above profiles, the price can vary greatly between companies; and remember the “Acorn” guarantee to get you the best price possible on health insurance and beat any written quote you already have !!
DISCLAIMER: These explanations and comments are general in nature only. You must refer to the appropriate policy document wordings for full and complete understanding.
“My partner and I have used Acorn Insurance for the last four years. We have both found the service we receive to be second to none and we feel we receive comprehensive advice and full disclosure.”
– Nadine Huston