Having health insurance or 'medical cover' is important for several reasons.
Uninsured people can receive less medical care and less timely care, and can have worse health outcomes, and lack of insurance can be a financial burden for them and their loved ones.
So, what does the Public System provide?
An acute patient is one who requires immediate assessment or treatment.
- All emergency treatment such as heart attacks and appendicitis are provided with care immediately and covered.
Non Acute Services
An elective patient requires treatment that is regarded as less urgent under the public health system, and whose surgery can be scheduled for a future date.
- Depends on location, severity, staffing levels, funding, capacity.
What does Private Health Insurance provide?
Non Acute Services
- Choice of when the treatment takes place:
- E.g. May want to hold off surgery until after school holidays.
- Choice of where and who is conducting the surgery:
- E.g. Treatment does not need to be conducted in the place of residence could be in a city closer to family members to have on hand to support.
- Access to the latest technology and procedures:
- E.g. Brachytherarpy for treating prostate cancer, not available through the public system.
- Expert assistance:
- E.g. Dedicated case manager to handle your case from start to finish.
Don’t join the queue, jump it
A recent survey found an estimated 280,000 New Zealanders currently need elective surgery, with 170,000 of these not even making the public waiting list.
Waiting could mean:
- Your condition could deteriorate
- Loss of income, if you can’t work
- Prolonged periods of pain and discomfort
Take the fast lane to recovery…
With private health insurance you can access quality health care, fast. You don’t need to compromise your quality of life while you wait for treatment. Private Health insurance can help you skip the long waiting lists for elective surgery in the public sector.
ACC and Private Health Insurance
The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) provides comprehensive no-fault personal injury cover for all New Zealand residents and visitors to New Zealand
What relationship does ACC have to health insurance?
- Top Up
- Injury during treatment
What is the difference between what ACC covers and my private health insurance?
ACC offers cover for accident and/or injury whereas your private health insurance offers cover for a medical condition that is not usually as a result of an accident or injury.
Food for thought
A recent survey found 73% of adults in New Zealand would not be able to afford elective surgery costing $5,000 or more. Even if your condition is not life threatening, not being able to receive the treatment you require straight away could have a huge impact on your life. Below are some indicative costs for common procedures.
How much can treatment cost?
The information is of a general nature and does not constitute financial advice or other professional advice. Before taking any action, you should always seek financial advice or other professional advice relevant to your personal circumstances.