While 1.4 million people in New Zealand are covered by Health insurance, this is still less than a third of the population. While we have a good public health system, there are still many reasons that you may want to have health insurance cover in place.
From our experience most people don't get value from the 'dollar swap' insurance policies, where you pay a premium to cover yourself for doctors visits, pharmaceutical costs, opticians or dental costs, but you may be the exception.
Most of our clients choose to put in place Major Medical and Specialist insurance cover. This pays for the big bills - if you have to go into hospital to have surgery, and don't want to wait for a long time on the public waiting list, or if you want to have a colonoscopy or MRI without waiting for months, to make sure that there is nothing wrong with you (hopefully!).
There is a big difference in the quality of health or medical insurance cover, and the quality is continuing changing. Moneyworks subscribes to research to help us keep track with all our insurances, and with health insurance, to make sure that are recommending the most suitable quality of health insurance for our clients.
We prefer health insurance for our clients that will cover Non-Pharmac approved drugs, and that has guaranteed policy wording, that can't be changed at the whim of the insurer.
It is important that you choose a good policy at the start, as when you have something go wrong, you then have a 'pre-existing condition' and it can be difficult to move health insurance policies, as the condition won't be covered with a new insurer, but should still be covered with your existing insurer.
You can reduce the cost for health insurance by taking an excess. The higher your excess, the lower the premium, but then you have to remember to have that money set aside to pay for that excess when you claim.
The costs of insurance will increase as you get older, particularly from age 65, so deciding whether to have health insurance in your retirement (or to self fund) is a crucial part of your retirement planning.
The provision of employer provided health insurance is highest preferred employee benefit in New Zealand according to seek, and has some benefits - including being able to sign up your family, and often all pre-existing conditions are covered. Moneyworks can help you if you are an employer looking to provide this benefit for your team. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0800 225 621.