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    New Zealanders are covered by the public healthcare system and ACC. We have safety nets in place for acute surgery and ACC covers us for accidents at work and home. You get the immediate care you need without a huge bill at the end.

    But would you be able to pay for important ‘non-urgent’ treatments that you or your family may have to wait for: those treatments that can be put off at least a week?

    New Zealand’s public health system provides for emergency situations where life is endangered (such as a car accident), but for other health problems – even cancer – you can spend months or even years on a waiting list. That time sitting on a waitlist affects both work and family.

    Delays in treatment can mean conditions deteriorate, and as our population ages the system will come under further strain.

    Growing wait times for treatments.

    According to RNZ in January 2023, “the latest available figures from Te Whatu Ora/Health NZ show there were 30,000 people waiting longer than the four-month target for their planned surgery. Many were living with conditions that had a huge impact on their lives and families.”

    Knowing they won’t have to sit on our ever-growing waitlist is one of the main drivers for people to take out private health insurance.

    Health insurance can make a huge difference.

    “You don’t have to wait for public services, and you can select who you want to see if you’ve got a preference for a specialist or a surgeon,” says Kerry.

    Medical cover provides access to a greater network of healthcare providers and facilities. You can choose the doctors and hospitals you prefer, all without having to worry about the cost.

    How does health insurance work?

    “Health insurance offers you shorter wait times, more choice, and cover as you age”, says Yamini Agarwal, Head of Insurance at Global Finance. The benefits are:

    • Greater flexibility with regard to where, when how and by whom you get treated
    • Financial relief from hefty healthcare bills
    • Quicker treatment and greater certainty by avoiding long queues for treatment in the public health system
    • Access to the latest medical procedures
    • Cover for health issues that may arise later.

    Health insurance can provide peace of mind. You can focus on your health and recovery without the long wait times or worrying about the financial implications of your medical care.

    Getting in early is key.

    When you’re young and healthy it can be hard to imagine needing significant health care. Health insurance does not seem like a priority in your life.

    Actually, that’s not quite the case. You also need to think about your future self. When you’re younger, health insurance premiums are much cheaper. The perfect time to take out health insurance is before you develop any health problems you may not be able to get cover for later.

    Case study – help when it was needed most.

    We asked Yamini Agarwal at Global Finance to tell us just how starting early with health insurance has helped her clients.

    Taking out health insurance before you need it

    ‘Jane’ (we’ve changed her name) had taken out medical cover at a younger age when her health was good, and she had no pre-existing conditions. However, she started experiencing knee pain, so visited her GP.
    Jane’s doctor tried to resolve the issue through painkillers, but Jane felt no real relief. As she had medical insurance and knew that all costs would be covered, she requested that her GP refer her to a specialist.
    She was physically examined and sent for X-rays and an MRI. The specialist diagnosed Jane with knee medial compartment osteoarthritis, and although she was reasonably young, knee replacement surgery was recommended.
    This was not a treatment path Jane was initially keen to take, so she chose guided steroid injections as an alternative treatment.
    Finally, however, Jane opted for the recommended knee surgery as guided steroid injections provided short-term pain relief only.
    The entire cost was covered under medical insurance.

    The outcome?

    • Jane did not have to wait in long public queues and she got a diagnosis and treatment in a timely manner.
    • She got access to the best specialists and treatment available.
    • Jane was able to choose her own treatment path.
    • She was under no financial stress as medical insurance paid around $40,000 for the total cost of her diagnosis and treatment.

    Choosing the right health plan.

    Health insurance can be the safety net when you need it most, but taking out insurance is complex. There are many different types of health insurance plans available, each with its own set of benefits, coverage limits, and costs.

    A knowledgeable insurance broker like the Global Finance team will save you a massive amount of time. Working with several insurance companies, we will find you the best coverage at the best price. You won’t have to individually compare each policy and you’ll have great service right when you really need it: at claim time.

    Insurance policies include a lot of technical terms. Our team will go through the application form with you, clarifying what insurance companies need to know and why. We will also stress the importance of full disclosure. Working with you, we can help you list your full history. If your insurance company does not have your full medical history, they could accuse you of intentional ‘non-disclosure’ thereby voiding your insurance cover right when it’s needed most.

    Quotes for health insurance

    Make sure your health insurance covers you for what you need: high-quality treatment in a timely manner, so you focus on getting better. It will cost you no more to use our services as an insurance broker than to buy directly from an insurance company and when you need us most, we’ll be there to help process your claim. Have a chat with an experienced Global Finance insurance advisor today.

    The information and articles published are true and accurate to the best of the Global Finance Services Ltd knowledge. The information given in this article should not be substituted for personalised financial advice. Financial advice should always be sought independently which is personalised depending upon your needs , goals, and circumstances. No person or persons who rely directly or indirectly upon information contained in this article may hold Global Financial Services Ltd or its employees liable.