There are quite a few health insurance options as well as insurers who provide private health cover. For those who want to know the difference between health insurance and medical insurance is; the answer is nothing, they are both the same. It’s just that some companies called it health insurance and some call is medical insurance.
What health insurance options do I have?
Several companies provide health insurance, but firstly, it’s important to understand what cover you want, then find the insurer who will give you the right protection at a premium that you are prepared to pay.
This will take care of the major hospitalisation costs in a private hospital and maximum claims per year can be from $60,000 per year to $500,000 depending on the insurer. Just like vehicle and house insurance, you can choose an excess per claim. If, for example, you wanted a $250 excess, then you would have to pay the first $250 per claim, and the insurer will pay the rest. The higher the excess you choose to have, the cheaper this will make your premiums.
Keep in mind, that choosing a higher excess to keep your premiums down is nice, but that can quickly be forgotten about at claim time when it is time to pay it. My advice is to choose an excess you could realistically pay if you needed to claim. There is no need for selecting a $2500 excess if there is no way you could afford to pay it. Choose wisely, and as finances approve, you can always increase your excess and reduce your premiums later.
Below are some additional Health Insurance Options that insurers may make available to you.
Specialists and Tests – Optional Addon:
This addon is one you may want to consider adding to your policy. Some insurers will offer you this extended addon because there are times where you may visit a specialist, and the cost is not paid for by the public health system, but they take care of you without any hospitalisation.
With cases like this, your private health insurance would pay these costs.
Keep in mind that with most Base Cover there can be Specialists and Tests cover, but only if these visits and tests lead to hospitalisation within six months. The difference between having this optional add-on is that there is no requirement to be hospitalised.
Dentists, GP’s and Optical Cover:
This is where your premiums can increase substantially. My advice is to calculate your numbers, and find out how much you already spend on Dentists, GP’s and Optical and another cover options you may be offered and then figure whether the premium difference is worth paying.
Using the following example; Let’s say you and your family spend $2200 per year on Dentists, GP’s and Optical and the additional premiums for this optional cover is $2500, is it worth paying an extra $2500 to claim $2200? Of course, this is an example only, and you should do the numbers yourself and decide whether it’s worth the extra premium.
Is Private Health Insurance Necessary?
Overall, I think we currently have a pretty good health system, but over the last few years it’s been under budget and resource constraints, and unless you have an acute condition, you need to be prepared to wait. It’s the waiting lists that concern me, and as criteria changes so can your position on the waiting list, or if criteria change enough, you may not stay on it at all.
According to the Health Funds Association:
- Over 1.3 Million Kiwis think it is important enough to have private health insurance.
- For the first time, private health insurance claims exceeded $1B.
- Average time to surgery from GP Visit 177 Days for Public System and 76 Days Private
To answer the question ‘Is Private Health Insurance Necessary?” I think so, and if you don’t have it, you should contact us, and if you do have it, you should regularly review it because there are more health insurance options for you today than there were five years ago.
If you have any questions about this article or private health insurance, please contact us anytime.