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Is it time for a health insurance check-up?

How healthy is your health insurance coverage?

A growing number of New Zealanders have health insurance, and are using it to help them pay for everything from glasses to major surgery. The Financial Services Council says more than 1.4 million New Zealanders have health cover, and insurers paid almost $1.4 billion in claims in 2020 alone.

For many people, it’s reassuring to know that if they need a medical procedure, they can avoid having to navigate the waiting lists of the public health system.

But, as with most insurance policies, what was a good fit for you five years ago may no longer be the most appropriate option. So, it’s worth checking regularly to make sure your health insurance is still a fit for your needs.

Here’s what you can think about.

What do you want your health insurance to do?

There are a number of different types of health insurance cover to choose from. Comprehensive policies cover a wide range of health conditions and may pay out for everything from a new pair of glasses through to major surgery, depending on your circumstances and the type of cover you have. 

At the other end of the spectrum, you can find “everyday” policies that cover things like visits to the GP or the dentist, and leave you to the public system for anything that requires more medical intervention. A really common type of policy used by New Zealanders is the “major medical” sort that pays out for serious health conditions, usually those that require surgery.

When you consider what sort of cover is appropriate for you, you’ll want to ponder what you want it to do.

Would you like to know that everything is taken care of, so you can get any treatment you need without worrying about the cost? Or are you happy to pick up some of the smaller bills yourself, knowing that you have insurance for bigger events?

Are there any “extras” you’d like to include?

Some health insurers offer more cover than others for things like non-Pharmac medications, treatment overseas or preventative treatment. If these things are important to you, we can help you understand what cover is available.

How does it fit into your budget?

The cost of health insurance varies according to the type of cover you have, but you can reduce your premiums by opting for a higher excess (provided you have a rainy-day fund in place and can afford to pay some of the costs at claim time), or by not including some of the optional extras, like GP visits. 

Plus, some lifestyle changes you might make, like quitting smoking or getting fit, can not only leave you feeling healthier, but may also translate into lower health insurance premiums. Get in touch to learn more.

Have you had kids?

Generally speaking, the healthier you are, the more likely you are to be able to get a comprehensive level of health cover. That’s because insurers assess insurance applications based on a number of factors, including your medical history. Depending on the past or current medical condition you have, they might decide to exclude it from cover (either temporarily or permanently) or cover it by charging a higher premium. 

The bottom line is that you can give your kids a headstart by taking out their insurance policies before they develop any health issues at all. If they keep the same cover through their life, any conditions they might develop in the future will likely be covered. Plus, if you have children, adding them to your health insurance is usually very affordable. 

We’re here to help

Would you like to check that your health cover is still appropriate for your needs? Get in touch. We can walk you through the detail of your policy and help you give your health insurance a thorough check-up. 

 

 

Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information provided is subject to continuous change and may not reflect current developments or address your situation. Before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article, please use your discretion and seek independent guidance.

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