Health insurance helps protect you and your family from financial stress due to illness or injury
Health insurance is an important safety net, allowing you and your family to access the best medical care when you need it.
Whether you realise it or not, your health is everything to you, so helping protect it is crucial. While you may be in perfect health now, it’s very possible that you may become unwell at some stage of your life. You will need to be able to get back to full health as soon as possible, and this is where health insurance is key. The major benefits of health insurance include:
Get the right care faster, so you can get well sooner.
In the public system, non-urgent often means a waiting list. With health insurance (often also called health cover or medical insurance), you can access medical specialists, get diagnostic tests and be booked in for surgery far quicker, so you can focus on recovering and getting back to your usual life. This may mean getting back to work as soon as possible, so you can keep supporting your family and paying your bills.
By avoiding the waiting times commonly associated with the New Zealand public health system, you can also avoid deteriorating health and reduced quality of life while waiting for treatment.
If you needed treatment, wouldn’t it be better to be able to choose your preferred doctor and when and where treatment occurs? Health insurance gives you options you might not otherwise have access to without paying the very high costs of private healthcare.
In the event of an accident, you'll usually be covered by ACC. However, even if you’re covered by ACC and need to see a specialist, have a diagnostic procedure (such as a MRI scan) or have non-acute surgery, the public system will put you on a waiting list. This is where health insurance can help.
It also pays to keep in mind that ACC won't cover you for a variety of matters, including illnesses, conditions relating to ageing, and emotional issues.
Health insurance can meet up to 100% of your medical expenses, less any excess you elect to pay when the policy is established.
Usually, pre-existing medical conditions are not covered by any new health insurance policy you establish. This can be an obstacle, especially for older individuals. However, selected New Zealand insurers are more welcoming in this regard, such as covering some pre-existing medical conditions after an exclusion period. This is where our advisers can assist you with finding the right insurer to meet your needs.
The Pharmaceutical Management Agency, better known as Pharmac, is a New Zealand public entity that decides which medicines and pharmaceutical products are subsidised for use in the public health system. Naturally, Pharmac’s taxpayer-funded budget only stretches so far, and there are many treatments that Pharmac simply cannot afford to fund.
Rapidly increasing pharmaceutical costs, especially for non-Pharmac-funded cancer treatments, leaves many New Zealanders with huge pharmaceutical bills each year. This can lead to tough decisions for some people, such as mortgaging their home to meet medical costs.
Suitable health insurance will either meet the cost of these treatments or provide a lump sum to assist paying for non-Pharmac cancer treatments. However, not all health insurers, including the country’s largest provider of health insurance, provide this as a standard feature on their policies. This means that many New Zealanders who already have medical insurance and have been diligently paying their premiums (regular payments for insurance) for many years may not have the cover they thought, and only find this out at the worst possible time. The good news is that this can be quickly rectified, for example, the country’s largest medical insurer has introduced an add-on policy to meet this need. If you think you may benefit from a no obligation and free discussion regarding this situation, please get in touch.
Many insurance companies now provide the ability for you to purchase health insurance online. In most cases, this is not recommended owing to the following reasons:
Our financial advisers - in this case commonly called insurance brokers - can assist by helping you avoid the four pitfalls listed above. Here are some other advantages offered by exploring health insurance with one of our advisers:
You can also gain confidence knowing that here at Become Wealth we aren’t an insurance provider and aren’t owned by one (unlike some financial advice firms!). This is one reason why you know your interests are being put first. Another is that our advisers are all paid a salary instead of commission. They also have no incentive to promote one product over another.
As is the case with other insurance policy types, the level of health cover a person needs can rapidly change depending on a wide variety of life events. Your developing personal situation can combine with the constantly improving nature of the insurance market to mean that yearly reviews of your levels of existing insurance are a necessity. It also pays to check that your health insurance covers you for what you want it too - such as non-Pharmac treatments. Please contact us if you would like to review your current policy or policies.
With your and your family’s health at stake, what have you got to lose by making a phone call to check your situation? For a free, no obligation chat with financial adviser (often called an insurance broker) about your situation, call 0508 232 663 or leave your details below.
If you’re ready to get on the road to wherever you want to go or a Financial Health Check, now’s good. Tell us how we can help and we’ll be in touch.
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