30 Apr Health Insurance For Kiwi’s And Why It Matters

With an aging population, year upon year the public health system is being squeezed and pushed to its limit. We constantly hear stories of over crowded public hospitals and emergency rooms. Especially during winter time our hospitals are always at full capacity.

I’ve even read media reports where patients with injures and illnesses have even had to wait up to 24 hrs just to see someone. Stories of such over crowding and conditions resemble something out of a horror movie such as some patients were forced into the corridors lying in their beds because there are no rooms available.

I absolutely know that our doctors, nurses and health care workers do an amazing job and work very hard from the resources that they have but unfortunately free adequate public health is something in the past. Increasingly today NZs need to look after there families and themselves through private health insurance.

The amount paid out in health insurance has doubled over the past decade, reaching $1 billion in claims last year.

New statistics from the Health Funds Association for the year ending in March show paid claims have increased almost 4 percent since last year, despite the number of people with health insurance falling slightly.

Twenty nine percent of New Zealanders have health insurance, most of them are covered by elective surgical and specialist policies.Health Funds Association chief executive Roger Styles said the public purse could only afford so much, so having a significant amount financed by insurance helped the public sector.

He said 80 percent of the costs were for elective surgeries and specialist costs that could be met more quickly through the private sector.Mr Styles said the amount paid out would only increase because of the advent of new technology, treatments and medicines.He said that combined with an aging population meant the trend of increasing health costs was set to continue.

Mr. Styles said insurance claims were a sizeable and growing contribution to health spending.

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