New Zealand has a fantastic healthcare system, especially compared to other places in the world – so why is health insurance so important? And how can you make sure that you keep yours and your family’s health and finances in good shape should things go wrong?
Our resident health insurance expert, Goran Loncar, takes a look at everything you need to know about health insurance.
Our public health system is fantastic, but it does unfortunately bring with it long waiting lists. Being able to take advantage of our private healthcare system means no queues, no waiting, and priority access to care. When you or your child is ill, being able to get taken care of immediately, and with the best care possible, brings much-needed comfort and peace of mind.
So many young people don’t think they need health insurance – and to an extent, they’re right. They’re far less likely to make a claim during their younger years than, say, their parents or grandparents. However, should you get sick while you’re young, you could end up with pre-existing conditions that aren’t included later on. As we say, once you’re on the books – you’re on the books! So instead, we recommend getting health insurance early (generally at a much lower premium) to ensure that everything is covered – and will remain covered, even as you get older.
Health insurance isn’t just about making sure you’ve got the medical care you need. It’s also about making sure that, should you or one of your family fall ill or be injured, that it won’t affect your finances in a negative way. After all, if you’re not covered by ACC, each ultrasound can cost up to $500, and an MRI can be upwards of $1,500. Needing to shell that out in one go can significantly cut into the family’s savings or cashflow.
Not having health insurance can also mean missing out on the kind of financial support that makes dealing with a seriously stressful situation so much easier. One of our financial advisers had a client who had insurance for more than 15 years before deciding to cancel it. Only a few months later, he went in to get a mole checked and discovered it was deeply cancerous. Not only did he have to pay for his care himself (which could be anywhere from $15,000-$140,000 for private chemotherapy treatment), he also missed out on a lump sum payout of $200,000 that his previous insurance policy pays out upon a cancer diagnosis.
As a father, I want my kids to have the best treatment. Paying $20 a month for my son to have health insurance has meant that all his x-rays and specialist visits are covered. If something more serious happens, I know that we won’t have to worry about long waiting lists or the financial burdens that can come if someone in the family can’t work or medical costs are high.
We’re not in the business of over-insuring, so it’s about figuring out what kind of insurance you truly need. Saying that, this kind of peace of mind is essential for me, so I truly believe that everyone should have health insurance if they can. If you’re keen to find out more or just have a chat about how you could make sure your family is taken care of, get in touch.