Affordable Medical Insurance
Keeping medical insurance affordable as we get older is vital to ensure we can receive fast, quality medical care when we need it.
Just about every week we read about someone who needs treatment and can’t get it, and how the health system failed them. Crucial cancer drugs not being funded, hip or knee replacement patients waiting forever, the stories are endless, as are the crowd-funding requests!
Don’t get me wrong, New Zealand has a fantastic public health system, and we’re very blessed to have it. But at some stage the ever increasing costs (new procedures, drug treatments, living longer, etc) can only mean a strain on the system. And that system is ultimately funded by a relatively small tax payer base.
In New Zealand (and most other countries), healthcare is a mixture of public and private funding, and provision. We are slightly more dependent on public financing (at 80 percent of healthcare costs) than the OECD average.
And while it does a great job in providing access to treatment for serious illness and emergencies, for ‘non-urgent’ conditions there are often delays in getting treatment, and this can make life very difficult. Especially if you are on a waiting list for 6 months and keep getting pushed back because eligibility criteria changes.
Non-urgent treatments include hip and knee replacements, cardiac procedures, colonoscopies and cataract removals. This is where affordable health insurance will make a big difference to your quality of life.
Going without treatment for these conditions will obviously have a huge impact on a person’s life. And these delays are likely to get worse, as demand for medical treatment is rising faster than the country’s ability to fund it.
This means Kiwis will either have to pay for their own non-urgent healthcare costs, or wait longer for treatment in the public system.
Private medical insurance offers people the peace of mind that treatment can be obtained in a timely manner and that all or most of their future treatment costs will be covered.
Health insurance makes an enormous contribution towards our health and well-being, funding around half of all elective surgery (an elective procedure is simply one that is planned in advance, rather than one that’s done in an emergency situation).
So how do you get affordable medical insurance?
When you take out private medical insurance, make sure that you can choose higher optional excesses to offset premium increases as you get older. Having excess options may make the difference between whether you keep your medical insurance or cancel it because of cost.
If you would like to review your existing medical insurance or want to talk about your private health insurance options, please contact us anytime for no-obligation advice, we’re here to help.