ESTIMATED 280,000 PEOPLE WAITING FOR ELECTIVE SURGERY
According to the Health Funds Association of New Zealand, there are approximately 280,000 individuals on our public system waiting lists, waiting for non-essential surgery.
What is even more concerning is the fact that the average estimated wait in the public system before surgery is 224 days.
According to industry sources, about $1.2 m Kiwis have health insurance (around 30% of our nation). That means there are a heck of a lot of us relying on the public system for medical treatment, if and when we need it.
With advances in medical science, doctors and specialists are able to offer patients treatment plans and therefore recovery from conditions that may not previously have been possible. Surely this adds to the dilemma? As we are an aging population, coupled with advances made in medical science, that can not bode well. How sustainable then is our public health system, with regards to providing elective surgical procedures?
Private Health Insurance Options
I believe it is time for us to consider how we look at our solutions for medical treatment... I know - we pay our taxes, so Government should be providing for us. Providing for our medical treatment, our injuries, our unemployment issues, our retirement ...
Well - "it just ain't gonna happen !"
It is time for us all to look to Private Health Insurance as our means of providing for our medical treatment, as it is time for us all to look to KiwiSaver as our means to retirement ...
Health Insurance Heats Up
Over the past few years, there has been considerable change in the Health Insurance market, with providers upgrading plans to offer greater levels of cover, with more and more options. Not too many years ago, we were restricted to cover within the borders of New Zealand. It is now possible for people working overseas to cover health and medical expenses through a new scheme introduced by nib, New Zealand's second largest health insurer. Times, they are a changing...
Health Insurance Costs Set to Double
Industry experts are predicting that the cost of medical care will escalate at considerable rates in years to come. It has been muted that much of this increase in cost could be reduced if people lived healthier lives. As it is, about two thirds of the country's $16 billion of public funding is spent on hospitalisation, lab tests, pharmaceuticals and drugs. As our population ages, the percentage of GDP spent on public health may well increase, with suggestions this could double by 2060.
Health Care At Retirement
From research undertaken overseas, thirty-seven percent of respondents stated that they had retired early due to poor health. An over-riding concern of older citizens interviewed was that they would become a burden on their families.
Health Funds Association Research
Research conducted in September indicates that more than half of those interviewed believed public health waiting lists will only grow in years to come. What is even more scary is the fact that most respondents stated that they would simply not be able to pay for a $6,000 private medical procedure out of their own pocket. To bring this back to reality, a simple hernia repair could cost between $7,000 and $12,000... In the case of children's operations, the cost for removal of tonsils and adenoids can range from $4,000 to $5,500.
Solutions are available
Many of our clients tell me that they do not have Health Insurance because it is "too expensive". When tested on this matter, most tell me they have never actually inquired about the cost of cover.
To be perfectly honest, Health Insurance is more affordable than most think.
We have recommended that clients consider higher excess levels, which could reduce premiums by as much as 25%. A practical solution could be for parents to opt for higher excess levels (such as $1,000, even higher), but keeping excess levels on children at lower levels, as it is children who are most likely to have surgery for removal of tonsils and appendix, grommets, etc. Whereas, a total hip replacement could cost upwards of $20,000, a spinal fusion between $20,000 and $60,000. These are expensive procedures. Without Private Health Insurance, many would face lengthy periods of pain and possible disablement, waiting for treatment through the public health system.
GROFIN Insurance Solutions
With access to six health insurance providers' options, we believe we will be able to assist our clients by finding a plan that suits their individual family's needs and budget. Some people want cover for GP visits, or dental costs, whilst others are only concerned about surgery and access to the best medical treatment they can get, when they need it most.
Talk to us. I am quietly confident you will find value in such a discussion.
Call us on 0800-476-346.