Private Health Insurance in NZ

Hi all,

Coming from OZ, i'm used to always having private health insurance to avoid the medicare levy we have to pay if we don't have it.
What does everyone in NZ do?
What are recommended private health insurance companies?
Do many see the benefit in taking extras cover?

Appreciate any and all input.

Thanks.

Comments

  •  

    Im with NIB, first time using private. Experience so far not that great.
    Go to my GP tell them i have private, they say it doesnt matter for this scenerio.
    See specialist, they ask if you have private insurance, i say yes.
    Then proceed to be treated in the same amount of time it would of taken with public but have to deal the private insurance paperwork and pay extra.
    Anyway thats what it felt like, maybe i've got too high expectations, but for example waiting for a CT scan appointment took 1 month to get a appointment time (not the actual scan time).
    I chose no excess for claims, which i think is possibly a better option to choose for private but slightly more money.

    •  

      1 month waiting for a CT scan?
      That's ridiculous! I had my MRI, CT scans and X-rays all done on the same day with booking done a few days before!
      May i ask where you live?
      I live regionally currently so did all of my tests in major cities.

      Thanks.

      •  

        Taupo, scan was done in Hamilton. I suspect it was a mixture of a hopeless radiology practice and both the specialist and myself not chasing up the appointment.

        •  

          I suppose each situation is so different it can be difficult to justify what to do in each case!
          In my case here i've had 2 ops in the last 2 years and my private health insurance really helped for the private hospital stay. I still had to shell out a fair bit in terms of surgeons and anaesthesia fees as my surgeon only took private patients. In saying that it has been $$ very well spent!
          Extras have always been a minimal spend for me, and i basically only chose extras programs that offered me bang for buck (ie. i used more services and got more $$ back than what i put in for it).

  • +2 votes

    In NZ you don't need Health Insurance, the public system is pretty good, especially if something is classified as urgent, you should get seen pretty quickly. Although there are always cases where the system is stretched and appointments will have a waiting time.

    Having said that I do have health insurance which I've had for many years now, and it has come in handy, however the money I've spent over the years on premiums would be more than what I've used.

    I'm with NIB (It was tower insurance at the time I got it but NIB bought them out). Most recently I had wisdom teeth surgery last year where I had to go to an oral surgeon instead of dentist and go under, would have cost me $3000 but insurance paid for that. I did have an x-ray privately the same day I went to a GP (although I got a call about a day later saying I could come in for x-ray following day with public system). I did once have an opthalmologist appointment paid by insurance but the wait was quite long, perhaps because it wasn't viewed as urgent and clinic we're busy.

    The benefits can often be getting In quickly for diagnostic screening etc, and maybe even specialist appointments. But that depends on how many private specialist there are in your area nd how booked up they are.

  •  

    We have recently moved to Southern Cross.
    We were with PartnersLife before, and while we didn't need to claim - when we looked at making a claim the paperwork to get anything approved was longwinded.
    My parents have both had excellent treatment with Southern Cross (both cancer) with no problems, preapprovals were quick and painless.
    And we were saving quite a bit moving to a workplace SC scheme.

  •  

    I use southern cross health insurance. It's cheap through my Girlfriends work. No need to declare priors etc.
    Best thing about it is having the approved members card. My doctors, dentist and many other places just enter the details of the card online and I don't have to pay anything.

    No longer pay for dentist and hygienist which is the biggest money saver for me.
    Using Southern cross private hospitals are great.

    Had poor experiences with NIB in the past.

    •  

      You can also do a full submission online, even with a mobile app. Had nothing but good experiences with Southern Cross.

      The fact they are non-profit is nice too

  •  

    Fantastic info everyone. Helps heaps.
    Sounds like we will be going with Southern Cross!
    Not sure about taking the extra's with anyone, but tell you what private health insurance is cheaper in nz than oz!

  • +1 vote

    I've moved from Australia 3 years ago. Don't waste your money on private health insurance, the public medical system is very good.

  • +1 vote

    I am a NZer married to an Australian and I work in the public health system. I have health insurance with Southern Cross (been a member through my parents since birth and then continued it on to keep premiums lower). They are non profit and have always been very good with my family's needs (although we would have used far less than the amount paid in premiums).

    However, compared to Australia (where the system is a rort and seriously problematic), you don't need health insurance in NZ unless you have excess cash to burn. The public health system (despite problems at times) will look after your needs, acutely and electively. The key to avoid problems is to be the squeaky wheel if you think that you your referral has been waylaid or something is taking too long.

    The government does NOT penalise you for not having health insurance.

    Hope that helps.

    •  

      Hey mate, thanks for these comments. Great to note. I think we will go the first 12 months without it and see how we go. Really looking forward to our move in a few weeks time! :-)

      •  

        Where are you moving to and what brings you over? We have just moved back to AKL from NW Tasmania for my work.

        The produce is fresher and cheaper here so you will get all your vitamins and not get sick; ergo, you won't need health insurance anyway. :)

        •  

          We are moving to Dunedin, a new job is what has attracted us to NZ. That and Dunedin looks like it might fit the bill for us
          Albeit we have heard the weather can be all over the shop, it sounds similar to Melbourne (we don't live in Melbourne, but visit it often enough), with the whole 4 seasons in one day comparison.
          Plenty of great things we have heard about NZ for our long term commitment, so it's looking very promising! :-D

  •  

    Dunedin is an awesome city. I studied there for 6y. Heaps of outdoors stuff if you're into that too. Weather can be a bit dodgy, more cold than anything else. Less rain than a lot of NZ. Less bureaucracy and bullshit here, hopefully you like it! :)

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