What Role Does Private Health Insurance Play in NZ?

The New Zealand health system operates with a mix of publicly funded health care services and private options.

While the New Zealand public health care system is considered reasonably universal in that it is available to all New Zealanders and focused on emergency care and serious illness, private health insurance is increasingly fulfilling an important function, particularly in ensuring access to timely non-urgent medical procedures.

So, what role does private health insurance play?

According to the Health Funds Association of NZ (HFANZ), around a third of people currently have health insurance in New Zealand, with this number having increased by 70,000 or 5% from March 2015 to 2019.

Interestingly, healthcare claims paid by HFANZ members during the 2018/19 year, increased by $115 million or 9.5% to $1.32 billion, illustrating the increasing reliance Kiwis are placing on private health insurance providers, particularly in relation to elective surgeries.

Benefits of private health insurance

Unfortunately, public waiting lists for non-urgent procedures, that may impact your quality of life, can run into months and even years for some people.

The greatest benefit of private health insurance is the ability to gain fast tracked care and avoid public waiting lists for diagnosis, surgery, and/or procedures.  This is particularly the case for elective and non-urgent surgeries but also increasingly some more serious illnesses requiring diagnosis and treatment.

Other key benefits:

  1. Choice – Health insurance can give you more options in terms of selecting your preferred specialist or surgeon.
  2. Extra coverage for dental and vision care is available – dental care in NZ is only covered to the age of 18 and there’s no provision for optometry.
  3. Enjoy private hospital rooms – depending on your private health insurance plan and availability, private hospital rooms are often available.

Give yourself the options you deserve

We all know that health is wealth, so it pays to be properly insured. Fast track your care and minimise disruption to your life with NZHL’s options for Health and Trauma Insurance.

Book an appointment with NZHL today to see what our Health Insurance can offer you.