Why health insurance is so important right now

New Zealand has fared quite well through the pandemic, with Covid not nearly as wide-spread as in many other countries. However, one thing that has been reiterated throughout the last two years is that our healthcare system is in a dire state. 

The media have been reporting many cases where people have been unable to get the treatment they need via the public health system, or are having to wait extreme amounts of time before being seen. There’s been cancellations of medical appointments - even right down to just a few moments before surgery.  Many explorative treatments such as scans have huge wait times, or have been cancelled all together thanks to hospital shortages. 

While the pandemic has drawn attention to staffing shortages and hospital space, these are not our only issues. New Zealand has fallen far behind the times when it comes to treatment and research of medical issues.

As highlighted in a recent article from Stuff, “A recent peer-reviewed academic paper showed there has been a 50 per cent reduction in the number of innovative drugs being registered in New Zealand (compared to Canada) in the past 20 years. We’re driving Morris Minors when the rest of the world is transitioning to EVs.” 

While there are a number of treatment drugs funded by the government, those that are publicly available are not keeping up with current research.  Thankfully, private health care provides cover for drugs that are not being funded by the government.

As also reported on Stuff, an Auckland woman who was diagnosed with Bowel Cancer and was given 2 years to live, is now doing better than ever thanks to an unfunded drug, Cetuximab. She had to privately raise over $62,000 while battling the cancer in order to live.  Had this woman had private health cover, much of the stress in raising those funds could have been eliminated, as health insurance would have covered the unfunded drug.  

With the pressure on the health care system to only get worse when Covid really hits, private health care insurance has never been a more important thing to consider. As well as being covered for illness, treatments, and exploratory things like scans, health insurance also covers you should you end up getting Covid and it resulting in after effects.

For those that are young, we tend to think that severe illness is off in the distant future, but now is the time to get cover. Getting cover as early as possible ensures you are fully covered before you need to make a claim. If you wait too long and apply for cover later in life, you may come to find that your policy excludes much of your pre-existing conditions. Commonly these are the things that deteriorate with time, such as backs, knees, and necks. Things you may be seeking cover for in the future! 

Get in touch with our local Insurance Advisor Allanah today. She will take you through what health insurance covers and what level of cover is right for your situation, budget and lifestyle.