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Thread: Private Medical Insurance in NZ

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Seattle / Christchurch
    Posts
    7

    Default Private Medical Insurance in NZ

    Please folks, if anyone has some experience with private medical insurance here in NZ, I'd really appreciate it if you'd share what you know. I'll need to make a decision in the next few days.

    My questions are:

    I'm considering signing up for private medical insurance and I'm
    wondering what's involved.

    When you sign up, do they give you a physical with an examination and
    blood tests?

    Do they request your prior medical records from your country of origin?

    How do they verify that you have no previously existing conditions?

    Is there an initial period after you sign up in which you are not
    covered for some conditions?

    Does anyone have specific experiences with State Insurance and
    Southern Cross?

    I'd love to hear about your experiences.

    Thanks!

    DennisG

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    wellington
    Posts
    141

    Default

    We are with Southern Cross, we were with BUPA in the UK so all we had to do was get an international transfer letter sent across, because we were able to do this, they now cover us for pre existing conditions.

    Mike is working for Telecom/Gen I so if you are an employee then southern cross will cover you from when you take out the policy, but i think if you join independently from an employer then you have to wait 6 months before you can claim anything.

    When you join you will have to fill in a form asking you for any pre existing conditions and asking what operations you have had, and any illnesses you have suffered from.
    Steph.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    1,088

    Default

    >I'm considering signing up for private medical insurance and I'm wondering what's involved.
    At it's most basic level, you pick your company, which package you want, and set up a direct debit.

    >When you sign up, do they give you a physical with an examination and blood tests?
    Not with Southern Cross, but you are required to declare any pre-existing conditions

    >Do they request your prior medical records from your country of origin?
    No

    >How do they verify that you have no previously existing conditions?
    They don't really, you're legally required to be honest. And if you try to claim for something pre-existing, they'll have you.

    >Is there an initial period after you sign up in which you are not covered for some conditions?
    I think with SC, you're not covered for anything for 3 months. That was waved for me because it was an employer plan. My partner is diabetic, and any illnesses derived from that are not covered for the first two years, where-after they are also covered. That was a package-specific feature though, so check!

    >Does anyone have specific experiences with State Insurance and Southern Cross?
    Signed up with SC, though haven't used them yet. The sign-up process was pretty straightforward, and the packages are comprehensive. Not massively expensive either.

    You can pretty much get whatever you want, as long as you're prepared to pay the premium.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    North Canterbury to UK
    Posts
    2,755

    Default

    We've had a look at this and the advice of a consumer magazine was for those of us at the higher age range that if considering setting up private health insurance consider it carefully as the money may well be better spent by investing it elsewhere, rather than paying hefty premiums !! To pay for any Op's should you need them

    Friends of ours set up privately and by the time they'd owned up to the pre existing conditions they were hardly covered .

    End of the day " You's pays your money and takes your choice"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    35,980

    Default

    To pay for any Op's should you need them
    But if you're on a work permit longer than 2 years, or PR, you'd get them free anyway. (Perhaps you're thinking that going privately, you'd be seen more quickly, though?)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Seattle / Christchurch
    Posts
    7

    Default

    JandM,

    Yes, that is what I'm thinking thus far.

    As I've been collecting information on this, I've discovered there are many trade-offs that make it difficult to know if it is a wise or a foolish thing to do.

    I understand that I will be able to cut to the front of some lines if I need some sort of none emergency work done. I also understand that virtually any and all earlier medical things that have ever happened to me will likely result in exclusions.

    I guess the bottom line question for me, with what I know now, is if at 61 and in pretty good health, if it is worth me paying for private medical when so much is essentially free here anyway. Accidents are covered. Immediate emergencies are covered. It is really only going to protect me from having to wait in lines if I come down with something that needs looking at but not immediately like a cancer.

    I'm interested in hat others think about all this and what decisions you've made and why.

    Cheers!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    52

    Default

    what is the monthly cost of private health insurance? approx? we are two healthy adults and a 2 year old.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Seattle / Christchurch
    Posts
    7

    Default How to get healthcare insurance estimates?

    Just go to the Southern Cross website and enter some information. They've got an automatic quote generating page here:

    http://wellbeingcalculator.southernc...lineQuote.aspx

    It's all anonymous and you can play with the questions and see the effect it has on the estimated costs.

    Cheers!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Pompy UK - Rangiora SI
    Posts
    993

    Default

    We are with Southern Cross through my husbands employer, and some of this is still a grey area to me. We have pretty good terms because OH's company is quite large and i guess have negotiated well. We are covered for pre-existing conditions - from day one.....

    Here's were my grey areas are;

    Eg1 - OH recently had a flare up of ulcerative colitus (pre existing but covered). He needed to see a specialist and urgently so we went private. I made sure first with SC that we would be able to claim back the cost, and we are. They seem to have a very comprehensive list of Surgeons and Specialists that people can use. The cost of the visit was $150 and we got $110 - no quibles there. The specialist refered OH to hospital that day - do not pass go, straight to hospital that kind of thing. Now, I was told that we could claim because he was staying overnight in hospital so I rang them to check. This is what I was told. SC only covers you for elective treatments - basically, because OH was sent straight to hospital on the public system he could not then change to private. This will always be the case for his colitus, i was told that say he chose to go and have a CT done he would be covered - but I can't see an instance when he would chose to do this when he is well.

    eg2. I have a ruptured ACL (pre existing and covered). I did it in the UK about five years ago. I recently played netball and have injured my knee - and injury that came about because of my ACL. I have been covered up to now by ACC because it was a sports injury. However, they are now recommending that I have surgery on my ruptured ACL. This will not be covered by ACC because I did it in the UK, but I can have it done with SC privately. PROVIDING I am refered by a private (not public) specialist - now this is not difficult because as I say SC have a very comprehensive list of surgeons and specialists and I think that some of them work private and public. When I was checking witht he help line as to wether I am covered for this surgery, the guy I was talking too was indicating that my ACL surgery would be covered by ACC ( I hadn't explained myself very well ie that the ACL injury was done in the UK), but it does raise the question that had I ruputured my ACL here whether I would have to have the surgery done public or whether I could have opted to go private.

    As for basic stuff, like claiming back doctors visits etc.... no complaints there. Just make sure you keep your receipts and a record of what the visit was for and the process is straight forward and easy.

    (I hope this all makes sence because I am typing it quickly at work)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Pompy UK - Rangiora SI
    Posts
    993

    Default

    I should just quantify that we are on the supercare plan, which has limits on the amount insured for. So for example, if I did go ahead and have surgery on my knee I would have to get a quote to see what the costs would be to determine how much if any I would have to pay.

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