About Good Returns  |  Advertise  |  Contact Us  |  Terms & Conditions  |  RSS Feeds Other Sites:   depositrates.co.nz  |   landlords.co.nz
Last Article Uploaded: Monday, May 29th, 10:20AM
rss
Latest Headlines

Fears health tax may hurt insurers

The Government's idea of a dedicated health tax is worrying health insurance companies.

Wednesday, October 24th 2001, 11:46PM

Health insurers are arming themselves to lobby the Government over a possible new health tax.

The Health Funds Association (HFA), which represents most health insurers, has commissioned a report from the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) on funding options for health that are currently being considered by the Ministry of Health.

A dedicated health tax, similar to Australia’s Medicare levy, is one option being examined.

HFA executive director Andrea Pettett says Government must take into account the potential impact of any health tax on private insurance before making any decision.

She believes dedicated health taxes can lead to a fall in the number of people taking out private health insurance.

"One of the biggest concerns is that a health tax can lead to a misconception among the public that they are already paying for all their health needs, so don’t need private insurance."

This is unlikely to be the case, and the public needs to be made aware of that, she says.

Although a health tax is one of several options being considered, some industry members believe it might be attractive to the Government. The public is less likely to oppose a new tax if they believe the money will go into health, they say.

Pettett says a key theme in the report, due to be published in two weeks, is that the cost of a public health system will always rise faster than the Government’s ability to pay for it. One way to bridge this gap is to encourage people to take out health insurance.

In a previous report for the association, NZIER examined the benefits of a Government subsidy for private health insurance.

Pettett says any funding option that reduces the use of private insurance would have serious implications for the public sector. More people would need to use the public system, boosting waiting lists. There might also be a threat to the financial viability of private hospitals – where many public patients are treated. A reduction in private work would affect the income of specialists, who might then decide to leave New Zealand.

The concept of a health tax seems appealing, as it gives greater transparency to the cost of a public health system, Pettett says.

"But the risk is that it can lead people to think they have already invested heavily in health, so why do they need health insurance."

« Disability news gets worseWho wants to be a millionaire? »

Special Offers

Commenting is closed

 

print

Printable version  

print

Email to a friend
Strategy Thoughts
News Bites
Latest Comments
  • InvestNow mix-up disappointing: Stubbs
    “Bobby is right. Simplicity is a reporting entity for AML/CFT. They can rely on a third party for CDD/EDD etc, but they need...”
    18 minutes ago by Barry Read
  • InvestNow mix-up disappointing: Stubbs
    “No Murray. Simplicity need to know where the money is coming from. The rules don't say they can just make an assumption....”
    1 day ago by Bobby
  • Insurers want tweaks to client-first duty
    “Curious to see Partners Life seeking a tightening of replacement rules after seeding its business with business rolled from...”
    3 days ago by paulgogol
  • InvestNow mix-up disappointing: Stubbs
    “I heard Simplicity's recent wealth innovation tour and excited about it. What are the timeline to reduce the minimum investment...”
    3 days ago by ramanan3012
  • InvestNow mix-up disappointing: Stubbs
    “@bobby I think you have got the wrong end of the stick. The issue isn't AML as you think and suggest. Rather more likely...”
    3 days ago by Murray Weatherston
Subscribe Now

Cover Notes - Specific news aimed at risk advisers

Previous News

MORE NEWS»

Most Commented On
About Us  |  Advertise  |  Contact Us  |  Terms & Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  RSS Feeds  |  Letters  |  Archive  |  Toolbox
 
Site by Web Developer and eyelovedesign.com