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Last Article Uploaded: Tuesday, January 21st, 11:43AM
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Insurer pays out $160,000 for surgery

Southern Cross’ biggest health insurance payout last year was for a spinal surgery costing $160,000, its latest statistics reveal.

Thursday, April 4th 2013, 4:02PM 1 Comment

Another spinal surgery cost $151,000 and $100,000 was paid out for a larynx removal.

Cancer, heart disease and spinal conditions were the causes of the highest health insurance claims paid by the association.

All of the patients who made the top 10 highest claims were aged over 64. The oldest was 76.

Chief executive Peter Tynan said it demonstrated the value of insurance. “No one wants to be ill but, if the unexpected happens and you need timely access to treatment, it can be very comforting to have the financial aspect taken care of.”

Those aged under 30 put in a high number of claims for tonsillectomies and dental procedures, for women aged 20-39 endometriosis surgery was common and for people over 50, hip and knee replacements, cataract extraction and skin lesion removals were in high demand.

Tynan said: “If they choose to self-insure, people should have realistic expectations of what they’ll need.”

A survey carried out by Southern Cross last year revealed that 79% of New Zealanders thought they would have to pay for some of their elective healthcare in retirement. But only one in five had started saving and many thought that savings of less than $10,000 would be sufficient.

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Comments from our readers

On 5 April 2013 at 3:42 pm Johnny said:
So these top 10 claims by a group of over 60's were all on the Ultra Care plan? Several of those examples seem to exceed Southern Cross annual limits for all policies other than UC.

Did the press release mention how much of the surgery costs came from the patient's pocket?

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