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Record health insurance payout

Health insurers paid out a record amount in the June quarter, despite the declining number of people with insurance.

Monday, September 16th 2013, 6:06PM

They paid out $245 million, Health Funds Association of New Zealand said, $15 million more than the last record, in the December 2012 quarter.

Association chief executive Roger Styles said the increase reflected the growing contribution of insurance in covering health costs. “Health insurance is now funding nearly a billion dollars annually in health treatments, and this will only increase in coming years.”

The number of lives covered was down 1500, or 0.1%, in the quarter and 10,000 for the year. A significant decline has been seen since 2008. Just under 30% of the population has health insurance. Most of the drop has been in the 35 to 49-year-old age group.

Premium income was $281 million for the quarter, up 0.5% on March.

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