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Southern Cross launches new policy

Southern Cross is the latest insurer to offer a policy that covers everyday, small healthcare costs.

Sunday, February 9th 2014, 4:05PM 3 Comments

It has launched HealthEssentials, which is available from $1 a day for people aged under 35, and $1.50 for those who are older.

It is aimed at people aged in their 20s and 30s, a demographic that has not traditionally been keen on insurance.

Almost three-quarters of 20 to 39-year-olds don’t have health insurance and 37% said they would not consider getting it, according to TNS research.

But they do have cause to claim for small healthcare costs - 69% had gone to a GP in the last year, 31% to a dentist, 19% had purchased glasses and 17% had an eye exam.

Southern Cross chief executive Peter Tynan said the new policy was a response to a need for an entry-level product with what would be seen as non-traditional health insurance benefits.

“Whereas traditional health insurance covers you for unexpected health events and typically covers high costs like surgery, diagnostics and specialist consultation, HealthEssentials covers up to 75% of the cost of GP consultations, dental and optical costs, physiotherapy, acupuncture, dietitian, chiropractor, osteopath and remedial massage costs up to the policy limits.”

People can apply for the policy online or via a mobile app. The policy does not cover more expensive costs such as surgery.

New insurer nib last year launched its cheap policies aimed at young people and covering things like contributions to GP visits.

Its high-profile campaigns have been credited with increasing interest in health insurance but Southern Cross said this policy was not a response to nib's presence in the market.

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Comments from our readers

On 9 February 2014 at 6:42 pm Broker said:
Where's the FMA on this? Good advisers are trying to educate the public and recommend real insurance benefits and NIB and Southern Cross are offering these trendy dollar swapping plans - a major jump backwards. What's the world coming to?
On 11 February 2014 at 12:21 pm johnny said:
Curious too, how within an hour I got emails from both companies announcing, on the one hand this "me too" offering from SC, and from nib, the complete opposite with their new GLX with leather seats Ultimate Health.

SC getting sucked into entering the race to the bottom is not a particularly good idea, for them at least.
On 16 February 2014 at 12:42 pm Broker said:
The comment was made recently in a Herald article that it costs $60 to visit your GP. Nonsense it's about $17 if the GP is a subsidised PHO...these policies are rubbish and a disgrace...

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