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Cheap policies capture younger clients: HFANZ

More young New Zealanders are taking out health insurance policies, new Health Funds Association figures show.

Tuesday, July 28th 2015, 6:00AM

The number of lives covered by health insurance rose 1800 in the June quarter, to 1.334 million, or 29% of the population.

The number of people aged 25-35 with cover increased by 3300.

Acting Health Funds Association chief executive Chris pnetecost said that was possibly partly due to the popularity of new, low-cost health insurance products.

The ageing population resulted in an increase in lives covered in the over-65 age group,  up around 3600 to just over 150,000 New Zealanders at the end of June.

Pentecost said total numbers had held  steady over the year to the end of June, and he welcomed the growth in the most recent quarter.

“It’s pleasing to see so many people value the importance of their wellness by having health insurance. Our research has shown that people with health insurance can be seen and treated without delay, while the average waiting time from GP referral to surgery in the public system can be upward of seven months,” he said.

“New Zealanders with health insurance can return to work quicker, which is a good thing for workplace productivity and avoids placing greater stress and workload on colleagues and those family members who may have to stay at home to look after their sick loved one.” 

Total claims paid amounted to $1.013 billion for the year ending June 30, 2015 – up 4.8% on the previous June year. Claims paid for the June quarter were $266 million, up 5.5% on the June 2014 quarter. Pentecost said this underpinned the valuable contribution health insurance made to funding healthcare in New Zealand, with total claims paid having virtually doubled in the past decade.

Tags: health insurance HFANZ

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