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Health insurance gets boost from workplace schemes

New Zealand’s health insurance industry recorded its 12th consecutive quarter of growth in March 2018.

Monday, May 21st 2018, 11:04AM

There are now 1.385 million people with health insurance.

Health Funds Association chief executive Roger Styles said there was an increase of 2400 lives covered in the March 2018 quarter, and an increase of 20,100, or 1.5%, for the 12 months to March 31, 2018.

It was the strongest annual growth in lives covered since 2001.

“Much of this growth appears to have come from an increase in the numbers of people with employer-subsidised health insurance as part of an increased focus on wellness in the workplace,” he said.

Health insurance paid out $281m in claims for the March 2018 quarter, up 8.6% on the previous March, and $1.207 billion for the March 2018 year, up 5.4% – or $62m – on the 12 months to March 31, 2017.

Styles said, in 2008, the annual claims total was $631m, so that amount had doubled over the decade.

“People now have access to both a greater volume and a wider range of services and treatments through health insurance,” he said.

Premium income for the March 2018 quarter totalled $373m, up $4m on the December 2017 quarter. Annual premium income for the year to the end of March was $1.454b, up 5.5% or $76m, on the March 2017 year.

Health Funds Association estimates nib and Partners Life's data. A spokeswoman for nib said its total lives covered at the end of last year was 205,226, up slightly from 204,269 as at 30 June 2017.

It paid almost $65m in customers in the second half of the last calendar year and premium revenue rose $1.3m to $106.4m.


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