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Health insurance coverage jumps

Just over 1.4 million New Zealanders now have health insurance, a figure the Health Funds Association says shows that people can see the value in it.

Monday, November 11th 2019, 8:45PM

Roger Styles

The association has released its statistics for the September quarter.

They show that the number of lives covered was up 0.2% for the quarter and 0.6% to the year to September.

Most of the growth was in the 25 to 40 age group.

Chief executive Roger Styles said employer-subsidised health insurance plans were proving attractive.

“In addition to the availability of wellbeing and wellness initiatives that many of our insurers now offer, health insurance means getting a better level of service through faster access to treatment when it’s needed and increasing options to access treatments and drugs not funded or provided in the public sector,” he said.

The year also saw an increase in the number of older New Zealanders with health insurance, which Styles said was due to the ageing population and an acknowledgement by many policyholders that maintaining their cover was sensible in the face of increasing difficulty accessing public-funded healthcare such as elective surgery.

The number of people aged 65 and over with health insurance grew by almost 1,700 or 1% to 166,400 – around 22% of the 65-plus population.

Styles said claims paid were up to $369 million for the quarter, an increase of 7.9% on the September 2018 quarter. Claims paid for the year to September 30, 2019 totalled $1.362 billion, up 7.8% or $98 million on the previous September year.

Premium income for the quarter was up $9 million on the June quarter to $428 million. Annually, premium income rose $143 million or 9.3% to $1.659 billion.

Tags: health insurance HFANZ

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