Health insurance more important than ever for Kiwis but cost challenges ahead

2 min read
August 4, 2022

For many Kiwis, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has sharpened the importance of looking after their own health and wellbeing.

Financial Services Council CEO Richard Klipin says, “We know that the presence of Covid, and for many of us the personal experience of it, has led to better prioritising and looking after our health.

“This has also led to a really positive shift in the number of Kiwis protecting themselves and managing their risk by purchasing and retaining their private health insurance,” says Klipin.

As at 31 March 2022, 1.45 million Kiwis were covered by health insurance, and $1.51bn of claims were paid out in the last 12 months, an increase of 7.2% on the previous year.

“Health insurance supports Kiwis to meet their healthcare costs and with many claims relating to elective treatments, also helps to ease demand on the public health system.

“It’s reassuring that so many New Zealanders have access to the benefits of health insurance, and our health insurance members are as committed as ever to ensuring quality access to healthcare for their customers. 

“However at the same time, the wider healthcare sector, like many others, is facing major cost pressures as a result of the current economic environment including rising inflation, interest rates, wage and supply chain costs, says Klipin.

“Healthcare has also been significantly impacted by sector specific impacts including critical workforce shortages and increased labour, surgical and medicine costs. Industry feedback has made it clear that as a result, the cost to deliver heathcare services are also expected to increase.

“As a result of this challenging combination of increasing demand and cost pressures, health insurers must navigate and manage these economic challenges to ensure continued access to quality healthcare for their members.

“Each provider has its own individual circumstances and will make its own commercial decisions and communicate any changes to their customers directly.  We are confident, though, that despite these challenges, health insurance will remain an affordable and high quality service for all New Zealanders.

“We encourage all health insurance holders to actively assess their existing cover to ensure it makes sense for them and their families, and if any adjustments are required, contact your provider and they will be more than happy to assist you to consider ways to make your cover best suit you”, concluded Klipin.

The FSC has collated its top tips to manage your health insurance:

  • Review your current insurance cover and make sure it’s still appropriate for you or  your family.
  • If you have any questions, make direct contact with your health insurer to talk through your individual options.
  • Seek expert advice via an insurance broker or other advisor if required.

For media enquiries:

Richard Klipin
Chief Executive Officer
Financial Services Council of New Zealand
021 0233 5414 or richard.klipin@fsc.org.nz

Clarissa Hirst
Head of Content, Communications and Marketing
Financial Services Council of New Zealand
021 026 56343 or clarissa.hirst@fsc.org.nz