With health insurance you can access treatment in a private hospital, and your insurer will pay (they can either reimburse you or pay the health provider directly). This means that you won′t need to join a public hospital waiting list, and it also usually means that you have a wider range of treatment options, hospitals, and medical specialists available to you.
In New Zealand we are extremely lucky to have a great health system in place. This system is set up for emergencies and will take care you at these times.
If however you have an event which is not classed as urgent, for example, you might need a knee replacement, then you may be placed on a non-acute waiting list.
If you have health insurance, you can choose your doctor or specialist, and you can choose when and where you are treated – all with the assurance that you’ll be able to recover all or most of the costs.
- How would it impact your life to be on a public hospital waiting list for six months or longer?
- How much would it cost to get treatment for a non-acute condition?
- Where would this money come from?
At age 42, Greg discovered he had high blood pressure. His GP sent him to a cardiologist for tests and advice. Greg started taking daily medication and made some lifestyle changes, but 8 months later started to experience angina pains in his chest. His cardiologist sent him for an angiogram which revealed that his best hope for a long life was coronary bypass surgery.
Over a period of 12 moths, Greg’s specialist and surgery bills totalled more than $60,000. Fortunately he had health insurance, which covered the full cost less a $500 excess.