The medical insurance company nib, have released figures on claims they paid out on in 2015. They say:
"Do you remember being 20 years old? Catching a frisbee down at the beach, dancing in clubs until the wee hours of the morning. We all may like to believe this is the norm, however the 2015 claim rates released this month continue to illustrate the requirement for nib health cover for everyone, including those as young as teenagers.
In 2015 nib met claims by both males and females under 20 years of age for hip and spine procedures. With the top claim over $55k, it raises the question, had nib health cover not been in place, what would they have done? (Did you have a spare $55k when you were that age?).
The nib value continues as we move up the demographic. Looking at those aged between 21- 30 years, the top 3 spine related paid claims came in at an average of $45k. Higher in value still is the top claim for this age bracket of general surgery for the pancreas, which amounted to $58k. These are real cases where real people felt the benefit of their nib health cover.
Chemotherapy continues to be a top claim point for those 31 years and above, with this being the top claim type for each age segment between 31 and 61 years. With the peak cost being $214k (within the 31-40 age bracket), nib policies continue to illustrate their fundamental value and why it’s never too soon to be prepared.
In the 41- 50 age bracket, radiation for bowel cancer is one of the top met claims, with an associated cost of $115k. Claims relating to general surgery for stomach cancer have also been met at the value of $85k.
Bowel and breast cancer continue to be key causes of claims in the 61-70 age bracket, with claims of $115k and $113k respectively being submitted and subsequently approved by nib.
Moving into the 71- 80 year old bracket, top claims are for heart procedures (bypass and valve replacement) and chemotherapy for bowel cancer, with nib continuing to provide value to our Health Cover policy holders by approving $95k claims in both cases.
So while you may be thinking ‘I’m still too young’ or ‘I’m in good health’ these real claims for real individuals act as a reminder of just how valuable heath cover can be."
We say that in New Zealand we have a very good tax payer funded public health system. If you are in critical condition - about to die - you will almost certainly get world class medical care. But if you aren't about to die those who are, are always going to be higher on the priority list for treatment.
Our aging population and advances in medical technology are both putting increasing demands on the public system. Many are forecasting that the situation will get much worse. It seems unlikely that the Government will be able to satisfactorily fund the increasing demand for health care in the public sector and this will lead to futher reduced service levels.
If you develop a medical condition that isn't life threatening but impacts on your quality of life then a procedure that will ease your pain or increase your mobilty would surely be welcome sooner rather than later. Those with medical insurance generally don't have to wait in a queue for months to get care. If the doctor says you need treatment you book in with a private health care professional and get it done sometimes within the week and let the insurance company pay a proportion, or all, of the bill.
Unfortunately it is just a fact of life that health insirance premiums go up as we get older, the more likely we are to make a claim the more the premiums cost. If the premiums are becoming too much for you, most companies now offer considerably higher excesses than in the past with reduced premiums. Perhaps you could afford $4,000 but couldn't afford $60,000 for a procedure. There is considerable peace of mind in knowing that you can have a recommended procededure pretty much immediately and the most it will cost you is your excess.
Prices vary of course but here are some real life figures for a simple hour long surgery under gerneral anaesthetic to remove potentially cancerous skin spots from shoulders.
If you don't have health insurance perhaps you should. The earlier you start the cheaper it will be.
If you'd like to discuss the options available to you with nib or one of the other health insurance providers give Jonathan or Andrew a call on 07 578 3863.
Tags: Health Insurance
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