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Why do I need health insurance in New Zealand?

06 Sep 2018

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Publicly funded healthcare services

If you’re a citizen or permanent resident of New Zealand then you’re eligible for a range of publicly funded healthcare services. However, if your condition is serious but not classed as an emergency or accident related, then you have two options:

  1. Go on a waiting list.
  2. Pay for private treatment yourself.

If you decide to go on a waiting list, there are ramifications to this. Waiting could worsen your condition, cause you unnecessary pain and discomfort, put strain on your family, and may mean a longer time not earning an income if you can’t work. Basically, your life may be put on hold while you wait for your name to move up the list, and under the New Zealand health care system this could take months.

Another option is saving money in case of a medical emergency, however, with private hospitals charging tens of thousands of dollars for certain procedures, can you really afford it? If you don’t have enough savings to pay for surgery you could always remortgage your house or take out a loan, but who wants the added stress of debt on top of illness?

Benefits of private health insurance in New Zealand

Private health insurance helps you meet the cost of expensive medical treatment so you don’t have to sacrifice your assets or put yourself into debt just to get well again. With a condition like cancer, you’re looking at chemotherapy costing between $15,000 to $170,000 and radiotherapy treatment costing between $20,000 to $37,000 (see private treatment costs). Having private health insurance may allow you more control over where and how you want to get treated, and which specialist you want treatment from. The waiting time to receive treatment can also be quicker so you’re able to recover and get back on your feet sooner.

It can make a lot of sense to pay a small weekly amount, rather than waiting around for treatment or forking out large sums of your own money which you could use for something more pleasurable.

Benefits of nib health insurance

At nib we have policies covering the small stuff as well as the big stuff.

Everyday health

Taking out nib Everyday health insurance means you can claim money back for the small stuff, e.g regular check-ups by your GP, dentist and optometrist. You can also get minor injuries treated ASAP through treatments like remedial massage and acupuncture. Early detection and treatment is in most cases beneficial and not only saves your health in the short term but prevents conditions becoming more serious in the future. Find out more about our Everyday health insurance plans.

Private hospital

nib offers a range of health insurance options so you can have peace of mind that you’re covered for the big stuff, such as cancer and surgery, as well as diagnostic investigations and specialist consultations. If you do need treatment, you can put all your energy into getting well without needing to worry about trying to meet significant costs. Find out more about our private hospital cover.

Why not avoid the stress of public health care? Private medical insurance could give you quicker access to treatment and more control around how you’re treated. Get a health insurance quote from nib now.


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Important things to know

Information correct as at September 2018