Save yourself months on the public health waiting list,
and get yourself back to work sooner.
The waiting list is not somewhere you want to be, particularly
if you need to
take time off work. According to an international survey of GPs,
New Zealand has
the highest proportion of patients facing long delays for elective
surgery or hospital
If you needed surgery today, would you be able to pay upfront
for private surgery?
Or would you be willing to wait, and maybe have to take time off
work, for treatment in a public hospital?
BRAVEday usually recommends a medical policy
tailored to give you 100% cover for hospital, surgical, specialist
consultations and tests.
How to waste your money on medical insurance
Some medical insurance plans can be a waste of money, yet people
them because they don't seem to cost much, and they give us a false
Medical insurance could actually be costing you money if you
have a policy that
covers you for GP's visits and prescriptions. With the cost of
premiums for this type
of cover (above the base plan we usually recommend) being approx
$500 per annum
Unless you're visiting the doctor 8 to 10 times a year (at $40
per visit), you may as well
just pay the doctor's fees directly. The same applies to
cover for dental and optical.
The most you can claim on many of these policies is in the $600
range (and this is the
cost of the extra premium) - so unless you are claiming the full
amount every year,
it's not a strategic decision.
Excess Options - how much you pay
Most insurance providers offer an option for you to pay an
excess - in other words,
you pay up to a certain amount of the bill before the insurance
pays the rest.
The higher your excess, the lower your premium. It's a trade-off
between long-term, ongoing, predictable costs (your premiums) and
short-term, one-off, unpredictable costs (your excess).
Excess options vary between companies and allow you to keep the
cost of your premium down.
Look out for limits and maximums
Most plans cover costs in one of two ways.
- The first option pays a total dollar value (for example,
$250,000 per annum for surgery).
- The second option gives a detailed list of the types of
treatment covered and the maximum amount payable for each.
These maximums are then broken down for each part of the procedure
(for example, surgeon's fee $5,000, theatre fee $2,000,
anaesthetists fee $2,000). It's very easy for the costs to exceed
the maximum in each area - in which case you'll have to pay the
We recommend the first option, total dollar value, as it
provides the most comprehensive cover. After all, you never know
what's around the corner.
A pre-existing condition is a health issue that you knew about,
or suspected, before taking out health insurance. Most policies
don't cover pre-existing conditions, but some companies allow them
to be reviewed over a period of time.
Some insurers will cover a pre-existing condition and charge a
higher premium. An example of this would be having a high BMI and
still getting cover, but paying a little more. There's a lot
of variation in the offerings from different insurance companies,
and your adviser can take you through all the different options to
find the best one for you.
When should I get health insurance?
Get it when you're young and healthy - in other words, before
you need it. It means you won't have any exclusions on your policy
and you'll always be able to access the best private treatment.
If you add your children to your policy when they're born,
you'll guarantee there are no exclusions. Most insurance companies
let you add your child to your policy before they're 3 months old
without any underwriting or an application form - they usually just
need a written request and copy of the birth certificate.
Your adviser can handle all of this for you. It's always good to
let us know if you have little people on the way; that way we can
make a note to remind you.
How do I claim?
To make a claim, you need to complete a form and send it to your
insurer along with any referral letters or other supporting
documentation. At BRAVEday we often sort and
send the paperwork for people, and act as a client advocate. It's
what we're here for.
It's really important to give the insurance company as much
information as possible. This allows them to process claims quickly
so you can either be reimbursed for treatment you've already paid
for, or get pre-approved for treatment.
If the treatment you need is expensive and you're worried about
the cost we always recommend pre-approval - that way you have one
less thing to worry about.