NZ sees rise in health insurance coverage

by NZ Adviser12 Sep 2016
The Health Funds Association of New Zealand (HFANZ) has reported a surge in health insurance numbers in the year to the end of June as a result of higher birth rates and young families taking out new policies.

According to HFANZ’s latest figures, there were 1.348 million Kiwis with private health insurance cover 30 June this year, up by 1.1% or 14,100 on the same time last year. In the June quarter, the number of Kiwis covered grew by 0.5% or 6,100.

Most notable were the 12.3% or 7,000 increase in Kiwis covered for the 0-4 age group, and a 6.4% increase in the 25-39 age bracket during the year.

Roger Styles, HFANZ chief executive, noted that these figures showed the fifth straight quarter growth and the strongest annual growth since September 2018.
Styles said it appeared that more young families avail of new health insurance policies, with New Zealand experiencing an increase in birth rate and with young Kiwis keen to avail of new types of available minor medical insurance health insurance policies.

“Things are looking up. It’s pleasing to see young families are taking no chances regarding their healthcare. They realise the government can’t fund everything, and that they are going to have to take more responsibility for the healthcare of themselves and their children,” Styles said.

HFANZ found that leading the growth of health insurance in New Zealand are its main centres, with Auckland, urban Canterbury, and Wellington posting the highest health insurance coverage, followed by Southland and Taranaki. Said five regions posted an above the national average coverage of 29%.

“These areas are the best prepared when it comes to looking after their healthcare,” Styles said.

According to the HFANZ report, the amount of total claims paid rose by 6.2% to $1.076 billion from the previous 12 months; while claims paid for the June quarters grew 10% to $290 million.

This article is from Insurance Business by Mina Martin. 

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