Medical crises can happen at any age - and can be very expensive, not just in the costs of surgery and hospital care – but in pre and post admission tests, specialist consultations, or time off work.
WHY HOSPITAL COVER MATTERS
Over 70% of New Zealanders aren’t sufficiently protected - and this lack of protection brings difficult (and sometimes tragic) outcomes to thousands of families every year. Whether having to decide between prioritising a loved one’s health, and their financial future, or being faced with the reality of waiting many months for public treatment while their condition and its impact gets worse. This is a risk that unfortunately too many New Zealanders don’t see, until it’s too late.
Here’s some of the key traps that many Kiwis fall into - and the key reasons why ignoring the need for hospital cover, can be a much bigger risk than we think.
YOUTH OR HEALTH, IS NOT A GUARANTEE
Even if you’re fit and healthy, and take good preventative care of your health - the reality is that unexpected medical emergencies can happen to anyone.
Recent studies indicate that some disorders associated with older age are affecting younger adults, while others are greatly influenced by what you do in your 20s and 30s.
‘Silent’ conditions like high blood pressure (which usually don’t present obvious symptoms), can result in heart disease later in life and is the leading cause of strokes, if left untreated. A recent study found a 32 percent spike in strokes among women ages 18 to 34 – while another sounded an alarm about millennials being increasingly affected by colon and rectal cancers. The simple fact is – none of us know the future. But we can prepare for it.
ACC COVERS LESS THAN YOU MIGHT THINK
We might feel that ACC gives us sufficient cover against the injuries we are likely to face.
But many New Zealanders aren’t aware that ACC doesn’t cover ‘illness events’ (like a heart attack, stroke, or appendicitis). And even when it does come to injuries - there are actually many things ACC doesn’t cover. These include conditions relating to ageing, such as arthritis, most hernias, injuries that were exacerbated by a previous injury or condition, or things like unexplained back pain that gets worse over time. If your condition isn’t clearly the result of a specific accident - with a diagnosis from a registered health provider – you may well be on your own.
WE DON’T KNOW THE TRUE COSTS OF SURGERY
With relatively common surgeries costing as much as $30,000 for a knee replacement, or $65,000 for a heart bypass - the brutal reality is that without protection, the financial impact of a significant event can be just as crippling as its physical cost. And that’s before we even consider the financial, emotional, and career costs that long waits for surgical treatment can bring.
WE MISS OUT ON EARLY INTERVENTION
Lacking hospital cover, can make us more reluctant to face the high costs of diagnostic tests, scans, specialist consultants or hospital treatment. And if left unchecked or unattended, ‘minor’ issues may develop into bigger problems. This cost barrier to treatment can create significant pressure on many NZ families - which just adds to the impact of a medical event on your wallet, your health, your wellbeing, and your family.
WE DON’T SEE THE TRUE COSTS OF WAITING
Non-emergency surgeries in NZ have large waiting lists. At any one time, there can be around 110,000 people on the waiting list for surgery - with the average waiting time of around 10 months! Waiting for surgery and procedures can have a big impact on your social life, ability to exercise and stay healthy, or perform at work – and can potentially put a strain on your family, and mental wellbeing.
And apart from treatment - waiting too long to get health cover can also be a risk! The later you apply for cover, the more ‘pre-existing conditions’ might be excluded - or worse still, cover may be declined.
Having the protection of properly-designed hospital cover, means you’ve got the support you need, to get the treatment you need – without financial worries, and with less waiting time or barriers to treatment. And the sooner you get cover, the more comprehensive your cover can be.
Through HealthCarePlus, eligible union members within the education and public services sectors can access a unique form of hospital cover designed to maximise value to members, not corporate profits.
Hospital Select is designed for the NZ health system - with up to $300,000 per admission providing realistic, affordable cover for surgery, cancer treatment, and a wide range of specialist consultations, scans and tests.
To find out more about HealthCarePlus Hospital Select, and whether it can offer value to you or your family - you can book a personal consultation with one of our HealthCarePlus Representatives