New Zealand is blessed with a relatively robust public health system. In the event of an emergency, you can rest assured that you’ll receive the treatment you need to get back on your feet. In many cases, it won’t cost you a cent.
Of course, if you’ve ever dealt with the New Zealand public health system, you’ll know first hand that it’s not a perfect system. Due to resource constraints, the public system simply isn’t equipped to handle the high volume of demand. As a result, wait times are often lengthy and facilities can be overcrowded – both of which can have a direct impact on a patient’s health and overall quality of life.
Private medical insurance: more than just prompt care
It goes without saying that investing in health insurance can give you and your family better access to prompt, high-quality treatment, but I think it’s also important to note that it can save you significant amounts of money on treatments and prescriptions.
How? Well, one of the biggest advantages of private medical insurance is that it covers the cost of medical treatments that are not covered by the government. The most common example of this is prescription medication that is not subsidised by PHARMAC.
Why does PHARMAC not fund certain medication?
Established in 1993, PHARMAC is the New Zealand government agency that decides which pharmaceuticals to publicly fund in New Zealand. The decision to fund a certain medicine depends on clinical, economic and commercial factors. If PHARMAC chooses not to fund a drug – due to, say, cost, inadequate demand or a lack of data on the drug’s effectiveness – you’ll have to pay the full, unsubsidised price, which could be thousands of dollars every month.
PHARMAC funding (or lack thereof) is a growing concern. A 2016 report found that only 12 new cancer medicines were added to PHARMAC’s list of subsidised drugs between 2010 and 2015. Meanwhile, just across the ditch, Australia funded 66 new cancer medicines in the same time period. In fact, out of 20 OECD countries, New Zealand ranked the worst in terms of funding new cancer medicines.
Providing your family with the best care
Non-funded treatments for serious health conditions can easily cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. This leaves you with the difficult decision of funding it yourself (and probably spending a significant portion of your savings) or foregoing the treatment altogether and potentially putting your health in jeopardy.
Here at Penberthy, we’re firm believers that you shouldn’t have to make the choice between health and money. We offer a range of private medical insurance policies that cover the cost of non-PHARMAC funded drugs for an affordable monthly premium, providing you and your loved ones with the best level of treatment and care when you need it the most. For more information, give us a call today on (09) 486 1175 and find out how we can design a private health insurance policy to suit your unique requirements.