Here in New Zealand, we’re blessed with the protective safety nets of the public health system and ACC. If you require acute emergency surgery for just about any reason, you can get the medical treatment you need right away, completely (or close to) free of charge.
However, despite Aotearoa’s great public health facilities, more than 1 in 3 (35 percent) adults and 28 percent of children are covered by private health insurance, according to figures collated by the Ministry of Health.
Why are so many people investing in medical insurance? To answer this question, I want to share a story from two of our valued clients, Jane and Paul Walker*.
Just a week out from Christmas, the Walker’s 14 month old daughter was sadly in a great deal of pain due to an issue with her top lip. Thanks to their insurance advisor here at Penberthy, they were able to get their little one the treatment she needed the very same day. Read on to find out how.
Faster Treatment and More Options
One of the key benefits of health insurance is that it allows you to avoid the public hospital waiting list, thereby providing you with significantly faster access to treatment.
The Walkers found this out first hand.
“It was a week prior to Christmas and the surgeon had limited availability to operate on [our daughter] at the end of the week. Due to the tight time frame, we weren’t on the system at Gillies Hospital on the day of surgery.”
This is a common story. In fact, industry research indicates that the average wait time for public surgery is 100 days longer than that for private patients!
The Ultimate Peace of Mind
I think an often overlooked advantage of medical insurance is the peace of mind it provides. In times of an emergency, the last thing you want to worry about is the financial burden of private surgery – nobody wants to have to choose between money and health.
Here at Penberthy, we strive to provide a level of support that goes above and beyond the financial factor. Knowing that time was of the essence, our insurance advisor communicated directly with the hospital on behalf of the Walkers.
“We called Rae who spoke directly to the hospital staff on our behalf and took care of everything. The surgery went ahead and by that afternoon we had one happy toddler who was able to sleep peacefully through the whole night.”
By advocating for the Walkers, we were able to maximise the chances of a positive outcome, which ultimately led to the hospital fast tracking the surgery, much to the relief of mum and dad.
“If we had dealt directly with an insurance company we would have had to delay surgery while our paperwork was processed and no doubt would have had many frustrating conversations and time wasted while waiting on hold. It is worth its weight in gold to be able to ring someone directly and get an answer to your questions straight away and relieves unneeded stress at a difficult time.”
We’re proud to have played a small role in helping the Walkers secure the medical treatment they needed. By advocating on their behalf, we were able to get the youngest member of the family into surgery in a timely fashion and help make a difficult situation slightly easier.
Are you thinking about reviewing your medical insurance? Give us a call today to discuss your options.
*names have been changed.