Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Record health claims underline sector’s value: HFANZ


February 11, 2013
MEDIA RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE USE

Record health claims underline sector’s value: HFANZ

2012 was another record year for health insurance claims paid – at $876 million – up 5.2 percent on the 2011 year, according to figures released today by the Health Funds Association.

HFANZ chief executive Roger Styles said the figures underlined the valuable contribution made to healthcare funding by the 1.35 million people with health insurance in New Zealand.

However, Mr Styles said New Zealanders needed to be aware they would be required to make an even bigger contribution to future health care costs, as health pressures built and public finances were stretched.

He pointed to the Treasury’s recent release of papers for the review of the Government’s long term fiscal statement, which focused on addressing the unsustainable growth in public sector health spending.

“Treasury’s paper notes New Zealand’s heavy reliance on public funding, and accepts that this likely needs to change in favour of a more balanced level of private funding. The sorts of options canvassed include specific withdrawal from certain publicly provided services and increasing use of co-payments.

“It is good that these options are starting to be flagged now. We need broader public debate on some of these suggestions,” Mr Styles said.

But he cautioned that the debate on options needn’t be restricted to public sector rationing, user charges or service cuts.

“There is room for more thought on the role of health insurance as a tool to assist in proactively planning for a more balanced and sustainable health system,” Mr Styles said.

The OECD recommended in 2009 that New Zealand should consider a greater role for health insurance – in the interests of both fiscal sustainability and healthcare market competition.

Mr Styles said HFANZ supported this call, and had long advocated that there was a strong public policy case for measures to restore greater public-private balance in the health system.

The latest statistics showed the rate of decline in health cover had slowed significantly. The number of people with health insurance dropped just 0.1 percent for the December 2012 quarter, although it was down 0.8 percent for the year. Claims paid for the December 2012 quarter totalled $230 million, the highest ever recorded for a quarter. Premium income for the December 2012 year was up $55 million, or 5.3 percent, on the same period in 2011, to a total of $1.092 billion.


ENDS (Three-page statistical summary follows)


Health Insurance Statistics December 2012


This is a quarterly supplement providing statistical information for the health insurance industry in New Zealand. It contains data on the most recent quarter, ended December 31, 2012.

Lives covered dip slightly in December quarter

The number of lives covered was down by 0.1 percent in the December quarter (-1400) at 1,347,400. For the 12 months ending 31 December 2012, the number of lives covered fell by 10,700 or 0.8 percent.

The past three
years from December 2009 to December 2012 has seen a decline
of 45,000 lives covered, or 3.2 percent.
The past three years from December 2009 to December 2012 has seen a decline of 45,000 lives covered, or 3.2 percent.


Lives covered by age

A breakdown of the lives covered by age group indicates the reductions have been spread across most age groups, although they are mostly concentrated among those of working age. The decline in coverage for those aged between 35 and 59 accounts for over three-quarters of the total reduction across all age groups.

The table below shows the overall movements for the year for each five-year age band.

Table: Lives Covered by Age group: December 2011 and December 2012

AgeLives covered December 2011Lives covered December 2012ChangePercent
0–465,81965,037-782-1.2%
5–980,74682,2751,5291.9%
10–1486,32584,864-1,461-1.7%
15–1991,94589,327-2,618-2.8%
20–2477,59376,988-605-0.8%
25–2967,83167,532-299-0.4%
30–3479,78980,6168271.0%
35–39100,28496,821-3,463-3.5%
40–44117,512116,860-652-0.6%
45–49122,689119,439-3,250-2.6%
50–54122,192122,107-85-0.1%
55–59109,506108,587-919-0.8%
60–6496,66694,382-2,284-2.4%
65–6959,17061,8202,6504.5%
70–7436,21237,0818692.4%
75–7920,37120,415440.2%
80–8413,95013,648-302-2.2%
85–897,0577,124670.9%
90+2,3652,45489-10.9%
Totals1,358,0371,347,387-10,650-0.8%

Premiums paid up 5.3 percent

Health insurance earned premiums in the December 2012 quarter were $277 million, up slightly on the $275 million for the September 2012 quarter. Premium income for the full year ended December 31, 2012, totalled $1,092 million, an increase of $55 million or 5.3 percent on the $1,037 million in premium income for the December 2011 year.

Increased premium income reflects adjustments following rapid growth in claims costs over recent years.
Claims paid up 5.2 percent

Health insurance claims paid in the December 2012 quarter totalled $230 million, the highest ever recorded for a quarter, ahead of the previous record claims paid of $229 million in the previous quarter ended September 2012.

Claims paid in the 12 months to December 2012 totalled $876 million. This is an increase of $44 million, or 5.2 percent, on the total claims paid in the 12 months to December 2011.

Growth in claims costs has been running at a high level over recent years due to increased demand, expansion of services funded, and medical inflation, although the rate of growth has slowed in the last year or two, mainly reflecting the fall in lives covered.


value of claims
paid

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Reserve Bank: Wheeler Keeps OCR At 1.75%

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate unchanged at 1.75 percent, as expected, and reiterated his view that the benchmark rate doesn't need shifting for the foreseeable future. More>>

ALSO:

Retail: Pumpkin Patch Brand, IP Sold To Catch Group

The receivers of failed children's clothing retailer Pumpkin Patch have confirmed that the company's brand and intellectual property have been sold to Australian online retailer Catch Group. More>>

ALSO:

Oil: 2017 Block Offer Petroleum Tender Launched

New Zealand is well-placed to take advantage of the economic benefits of oil and gas exploration, Energy and Resources Minister Judith Collins announced today at the launch of the 2017 Block Offer petroleum tender. More>>

ALSO:

OECD And Zero Carbon Reports: Environmental Pressures Rising In New Zealand

New Zealanders enjoy a high environmental quality of life and access to pristine wilderness. However, New Zealand’s growth model, based largely on exploiting natural resources, is starting to show its environmental limits with increasing greenhouse gas emissions and water pollution ... More>>

ALSO:

Statistics: Record Net Annual Migration Levels Continue

In the February 2017 year, 71,300 more migrants arrived in New Zealand than left, Stats NZ said today. This equalled the previous annual record set in January 2017. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news