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

 


Health Leader Applauds Affordable Healthcare Bill

Health Leader Applauds Affordable Healthcare Bill March 1, 2013

The health insurer at the forefront of encouraging the government to introduce tax incentives to enable elderly people to maintain their own health insurance is delighted the first step has been taken in parliament.

The CEO of Accuro Health Insurance, Bruce Morrison, strongly supports the announcement of a New Zealand First member’s bill proposing;

• A 25 percent health insurance rebate for people over 65
• Removing Fringe Benefit Tax from employer sponsored health insurance.

Six months ago Bruce Morrison reported that too many elderly people were cancelling their policies because they couldn’t afford them just when it was so important they should retain them. That trend has continued into 2013.

As a result these people, because of an ageing demographic, end up in the public health system and their ongoing requirement for shoulder, knee and heart surgery takes a significant share of the health budget he commented.

In supporting the bill which would bring financial relief to older people with health insurance, Bruce says it’s important the government studies the Australian model which provides an incentive for everyone on private health insurance.

“Their government has an effective public/private model where nearly half of Australians have health insurance, up from 30 percent in 1999. In comparison less than a third of New Zealanders have health insurance, down from 48 percent in 1990.

“This bill offers a similar sort of model. If health insurance remained at the same level of 20 years ago there’d be a public health saving of $300-400 million,” he says.

“Figures show that between 2004 and 2010, the government’s health spend rose from $7.6 billion to $12.7 billion, an increase of 41 percent. He warned the government will face an inability to fund the public system within 20 years,” he warned.

“I applaud this bill which addresses that problem now and offers a solution to the cost escalation in the years to come.”

Bruce Morrison supports the New Zealand First assertion that “boosting uptake and retention of health insurance alleviates the burden on public health by freeing up resources and reducing waiting lists. Private hospitals already act as a backstop for public hospital overflow.”

“The public purse can’t continue to look after elective surgery. Private health must take a bigger role and we want to work with the government to achieve that end and help strengthen the relationship between public and private providers,” Bruce Morrison says.

Accuro, which last year received Consumer NZ’s tick of approval for providing the best cover for the lowest possible price, is a not-for-profit organisation, established more than 40 years ago.

The New Zealand First Bill also encourages more employer-funded insurance by scrapping Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT) on workplace health plans. This aligns FBT treatment of health insurance with insurance under the ACC scheme.

In welcoming the Bill, Bruce Morrison says many employers would love to provide health insurance for their staff but “it’s too hard and too expensive.” Accuro provides a very competitive product and specialises in group schemes but, despite its benefits, the government continues to make it hard for the employer.

“The introduction of the Member’s Bill to parliament is an important first step. As a company passionately involved in providing quality health insurance, we hope that members on all sides of the House, will carefully consider the merits of the Bill in the interests of thousands of New Zealanders.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

SOE Results: TVNZ Lifts Annual Profit 25% On Flat Ad Revenue, Quits Igloo

Television New Zealand, the state-owned broadcaster, lifted annual profit 25 percent, ahead of forecast and despite a dip in advertising revenue, while quitting its stake in the pay-TV Igloo joint venture with Sky Network Television. More>>

ALSO:

Insurers Up For More Payouts: Chch Property Investor Wins Policy Appeal In Supreme Court

Ridgecrest NZ, a property investor, has won an appeal in the Supreme Court over insurance cover provided by IAG New Zealand for a Christchurch building damaged in four successive earthquakes. More>>

ALSO:

Other Cases:

Royal Society: Review Finds Community Water Fluoridation Safe And Effective

A review of the scientific evidence for and against the efficacy and safety of fluoridation of public water supplies has found that the levels of fluoridation used in New Zealand create no health risks and provide protection against tooth decay. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Croxley Calls Time On NZ Production In Face Of Cheap Imports

Croxley Stationery, whose stationery brands include Olympic, Warwick and Collins, plans to cease manufacturing in New Zealand because it has struggled to compete with lower-cost imports in a market where the printed word is giving way to electronic communications. More>>

ALSO:

Prefu Roundup: Forecasts Revised, Surplus Intact

The National government heads into the election with its Budget surplus target broadly intact, delivering a set of economic and fiscal forecasts marginally revised from May to reflect weaker commodity prices and a lower tax take. More>>

ALSO:

Convention Centre: Major New SkyCity Hotel And Laneway For Auckland

Today SKYCITY Entertainment Group Limited revealed plans to build a new hotel and pedestrian laneway of bars, restaurants and boutique shopping on land it owns in the Nelson and Hobson Streets block, expanding the SKYCITY Entertainment Precinct. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news