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

 

Sky City : Auckland Convention Centre Cost Jumps By A Fifth

SkyCity Entertainment Group, the casino and hotel operator, is in talks with the government on how to fund the increased cost of as much as $130 million to build an international convention centre in downtown Auckland, with further gambling concessions ruled out. The Auckland-based company has increased its estimate to build the centre to between $470 million and $530 million as the construction boom across the country drives up building costs and design changes add to the bill.
More>>

ALSO:

RMTU: Mediation Between Lyttelton Port And Union Fails

The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining. More>>

Earlier:

Science Policy: Callaghan, NSC Funding Knocked In Submissions

Callaghan Innovation, which was last year allocated a budget of $566 million over four years to dish out research and development grants, and the National Science Challenges attracted criticism in submissions on the government’s draft national statement of science investment, with science funding largely seen as too fragmented. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Spark, Voda And Telstra To Lay New Trans-Tasman Cable

Spark New Zealand and Vodafone, New Zealand’s two dominant telecommunications providers, in partnership with Australian provider Telstra, will spend US$70 million building a trans-Tasman submarine cable to bolster broadband traffic between the neighbouring countries and the rest of the world. More>>

ALSO:

More:

Statistics: Current Account Deficit Widens

New Zealand's annual current account deficit was $6.1 billion (2.6 percent of GDP) for the year ended September 2014. This compares with a deficit of $5.8 billion (2.5 percent of GDP) for the year ended June 2014. More>>

ALSO:

Still In The Red: NZ Govt Shunts Out Surplus To 2016

The New Zealand government has pushed out its targeted return to surplus for a year as falling dairy prices and a low inflation environment has kept a lid on its rising tax take, but is still dangling a possible tax cut in 2017, the next election year and promising to try and achieve the surplus pledge on which it campaigned for election in September. More>>

ALSO:

Job Insecurity: Time For Jobs That Count In The Meat Industry

“Meat Workers face it all”, says Graham Cooke, Meat Workers Union National Secretary. “Seasonal work, dangerous jobs, casual and zero hours contracts, and increasing pressure on workers to join non-union individual agreements. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

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