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Southern Cross Launches A New Zealand First


Southern Cross Launches A New Zealand First

Southern Cross Healthcare today launched an entirely new way for New Zealanders to better manage their own health care and gain improved value from the more than $2 billion spent annually on health-related goods and services.

Called activa, this New Zealand first is a health management account. It’s a system designed specifically for New Zealanders but based on international trends in health funding where people are increasingly investing in maintaining their own good health.

With activa you can combine an interest bearing account with a safety net health insurance plan and a package of additional options that all work together to assist New Zealanders in better managing their health dollars.

The features of the activa health management account include:

A card accessed account for day-to-day health spending and saving, with a card accessed interest bearing account. The account and related banking services are provided by ASB.

The option of a health insurance plan designed to provide a safety net for high cost surgical treatment.

Reduced premiums for adults on the activa insurance plan who are non-smokers and who exercise regularly. Eligibility for this can be confirmed every two years via health checks.

A “partner” network - offering benefits and discounts accessed by using the “eftpos type” card at participating activa partners.

Support for healthy living - through more than 1000 pages of health information on the website - www.activa.co.nz.

Southern Cross Healthcare Group Chief Executive, Dr Ian McPherson, said that activa is a way for people to better manage their own health spending and enhance their access to health care.

“activa underlines our commitment to making quality healthcare more accessible and to assist New Zealanders in better controlling their health spending,” says Dr McPherson.

“We’ve developed activa to meet the changing needs of New Zealanders and provide different health funding solutions.

“One in three New Zealanders has traditional health insurance,” says Dr McPherson. “Our expectation is that health management accounts will have a similar level of uptake.

“In New Zealand we’re breaking new ground with a totally new concept that recognises New Zealanders spend a great deal on looking after their health - activa can help all of us make that money work harder.”

While the concept is new, Activa Health Ltd Chief Operating Officer, Louise Kerridge, expects it will match the performance of similar health management accounts internationally.

They are used overseas in both the public and private health sectors and are growing in popularity.

Ms Kerridge said growth in health management accounts mirrors consumer demand for options that acknowledge healthy lifestyles and recognise the personal investment people make in their health.

“Our research showed that individuals older than 30, on average spend around $1,500 on their health each year and families spend around $2,200. More than 70% of that money goes on everyday costs, like GP or dentist visits, prescriptions, products from pharmacies or health food stores or gym memberships.

“We set out to design a health management account that recognises people like to take responsibility for their own wellbeing and can directly help them manage their health and wellbeing dollar. That’s also been our focus in finding partners and merchants to join activa.”

activa merchants and partners include pharmacies, doctors, dentists, opticians, sports retailers, gym chains, physiotherapists, radiologists, audiologists, chiropractors, health food shops. activa has already attracted widespread interest among merchants and partners and Ms Kerridge expects the current merchant network to grow rapidly following the launch.

“Every retailer we have spoken to is supportive of this and international experience is that providers of health care and services very quickly see the benefits of gaining access to consumers who take their health seriously by investing more than $2 billion a year in it,” says Ms Kerridge.

ENDS


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