News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Health insurance boost first since 2009

Health insurance numbers are showing signs of growth after more than four years of decline, in a reflection of New Zealand’s improved economic outlook, according to the Health Funds Association (HFANZ).

HFANZ chief executive Roger Styles said when releasing the figures today that the number of New Zealanders with health insurance had improved by 800 in the December 2013 quarter, on the back of growing employment and economic confidence.

“It is a good sign that we’ve seen a return to positive growth in the number of policyholders largely on the back of an improving economy. As things gain momentum over the next year or two, we will likely see further growth in the number of lives covered.”

Mr Styles said there was some anecdotal evidence that the role for employer-subsidised health insurance might get a boost as the labour market tightens and firms looked at wider benefits in an attempt to attract and retain staff.

“This is all a reflection of our rock star economy,” Mr Styles said, using the phrase coined by global bank HSBC to describe New Zealand’s strong predicted growth this year.

Total lives covered by health insurance as at December 31, 2013 stood at 1.336 million, an increase of 800, or 0.1 percent, over the past quarter and the first quarterly increase recorded since June 2009. 2

On an annual basis, lives covered declined by 11,300, or 0.8 percent. For the past five years, the number of lives covered has been trending downward, with a reduction of 60,000 lives covered – or around 4.4 percent – since December 2008. Mr Styles said the declining trend had flattened out over 2012 and 2013.

Claims paid for the December 2013 quarter totalled $242 million, up 5.2 percent on claims paid in the December 2012 quarter. Claims paid for the 12 months ending December 31, 2013 were $943 million, up 7.7 percent on December 2012 year claims.

Mr Styles said the claims paid in the December quarter were the third-highest recorded for a quarter, with the highest having been the $256 million paid out in the previous September 2013 quarter.

“Total health insurance claims paid are on track to reach a billion dollars this year, underpinning the valuable contribution health insurance makes to total health spending,” he said.

Premium income for the December 2013 quarter totalled $293 million, up $6.5 million or 2.3 percent on the September 2013 quarter. Annual premium income for the year to the end of December was $1.140 billion, up 4.3 percent on the December 2012 year.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Anniversaries: Vivid Memories Four Years After Christchurch Quake

Four years ago, an earthquake that would change the lives of thousands shook Christchurch at 12.51 p.m. More>>

ALSO:

Environment 'n' Conservation: Slash Meets Tāne The Tuatara

Rock and Roll superstar and former Guns 'n' Roses guitarist Slash visited Zealandia Ecosanctuary along with collaborating band Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators. More>>

Foo Fighters: Exclusive Show In Support Of Music Foundation

Frontier Touring has today announced that the Foo Fighters will play a last minute intimate and exclusive benefit show at the Auckland Town Hall this Friday February 20 with all profits going to The New Zealand Music Foundation. More>>

ALSO:

Canterbury Quakes: Feedback Sought On Short-Listed Memorial Designs

Six short-listed designs for the Canterbury Earthquake Memorial have been released for public input... The Memorial will honour the victims of Canterbury’s earthquakes and acknowledge the suffering of all those who lived through them as well as the heroism of those who participated in the rescue and recovery operations. More>>

ALSO:

Celia Lashlie: Legacy Will Live On

Social justice advocate Celia Lashlie leaves a legacy that will continue to have a positive impact on the lives of New Zealanders for years to come, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “Celia was a powerful voice for reason, sense and compassion. Her work, particularly with teenage boys, was ground-breaking." More>>

ALSO:

Obituary: Sad Farewell To PPTA Activist Robin Duff

Duff has been a long-time fixture of the association... Most recently Duff has been working hard to support Canterbury teachers through the quakes that devastated the region. More>>

ALSO:

Poroporoaki: Dr Apirana Tuahae Kaukapakapa Mahuika

Papa Api was a man of many great gifts and occupied a long list of roles including priest, teacher, scholar, politician, and leader. Chair of Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou, and a rangatira of his iwi... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news