Sunday, May 5, 2013

Highest health insurance payouts 2012.

"Southern Cross' biggest health insurance payout last year was for a spinal surgery costing $160,000, its latest statistics reveal.

Another spinal surgery cost $151,000 and $100,000 was paid out for a larynx removal.

Cancer, heart disease and spinal conditions were the causes of the highest health insurance claims paid by the association.

All of the patients who made the top 10 highest claims were aged over 64. The oldest was 76.

Chief executive Peter Tynan said it demonstrated the value of insurance. “No one wants to be ill but, if the unexpected happens and you need timely access to treatment, it can be very comforting to have the financial aspect taken care of.”

Those aged under 30 put in a high number of claims for tonsillectomies and dental procedures, for women aged 20-39 endometriosis surgery was common and for people over 50, hip and knee replacements, cataract extraction and skin lesion removals were in high demand.

Tynan said: “If they choose to self-insure, people should have realistic expectations of what they’ll need.”

A survey carried out by Southern Cross last year revealed that 79% of New Zealanders thought they would have to pay for some of their elective healthcare in retirement. But only one in five had started saving and many thought that savings of less than $10,000 would be sufficient."

Original Article Here.

It's always interesting to get a look at figures such as these. Imagine the burden of having to take on those kind of costs by yourself after retirement. The point about self insurance is interesting too, and it plays into a point I have discussed at other times on this blog. New Zealander's sometimes can lack perspective on just how prohibitive illness can be. This is due to a combination of factors, such as inadequate proliferation of the statistics and case studies involved, as well as a strong, independent, yet sometimes wrong headed 'she'll be right' sort of attitude. This attitude has seen Kiwis take on and achieve incredible feats, but it doesn't work so well when applied to your health, your ability to earn and protecting your family or your business from very real risks.

We certainly hope these risks are taken into account and that some of these figures demonstrate that savings of less than $10,000 certainly won't be enough if serious illness rears its ugly head.

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