Sunday, June 29, 2014

Important Health Insurance Facts from Southern Cross

Last week at the Spratt Financial offices, we received our annual presentation from higher ups at Southern Cross, New Zealand's biggest health insurance providers. Some of the facts mentioned were really interesting so we decided to share!

  • A lack of medical insurance is according to statistics the biggest contributor to mortgagee sales in the country. Mortgagee sales for those who don't know, refers to the bank or lender selling a home from underneath the owners when they are unable to make mortgage payments. Unexpected medical, surgical or health costs when someone doesn't have insurance is the main contributor to people losing their homes and that was the most shocking fact of all to us.
  • The majority of claims to Southern Cross come from those aged 65. 
  • If you drink less than 2 glasses of alcohol per day, are a non smoker and exercise 3 times per week you can receive a 10% discount on your health insurance premiums. 
  • The cost of the most common procedures used to treat the following disorders are as follows (based on Southern cross' 2012 claims data):
    - Heart Disease: $38,000 - $57,000
    - Skin Cancer: $800 - $3,900 for removal of lesions.
    - Osteoarthritis: $19,000 - $25,000
    - Prostrate Cancer: $15,000 - $21,000
    - Digestive Problems: $400 - $1,800 for Gastroscopy.
    - Breast Cancer: $7,000 - $12,000 for unilateral Mastectomy.
    - Cataracts: $3,100 - $4,700
    - Endometriosis: $6,000 - $14,000
  • For every one dollar paid to Southern Cross in premiums, Southern Cross pays back an average of 90 cents to their members in claims (based on the previous 5 years figures averaged).
  • Southern Cross has no shareholders or overseas owners. We were told this is because they would rather service New Zealanders than be beholden to any outside financial interests.
  • During the 2013 financial year, Southern Cross paid out $639.1 million in claims.
  • Southern Cross currently services 817,822 members in New Zealand.
  • In a worrying industry wide trend, Southern cross' member numbers decreased in 2013. Southern Cross numbers dropped by 0.5% compared to an overall trend in the industry of 0.7%. SC are attempting to draw attention to the negative consequences of not having medical cover (including the mortgagee sales example above) to reverse this trend.
  • Southern Cross has an A+ financial strength rating given by Standard and Poor's.

Interested in Health Insurance?  Call us on 09 307 8200 or email

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