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NZ - Health & Welfare issues

NZ - Health & Welfare issues

Old Oct 22nd 2002, 9:19 pm
  #1  
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Default NZ - Health & Welfare issues

I'm considering a move to NZ. Would probably get the 30 points needed.
I am fairly well qualified (PhD, MBA) have lots of experience in a 'shortage' area (not IT !) and have seen a fair bit of NZ when on holiday there a few years back. I'm not daft enough to think that a move would be easy, and I'd be prepared for some difficulties (eg homesickness; being a bit 'isolated' etc)

Anyhow, I'm wondering how the health and welfare system works in NZ. Here in the UK I'm reasonably well off (6 bed house, 'prestige' cars etc) but I've never seen the need to buy private health care. We (i.e. myself, wife & three children) have had a few medical problems but we've always had very good service from the NHS (honestly!).

I know that medical care is private in NZ - how does this work? For example, what would be a typical monthly premium for a family of 5? What happens if you can't pay (due to unemployment, accident or incapacity) and what happens if you get a serious illness (cancer and the like) - UK private policies generally have a cover limit.

Another question relates to unemployment benefit and old age pension in NZ - again, is this privatised or is there state unemployment benefit and a state pension similar to the UK's? I've browsed the web but not found any info on these matters.

Thanks.
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Old Oct 23rd 2002, 4:39 am
  #2  
JWW
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Default Re: NZ - Health & Welfare issues

Originally posted by Aprilia:
I'm considering a move to NZ. Would probably get the 30 points needed.

Another question relates to unemployment benefit and old age pension in NZ - again, is this privatised or is there state unemployment benefit and a state pension similar to the UK's? I've browsed the web but not found any info on these matters.

Thanks.
Don't panic.

I've yet to experience the dole but my understanding is that you can receive unemployment benifit after residing here for two years. NZ also provide hardship payments before then if you really are in a hole.

Every PR or citizen is entitled to a pension, its not means tested, when they reach 65 after having a certain period working here, not sure how long.

Every child under 7 gets free doctors visits and perscriptions etc every one else pays...currently about $40, which is good because there are no waiting times, you pretty much turn up.

All accidents and critical illnesses (cancer etc) are treated free but there are waiting lists for elective surgery such as hip replacements. Most people who get private health cover get the elective surgery cover so they get treated straight away.

Dental treatment is all private, but not as expensive as UK.

Cheers.

John.
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Old Oct 23rd 2002, 4:58 am
  #3  
Don
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Default Re: NZ - Health & Welfare issues

I don't think NZ pension (search under 'superannuation') is as good as John says. Eg, from http://www.winz.govt.nz/get_financia...annuation.html

'Can I get New Zealand Superannuation?
You can get New Zealand Superannuation if you...
are 65 years of age or over and
are a New Zealand citizen or permanent residen and
have lived in New Zealand for a certain amount of time and
normally live here when you apply
You need to have lived in New Zealand for...
a total of 10 years since you turned 20 and
5 of those years have to be since you turned 50
....unless you spent some of that time overseas:
having special medical or surgical treatment or
doing vocational training or
working as a missionary or
working with Volunteer Service Abroad or
serving in one of the Commonwealth's armed forces or
working on a New Zealand owned or registered ship trading to and from here
If you spent time overseas, you must usually have been living here before and after you were overseas.

However, there is another possibility...
If you spent time in Australia, Britain, Jersey, Guernsey, Canada, Denmark, the Republic of Ireland, Greece or the Netherlands, that may also count as time lived here in terms of getting your Super.

How much will I get?
This guide tells you the maximum fortnightly payments for Super. It shows the amount you get before and after tax at the normal rate. If you have other income, you will be taxed at a different rate. Please call Inland Revenue for more information on 0800 227 774 (please have your IRD number handy).

Depending on your circumstances, you might wish to apply to Inland Revenue for a lower tax rate. Any extra assistance you may be eligible for is not included in the chart.

Fortnightly payments Before tax Taxed at `M' (if you have no other income)
Married (both partners qualify)
$437.00 each
$367.38 each

Married* (only 1 partner qualifies)
$415.28 each
$350.28 each

Married (partner not included)
$437.00
$367.38

Single (living with others)
$529.80
$440.86

Single (living alone)
$576.62
$477.60

*This amount may be affected by other income you receive.
People whose payments started before October 1991 may get more than this.


If you live alone...
You may qualify for a Living Alone Payment on top of your Super. Please ask us for more details.

If you receive an overseas pension ...
Any benefit or pension you qualify for from an overseas Government is likely to be deducted from your New Zealand Superannuation. For more details call 0800 552 002 and ask for our International Services office.'

So anyone getting a reasonably good private pension or significant state pension from UK will probably get reduced or no benefit at all from the NZ superannuation scheme. Having said that, if you are a low earner in NZ with no previous pension provision, it's a generous scheme with only 10 years' residence needed to qualify.

Cheers - Don
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Old Oct 23rd 2002, 5:00 am
  #4  
Ian Guy
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Default Re: NZ - Health & Welfare issues

Sorry to dismay you, but health in NZ is public, hence why it has problems
(like the UK, and I work in it here and previously in UK)

If you need emergrncy treatment you can and will get it, probably as quickly
as the UK. If you have a 6 bed house, the flash car, etc. you will be more
wealthy here with the £'s you are bringing. Private health care is
considerably cheaper than the UK. (I was quoted $100 per month for a family
of five)

The one thing you will pay for is GP consultations and prescriptions. A
visit to the GP will set you back $45. Dentistry is also firmly private (it
is heading that way in the UK) and costly - orthodontist work is v.
expensive!

Pensions - again there is a state pension, but don't know much. You can keep
you UK pension too, although the UK govt. are trying to stop this and you
will be taxed on receiving the money in the UK and on transferring it to NZ.
Alternatively you can transfer it here.

"Aprilia" wrote in message
news:[email protected]
.com
...
    > I'm considering a move to NZ. Would probably get the 30 points needed.
    > I am fairly well qualified (PhD, MBA) have lots of experience in a
    > 'shortage' area (not IT !) and have seen a fair bit of NZ when on
    > holiday there a few years back. I'm not daft enough to think that a
    > move would be easy, and I'd be prepared for some difficulties (eg
    > homesickness; being a bit 'isolated' etc)
    > Anyhow, I'm wondering how the health and welfare system works in NZ.
    > Here in the UK I'm reasonably well off (6 bed house, 'prestige' cars
    > etc) but I've never seen the need to buy private health care. We (i.e.
    > myself, wife & three children) have had a few medical problems but we've
    > always had very good service from the NHS (honestly!).
    > I know that medical care is private in NZ - how does this work? For
    > example, what would be a typical monthly premium for a family of 5?
    > What happens if you can't pay (due to unemployment, accident or
    > incapacity) and what happens if you get a serious illness (cancer and
    > the like) - UK private policies generally have a cover limit.
    > Another question relates to unemployment benefit and old age pension in
    > NZ - again, is this privatised or is there state unemployment benefit
    > and a state pension similar to the UK's? I've browsed the web but not
    > found any info on these matters.
    > Thanks.
    > --
 
Old Oct 23rd 2002, 4:18 pm
  #5  
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Default Re: NZ - Health & Welfare issues

Thanks for those replies, very useful indeed.

Interesting how so many people 'knock' the UK health service. I know it varies around the country, but where I live we can ring the GP at 8.30am and get an appointment the same morning. No complaints at all.

When my aged father-in-law (85 years) needed a hip replacement he waited only 8 weeks before they did it. Sadly he died not long afterwards.

UK private dentists are getting expensive though - costs me £20 a month. Dentists seem to do well all over the world though!
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