medical insurance

Old Mar 17th 2008, 12:21 am
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Default medical insurance

Can someone explain how the medical insurance works here, i haven't got a clue.

Wot happens when you need to see a doctor, dentist are these both covered by the insurance. Do you pay for each appointment or is this what you pay your insurance for, or is this just if you need to go to hospital?

Wot is the average sort of price for a family of four, so many things i haven't a clue where to start.

Would be lost if it wasn't for all your help guys.
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Old Mar 17th 2008, 1:26 am
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Default Re: medical insurance

Hello there,

I would suggest contacting Southern Cross.
Their website is www.southerncross.co.nz.

They will be able to give you a break down of costs and packages via email if you request this, if you are stilll in the UK. Otherwise they will call you.

I am covered by them, as are many of my friends, and apparently people say they are the best.

Good luck!
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Old Mar 17th 2008, 1:37 am
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Default Re: medical insurance

Health insurance is not compulsory.
Hospital care is free in public hospitals just like in the NHS but there may be waiting lists. You do have to pay each time you visit the doctor (less than $100) or dentist (Kids free in school dental service) but the amounts are smallish if say just a check up is involved.
By all means look into insurance but if money is very tight you may decide it is not essential...just budget for GP and dental visits in your weekly housekeeping...'pay as you go' .

If you have an accident of any kind, ACC covers you automatically to get you back on your feet.

That's my understanding of it anyway...others may add more detail.
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Old Mar 17th 2008, 5:51 am
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Default Re: medical insurance

I think i'm being a bit thick, we were told back in the UK that you had to have medical insurance So if one of my children are sick all I pay for is the doctors appointment, what if they then need further tests like blood etc, is this like at the hospitals back home where the doctor refers you then you wait for an appointment. Is insurance over here just like at home where its private then?

Told you it was a thick question. Just don't get it. I am presuming that all dentists are private, and are the doctors all private?

Also whats ACC?


Originally Posted by luvwelly View Post
Health insurance is not compulsory.
Hospital care is free in public hospitals just like in the NHS but there may be waiting lists. You do have to pay each time you visit the doctor (less than $100) or dentist (Kids free in school dental service) but the amounts are smallish if say just a check up is involved.
By all means look into insurance but if money is very tight you may decide it is not essential...just budget for GP and dental visits in your weekly housekeeping...'pay as you go' .

If you have an accident of any kind, ACC covers you automatically to get you back on your feet.

That's my understanding of it anyway...others may add more detail.
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Old Mar 17th 2008, 7:42 am
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Default Re: medical insurance

Based on my experience so far:
Treatment in A&E for my son was free (they want to see your passport to see the work visa) just like in UK but we had to pay for his prescription but because he is a child it was subsidised by the Government so we paid $10 for his prescription and the subsidy was $7.45, total cost of drug $17.45 but we only had to pay $10.

Adults do pay for their prescriptions. Think if you are on repeat prescriptions there are special arrangements like in UK but I don't know the fine details.

Vaccinations which are part of a Government programme are free for kids and mammograms and smear tests are free but basically yes, as an adult and a child above a certain age you pay a fee everytime you visit your GP. It is cheaper for children than for adults. The GP practice you register at will be able to give you a list of fees and explain it to you.

My husband was sent recently for a blood test at a blood test centre by his GP and it was free even though he is an adult.

Most dentists are run as private businesses but the government provides free care for teenagers via a list of participating private dentists and free care for kids from I think the age of 2/3 through the School Dental Service. Check-up prices for adults vary widely...but in my experience you will get a lot more of the dentist's time than in the UK NHS where a typical appointment slot is a laughable 10 mins. You are also free to take your kids to a private dentist but you will have to pay...some charge kids less than their adult patients some don't.

Google ACC it is a form of automatic cover which stops people bringing lawsuits for personal injury....it can cover accidents of all kinds and even covers things like physio and I believe 'loss of earnings'. I think even tourists are covered under it, should that bungy jump go wrong for instance.

You cannot be refused emergency care at a public hospital in NZ but there are waiting lists for non-emergency surgery just like the UK and in some cases the waits seem to be much longer....hence insurance being an option many people take out....whether it would reimburse GP visit fees and drug bills would probably depend on the package you sign up to.

In a family of 4, it may be cost-effective to sign up for private cover but you need to research and decide in your own case.

I have private cover through my OH's job, but haven't claimed anything back yet. My impression is that it is not essential here as there is virtually but not quite an NHS equivalent funded out of taxation in the same way i.e. substantially free at point of use. You are certainly not in a USA-type scenario.
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Old Mar 17th 2008, 7:59 am
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Default Re: medical insurance

Originally Posted by juliejamesmcgrath View Post
I think i'm being a bit thick, we were told back in the UK that you had to have medical insurance So if one of my children are sick all I pay for is the doctors appointment, what if they then need further tests like blood etc, is this like at the hospitals back home where the doctor refers you then you wait for an appointment. Is insurance over here just like at home where its private then?

Told you it was a thick question. Just don't get it. I am presuming that all dentists are private, and are the doctors all private?

Also whats ACC?
Its a bit like the NHS but with private odds and sods bolted on. For example MrsL needed a chest x-ray the other week, she paid $80 + GST (VAT) to get it done then and there rather than wait a week and go public. Medical costs can be expensive but ACC does bear the brunt of many, including sporting injuries and accidents (the only things I have needed in 15 months, touch wood......).
The public system here is stretched, for example there was a pro-bono (ie time donated) hospital recently set up in Chch to cater for those who had slipped through the public health net - eg elderly hernia patients, etc, who could not afford to pay.
Southern Cross is the normal recommendation and many employers, in Private and State sectors have agreements with them for subsidised or free coverage.
Good luck and best of luck to all of us who live with no insurances (at the moment).
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Old Mar 17th 2008, 8:16 am
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Default Re: medical insurance

The other thing to bear in mind is how near is your nearest private medical facility. In Wellington there is no private emergency service so despite having private cover, I used the local public hospital. In Auckland there are private A&Es so you can avoid having to wait ages to be seen maybe.
There are private hospitals for elective surgery in Wellington and the like, so if I needed surgery the chances are (assuming I was satisfied as to the surgeon's reputation) I would activate my private cover and go to a private hospital here in Wellington rather than sit on a public waiting list.
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