What Makes A Good Insurance Policy

26 September 2014

As with any type of insurance policy not all Health Insurance policies are the same.  Some are better, some cheaper and some offer features that offer little benefit.  But how do you spot a good policy?  And more importantly how do you identify a policy that is most suitable for your needs?

Health Insurance agencies put a lot of emphasis on the maximum levels that you are able to claim on for surgery and other procedures.  It would be important to note that not many surgical procedures would be anywhere near the cost of these maximums so many may not find importance in the maximums.  But consider if you required more than one surgical procedure during a 12 month period – and it can happen that surgery does have to be repeated or repaired so these maximum levels may be of important consideration.  

While many insurance agencies can say that they cover for a lot of extra features it pays to look closer at what level they cover.  For example some insurance agencies offer Dental cover but often these maximums are set at very low levels, eg one policy only covers $250 per person per year.  That’s probably one trip to the Dentist for a check up and a clean!  It won’t cover more expensive treatments and the benefit may not justify the cost of the premiums.

With Treatments for Cancer such as Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy being privatised we have seen an increased amount of enquiry for medical insurance and what can be claimed for cancer treatments.  Some policies will not cover cancer treatment at all.  Some may cover it but only as an add on or as an upgrade.  Some however will have it covered in their basic plan.  But again you need to check what is covered and at what level. The cost for a single cancer for six years (one year prior to and five years following diagnosis) is calculated between $20,372.50 - $38,000.00 (excluding screening programmes and supported care) Ministry of Health “The Price of Cancer:  The public price of registered cancer in New Zealand 2011”).  But Chemotherapy is only one type of treatment.  What about other aspects of Cancer treatment such as surgery, radiotherapy, corrective surgery (eg Breast reconstruction).  The client generally just wants to know that if they have cancer they will receive the best treatment in the quickest possible time.  They aren’t going to know what that treatment is and as such don’t want to be restricted to just Chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

A good health insurance policy can be identified as:

  1. Reasonable maximum levels 
  2. A broader range on the type of cover
  3. More cover on their basic plan as opposed to having to pay for add ons
  4. Be of a reasonable price
  5. Be from a good insurance agency that has a good track record in paying out the benefit AND has simple and easy to follow processes to be able to claim
  6. Have a range of medical practitioners/providers that you can use and not limit you to specific ones on their list.

As always we recommend that the choice of what health insurance you consider be done in consultation with your insurance Adviser (Broker) who has access to range of health insurance options from a range of providers.

 

Published In Whakatane Beacon

This post was written by

Trish Marsden - who has written 96 posts

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