Do I Need Health Insurance?

Health insurance for legal professionalsWhy do I need Health Insurance?  Here we answer 9 commonly asked questions. 

 

1. Do I Really Need Insurance?

Although it may be easy to adopt an attitude of ‘it won’t happen to me’, it is a statistical fact that you will require hospitalisation or surgery at some point in your life – in some cases two or three times. Whatever your viewpoint as to whether medical treatment should be taken care of by government, the only way to ensure that you and your family will receive prompt and proper treatment is by taking out heath & medical insurance. Although cover may seem unnecessary at times, the alternative of having to shoulder large treatment expenses makes the cost of premiums a low price to pay.

2. Which Type Of Cover Is Best?

The main reasons for having health or medical insurance are to protect yourself against the risk of having to pay for your own treatment and to obtain the best possible care with the least amount of delay or stress. A hospital & surgical or hospital & specialist policy will provide a basic level of cover and the payment of additional premium to protect yourself against smaller, more predictable GP bills or optical & dental expenses may not be cost effective in the long term. As to which specific plan is the best for you, there are a number of variables which our advisors can explain – take a couple of minutes to get in touch and we can talk you through some options.

3. Who Has The Best Health Insurance Policy?

It depends. There are a number of factors which need to be taken into account when choosing a provider – every company is slightly different in the way that it structures it’s cover and every individual, couple or family is different in terms of personal situation. Some companies base their premiums on the age of the youngest adult, some have ‘per-child’ premiums whilst others have a flat rate no matter how many children you have.

4. Should I Choose An Excess?

In most cases, yes. We hope that medical insurance will be a waste of money – adding an excess to your policy allows you to waste a little less. Most companies offer a discount for adding an excess – this saving can add up to a significant sum over the course of several years.

5. How Much Can I Claim?

There is no limit on the amount of claims that you can make providing they stay within the policy limits for each area.

6. Do I Need To Remember Details Of My Medical History?

No, the main thing when completing an application for insurance is to disclose at least basic details of any past medical treatment or consultations. If the insurer then requires more detail in order to assess your application they can usually get the required information from your GP.

7. Are There Alternatives To Medical Cover?

Not really. Although it may be tempting to think that you could save the money you would normally pay into a medical insurance policy for possible future use, the levels of medical inflation means that an investment would need to grow at an unrealistic rate to keep up. Obviously there is a chance that you could go through your entire life without ever making a claim (which would be a good thing) but there’s also the possibility that you need to make several significant claims.

8. How Much Will Premiums Increase?

Again this will depend on the choice of company. Some have age-related premiums increasing each year, whereas others calculate premiums on five year age bands. Regardless of how often these age-related increases are applied, you can expect to receive an increase every year or so to reflect higher than expected claims (company wide rather than specific to you) or to take the rise in medical costs into account. Factors that contribute to higher claims costs include:

  • Restricted access to public health care
  • New medical technology (more costly to provide)
  • An aging population (with higher average claims amounts)
  • Rising medical inflation (increasing consultation, treatment and equipment costs)

Click here to read about Kate, a legal secretary, and her experiences with health insurance.

9. How Do I Get Started?

For a free no obligation consultation, contact Legal & Professional Benefits at enquiry@legalinsurance.co.nz or 09 486 5513.