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Southern Cross: Health Insurance Payouts Top $800 Million

Reading a recent article by David Chaplin I strayed into reading the comments - which is often a bad idea - but I do have to remember that someone typed in that comment, and although it may appear nonsensical to me, it may represent a sincerely held view. One of those was along the lines that insurance is some kind of massive corporate fraud and they never pay claims. This press release from Southern Cross is a good antidote to that kind of view:  

HEALTH INSURANCE PAYOUTS TOP $800 MILLION

Figures released today show Southern Cross Health Society paid 2.3 million claims in the last calendar year with a combined value of $803,400,000.

Though just 7% or 163,370 of those claims were for elective surgery they accounted for 73% of costs. And like government figures, the number and cost of surgeries funded each year by Southern Cross keep climbing. For example, in the last five years we have had 23% growth in the number of surgeries funded and a 32% increase in the associated costs.

In 2014, five members of the not-for-profit health insurer were paid over $125,000 in medical claims. The top claiming policyholder was paid $157,832, with the following four receiving $139,954, $128,470, $125,002 and $124,966 respectively. 

Peter Tynan, Southern Cross Health Society Chief Executive, says there are many conditions that require complex and expensive treatment.

“While we all hope we will never need these treatments, you just never know what’s around the corner and it highlights what a valuable safety net health insurance can be.”

Southern Cross’ most-claimed for procedures by dollar value were:

Procedure

Total paid

Imaging and tests

$70,630,799

Skin procedures

$41,677,389

Total knee replacements

$40,575,735

Total hip replacements

$38,170,366

Colonoscopy

$30,584,974

Tynan stressed that although the claims received vary greatly depending on age and gender - all ages benefit from having health insurance - making it an investment from cradle to grave.

“We tend to see more tooth extractions for those aged under 30, for women aged 31-40 endometriosis surgery is predominant and after 50 years, hip and knee replacements, colonoscopies, cataract extraction and skin lesion removals are in high demand.

The claims data also reinforced Southern Cross’ position as the industry leader in paying claims. In the last calendar year, for every dollar of premium, Southern Cross paid out over 90 cents in claims.

Tynan says, “Last year we paid 72% of the country’s health insurance claims, so we have a significant amount of data on what healthcare actually costs and what people actually claim for.  Our policy benefits and limits are constructed with this knowledge in mind. It also means Southern Cross members get extremely good value for every dollar of premium they pay.”

 


HFANZ: Health Budget Still Doesn't Address Funding Model

HFANZ issued a media release this afternoon following the recent budget increase. HFANZ say the the increase for health represents only a fraction of elective surgical demand and doesn't address the need for an improved funding model.

HFANZ acting chief executive Chris Pentecost said he applauded the Government for acknowledging it had unmet elective surgery need in the public system, but today’s announced increases would most likely only bring it closer to meeting current demand, rather than the increasing need forecast for the next decade due to our ageing population. 

“This is just a drop in the bucket, and there are still many more people unable to even get on the waiting lists. Throwing money at the public healthcare system is no longer sustainable. New Zealanders need to realise that from now on they are going to have to take more personal responsibility for their healthcare because the Government is not going to be able to afford to fund it all,” he said.


Quotemonster: 3500+ users Research: 1300+ users

At the very moment you read this there are probably 10 to 20 advisers doing quotes using Quotemonster. If you spend up to half an hour browsing the news in a weekday morning there will probably have been 100 to 200 advisers use Quotemonster.

Quotemonster has more than 3,500 users (either using the site or accessing it through an API). We're willing to bet that nobody has more advisers and does more quotes than we do - by quite a margin. 

More than 1300 advisers have used our research - either through a subscription, corporate or group deal, or though a recent one-off report. From as little as $5 for a one-off report we're willing to bet that we are the quickest, easiest way to prepare a research report exploring the meaningful differences between insurance products. 

 


Breast Cancer Awareness on Social Media

Lisa Royle from the UK posted this picture of her breast on Facebook last week with this caption:

"Ok so I never thought I'd post a boob picture on Facebook but I thought I would before it gets chopped off next week.
So here it is..... This all that I found on my boob. Very subtle dimples underneath that could easily be missed when we're all rushing round getting ready in a morning.
Please take time to look at your boobs. It could save you're life 💕"

As breast cancer rates are on the rise and is one of the highest claimed cancers for Trauma Cover, awareness around the globe is increasing. This month is Pink Ribbon Breakfast month in NZ - click here to fundraise money for the cause.


Malaysia Launches Their First Online Life Insurance Platform

Malaysian insurer U For Life this week launched the country's first internet insurance platform to issue e-policies instantly. Designed with the needs of consumers in mind, U for Life is committed to help more Malaysians be insured by offering a simple, instant and affordable way to buy life insurance online.

U for Life general manager Iskandar Ezzahuddin said a recent study commissioned by the Life Insurance Association of Malaysia (LIAM) indicated that Malaysians are generally under-insured compared with neighbouring countries like Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan.

"There is certainly a need to increase the life insurance penetration rate in this country, and I'm confident that our online insurance platform can contribute towards realising that objective," Iskandar said in a statement.

Full article here.


AA Life and SBS Now Researched on Quotemonster

AA Life insurance and SBS Life and Standalone Trauma are now researched by QPR on Quotemonster.Only those with access to research will be able to review the details. Got to www.quotemonster.co.nz to login and check out the comparison. Follow Quality Product Research Limited on LinkedIn to get notifications of updates and changes in your news feed. 


Issues Paper of Financial Advisers Act Review Out

Paul Goldsmith, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister, has released an Issues Paper on the Financial Advisers Act for consultation today. Consultation on the Issues Paper closes on the 22nd of July and a second document will be released towards the end of the year recommending possible changes to the  regulatory regime.

Russell Hutchinson will be writing "The Insurance Adviser's Guide to the Financial Advisers Act Review" shortly - keep an eye out for that.