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Southern Cross: "...it's alarming" that Kiwis don't know the cost of surgery

Southern Cross chief executive Peter Tynan, says "With over half of elective surgeries being funded privately in New Zealand ... it's alarming that so few know what these procedures actually cost".

Although it might be alarming, it is also understandable. Most consumers do not understand the cost of anything that they haven't got a special interest in or had to buy recently. That applies as much to the cost of renovations to their home, the cost of nursing home care, or that of most university courses. 

This article on Stuff shows just how little people are about the cost of private surgery with many of them underestimating the cost of major and minor surgeries significantly. There is great material here for insurance advisers looking for good statistics to help in the sales process of private medical cover. 

Surgeries are usually paid for in one of three ways:

"The state healthcare system pays for people willing to wait months, or even years, for their date with the surgeon's scalpel, or those unable to afford health insurance. Many surgeries are done through health insurers, with patients paying a portion of the bill, either through an excess, or through a "co-payment" of about 20 per cent on some policies. The remainder of surgeries are paid for by people from their private savings."

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