Partners Life Managing Director Naomi Ballantyne has shared some insights into the benefits of medical insurance and private health care. Ballantyne has said the difference in available treatments, waiting times, and procedure time limits in public and private health care can be vast. Ballantyne has said that the key benefits of medical insurance are having individual-specific treatments available and hospitals not bulk buying treatments. Ballantyne has expanded by saying that unlike public health care providers, the private system offers every option available, with a focus on options more specific to each circumstance. Ballantyne has noted that the only limitation to private health care is ensuring treatments are Medsafe approved and approved by specialists.
“New Zealand’s public health system takes care of millions of Kiwis each year, but when it comes to treating more complex illnesses, the benefits of having private health insurance are often not well understood – and, according to Partners Life MD Naomi Ballantyne, the difference in available treatments can be huge.
The limitations of the public system include the types of drugs it has access to, waiting times, and the time limits set on certain procedures - all of which Ballantyne says can make a significant difference to somebody’s treatment process, particularly when dealing with a physically and emotionally difficult illness, such as cancer.
She said that access to individual-specific treatments is one of the key benefits of having medical insurance, as these types of treatments are not usually subsidised and can be expensive to access without an insurer’s help.
“The public system ‘bulk-buys’ their treatments, whereas the advantage of the private system is that it doesn’t need to do that,” Ballantyne said.
“In the private system, you are offered every option that you can get, and these options are often more specific to an individual’s circumstances rather than everyone just being given the same type of chemo, for example. In the private system, the doctors can offer drugs that are specific to a person who has a certain type of illness at a specific stage, and if you have private insurance, that’s all funded.”
“As a private insurer, we are not limited to whether something is subsidised or not,” Ballantyne explained.
“We’re only limited to whether it is Medsafe approved and whether your specialist has recommended that for you. That’s a huge difference between someone who is just given a generic treatment through the public system, or someone who has to sell off their assets to try and pay for a specific drug that isn’t subsidised.” Click here to read more
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