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nib announce launch of new health cover option, and more daily news

nib has announced the launch of a new health cover option, non-PHARMAC Plus, that is designed to offer members more access to potentially life-saving treatments not currently funded by PHARMAC. Members will be able to access treatments that are Medsafe approved and have been prescribed or administered according to Medsafe’s guidelines. Non-PHARMAC Plus is now available through adviser and group business channels. Members can add the cover to new or existing hospital cover. There is no waiting periods if members choose to add this option. Benefit limits range from $20,000 to $300,000 per member annually. nib CEO, Rob Hennin, has said that non-PHARMAC Plus was developed to offer members more flexible and affordable options. Through non-PHARMAC Plus members have access to new unfunded medicines. When future treatments for critical illnesses become available, members will be covered.  non-PHARMAC Plus covers the cost of using non-PHARMAC treatments in private hospital or at home up to six months after being admitted to hospital and any drug administration costs once a claim is accepted.

“Leading health insurer, nib New Zealand (nib), has today launched a new health cover option to provide Kiwis with greater choice and access to potentially life-saving treatments not publicly funded by PHARMAC – the government agency responsible for deciding which medicines are subsidised as part of our public health system.

The new add-on cover, non-PHARMAC Plus, is available from today through nib’s adviser and group distribution channels with members able to add to their new or existing hospital cover.

Benefit limits range from $20,000 to $300,000 per member per year, allowing members to choose the level of cover that best suits their health needs and budget.

nib New Zealand Chief Executive Officer, Rob Hennin, said the non-PHARMAC Plus option was developed in response to a growing need for cover that provides members with greater choice, affordability and flexibility when it comes to modern medicines.

“New Zealand’s public healthcare system is often recognised for the level of care it provides, but we’re also ranked as having the worst access to funded modern medicines of the 20 OECD countries,” Mr Hennin said.

“Without funding, these medicines can often cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, placing Kiwis who are already under significant stress dealing with an illness, with the added financial burden of paying for treatments out-of-pocket.

It’s why we’ve introduced this add-on option which is designed to better protect our members’ health by making potentially life-saving treatments more affordable and accessible,” he added.

nib’s non-PHARMAC Plus option provides cover for all medicines that are not funded by PHARMAC, are Medsafe approved and have been prescribed or administered in line with Medsafe’s guidelines – not just cancer treatments.

“The great part about our non-PHARMAC Plus option is that the add-on benefit also enables our members to ‘future-proof’ their cover so that when new unfunded medicines become available to treat critical illnesses, they’ll be covered for it,” Mr Hennin said.

“As these advancements in medicine innovations continue to take place, advisers will play a critical role in educating and informing the public of the various health cover products in market to help support their clients’ long-term health needs,” he added.

The benefit covers the cost of these medicines where nib has accepted a claim for treatment and where the non-PHARMAC drugs are used in a private hospital or at home for up to six months after being admitted to hospital for treatment. The benefit also covers any drug administration costs. Additionally, there are no waiting periods if members choose to add this option to their policy.”

In other news

Financial Advice NZ: Dunedin roadshow to be held Tuesday, 29 June – 9:30am to 12pm

Financial Advice NZ webinar: Update from the FMA, unbundling Full Licensing, and Consultation on Financial Advice NZ Constitution

Financial Advice NZ: Professional Ethics Workshop


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