Stats NZ update data collection approach relating to sex and gender

Stats NZ has revealed that after conducting an extensive public consultation there will be a change to the statistical standard relating to how gender, sex and variations of sex characteristics data is collected and reported. The new standard will ensure that definitions and measures are consistent and that they are inclusive of the transgender and intersex population. Stats NZ has also revealed that the collection and reporting approach is based around a human rights approach.

“An updated statistical standard will inform how agencies collect and report information on gender, sex, and variations of sex characteristics, Stats NZ said today. 

The refreshed standard makes definitions and measures consistent, provides guidance for collecting transgender and intersex population data, and is grounded in a human rights approach. 

“It’s important we collect data in an inclusive way, and our process for developing the updated standard reflects this. The refresh has involved extensive public consultation, input from government agencies, international peers, and the support of subject matter experts,’’ Government Statistician and Chief Executive Mark Sowden said.” 

Advisers and insurers also collect sex and gender information. It would be good to see the same standard applied in order to allow data sets to be compared effectively. A graphic from the Statistics NZ guide is shown below to illustrate how to ask the relevant questions. It seems that for the purposes of insurance data collection the approach recommended is to ask sex as assigned at birth and also then to ask gender (as shown in the third part of step three). When underwriting cover, however, identification of intersex variations would appear to be important. Moving these from the health questionnaire to the part of the application where sex and gender questions are asked would help some respondents a great deal. This is illustrated by the additional questions suggested in step three below.  Statistics NZ Guide to collecting gender sex and variations 2021-04-29 143507
 

 
Visit our website to read this news story and the updated standard:


Merely stating facts is not enough

In research covering more than 6,000 claims for trauma conditions across greater than 2.6 million policy years, recorded claims causes show that cancer accounted for more than 40% of male claims and more than 70% of female claims. That's a huge share. It astonishes me that claims cause was not recorded for over 1,500 claims - but this gap in the data is more likely to be due to poor /legacy management information systems, than actually paying claims without a cause, it is unlikely to affect the ratio of claims causes. 

Consider another pair of facts: in a 30 year period a male non-smoker may have about a 16% (or one in six) chance of claiming on their trauma policy. Trauma claims enjoy a high claim payment rate - it varies, but in the UK a figure of greater than 90% is common. Now consider how they interact: there is about a 1.6% chance that this person will be unable to make a claim. Trauma insurance is a good bet. 

Clients, living their lives, have little or no idea about the risks and odds. It is up to someone to tell them. What's more, if you are basing product selection decisions on long lists of things that have little or no bearing on whether a claim will be payable then the information is true, but of limited use. Weighting the features by claims likelihood is essential to helping the client make an informed decision. 


Dr David Clark voices his concern

Minister Dr David Clark is concerned about poor financial decisions made by some New Zealanders during the Covid-19 crisis and feels that advisers have a critical role to play in supporting customers in making good choices. At Dunedin Town Hall, FSC Getting in Shape event. The minister also reiterated the value of a consumer data right and new conduct law. 
 
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Government response to public cancer care limitations

NZ Herald has reported on Mandy Grantley’s cancer story. After Mandy was first diagnosed with bowel cancer she underwent chemo for six months. After finding out that the cancer had spread to her lungs, an additional six months of chemo and an unfunded drug, Cytoxan was recommended by three oncologists working within the public health sector. Mandy was informed that she could have her chemo at her local DHB hospital. She was told that she had to pay $64,000 for the drug herself and was redirected to a private clinic to have the drug administered. The drug was intended to simply prolong her life. With a young family, a struggling business, and an existing mortgage Mandy and her friends decided to set up a Givealittle page to raise funds. The experience made Mandy reassess the public health system. National deputy leader Shane Reti is seeking MPs to support his bill that will allow privately-funded cancer medicines to be administered through DHBs. In response, Finance Minister Grant Robertson has said that Labour wouldn’t support the bill as it would be adding to existing inequalities. Instead, the Government would focus on funding more cancer treatments through Pharmac.

“A woman battling cancer says heartbreak has turned to anger at the way she was forced to pay $64,000 for treatment advised by public health oncologists.

Mandy Grantley was given two years to live after bowel cancer spread to her lungs last year.

"They found a tumour in my bowels and removed it, which was all good," she told RNZ. "I had six months worth of chemo. After that I had a scan and it all looked good. It wasn't until last year during lockdown I was told over the phone it had spread to my lungs."

Grantley said she was then told by three different oncologists working within the public health system that her best course of action would be another six months of chemo alongside being administered unfunded drug, Cytoxan.

She was told she would need to go to a private clinic to have the drug administered after paying for the drug herself, and then go to get chemo at her local DHB hospital. The news was traumatic and overwhelming.

"The chemo was bad enough, but then being told you had to pay $64,000 for a private drug, which won't cure me but will prolong my life, and a better quality of life, I just thought, I can't do this.

"I have three young kids and a husband with a struggling business, we don't have $64,000. We would be remortgaging the house, which we already had a huge mortgage on."

Concerned for her family, Grantley persevered and two friends set up a Givealittle page and managed to raise the money.

The private drug cost her $27,000. To get it administered she had to pay a private clinic $36,000.

Grantley says she knows how lucky she is, but remains angry others will not be able to access money or credit to save their own lives.

"It makes me sick to my stomach that others out there don't have that opportunity ...  those poor families behind me - it's just wrong," she said.

Having to go to two different medical facilities was also stressful and time-consuming, with Grantley relying on people to drive her to and from the clinic and public hospital, she added.

To add insult to injury Grantley had to pay $8000 GST on her treatment. The experience has made her reassess the merits of the public healthcare system and the Government's priorities.

"They're making money out of me dying. So much for a free health system. When you really need it, you're on your own and you don't know what it's like until someone close to you goes through it. I was really upset, I was heartbroken. But now I'm just damn well angry."

Grantley finished her treatment in November and her scans since have come back clear, the latest a scan in February. She has another scan this month and remains hopeful.

"I've never felt so good, never felt so healthy."

She said her health outcome so far had proved the efficacy of Cytoxan as an anti-cancer drug.

National deputy leader Shane Reti is asking MPs to support his bill seeking to allow privately-funded cancer medicines to be administered through DHBs, to reduce the financial burden on those with cancer.

However, Finance Minister Grant Robertson told RNZ the Government would not be supporting the bill when it comes before Parliament because it would only add to existing health inequalities.

"It is a challenging area where people are self-funding the drugs because obviously for the most part what we want to do is fund people's treatment through the public system and then all of the costs and so on associated with it are managed that way," he said.

"The reason that we're not looking to move in this area is because what effectively it would mean is that somebody who does have enough resources to fund their own treatment would end up taking up space in the public health system that would otherwise go to people whose cancer treatment is publicly funded.

"So actually it would have the effect of exacerbating inequality rather than creating fairness."

He said the Government was instead focused on funding more cancer treatments through its Crown entity Pharmac. Click here to read more


March peaks interest in comparison

An all-time record high of 2,504 users on quotemonster.co.nz in the last 28 days confirmed that it was a very, very, busy March. More advisers than ever are interested in comparisons. Advisers tell us that consumers like comparisons. Guidance around replacement advice requires that either a comparison is done, or the risks of proceeding without having done a comparison are explained - for example, in this report. It seems that advisers, regulators, and consumers all agree that comparisons are an essential part of financial advice. This situation is dynamic - you cannot form a view and then keep expecting that to hold true - every quarter, on average, four insurers change the pricing for eight product lines and the policy wordings for five product lines. So if you haven't compared, how can you be confident in your recommendation? 


Quality Product Research: Trauma item analysis for (inbuilt) Child Trauma

Introduction

Childhood trauma is one of the most unfortunate realities that few parents will face in their lifetime. Although modern medicine has decreased the rate of childhood illness, those that are in this position will be relieved to know that most Life and Health insurers include financial assistance in the form of a Child Trauma benefit.

These are the factors in the definition score that currently differentiate between insurers in our rating database.

Sub-items rating review

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You will notice that the sub-item “Requires insured to nominate child” has the highest deduction for this benefit. Asteron is the only provider that we have found to currently include this criterion. The provider requires the insured to complete a medical assessment for each child before they can be covered under this benefit.Notes

The highest variation between insurers is in the coverage age. The optimal coverage age is from new-born to age 21 (few providers offer this).

We have recently added two additional subitems to reflect whether insurers offer Partial and diagnosis benefits. Interestingly many do include these in their policy wording.

Why is this important?

Parents/caregivers will be pleased to find that this benefit is included in their own Trauma Cover, at no additional cost. The future impact of a childhood illness, injury or accident can be very detrimental to a family’s wellbeing and livelihood.

Your feedback

We value getting your feedback on how these wordings are being applied to claims you may be aware of. Please email us with details of any recent claims to help us update our understanding. 

Doreen Dutt, Research Analyst, Quality Product Research Limited, researcher@qpresearch.co.nz


Lead generation opportunity

We are running a confidential request for information process. A high volume of referrals for a life and health insurance advice business has emerged: the opportunity exists for a specialist life and health advice business to market to substantial flow of leads arising from KiwiSaver inquiries. Chatswood is running a request for information (RFI) process to assess potential adviser business partners for the opportunity to help these clients. If you would like to know more about the process please contact Melissa Waddel at Melissa.Waddel@Chatswood.co.nz to register your interest and find out more.

 


Fidelity Life announce customer research, and more daily news

Fidelity Life has announced that it will be conducting customer research on new products and potential service improvements through Qualtrics. The research is intended to understand what is working and what isn’t. Fidelity Life has revealed that new advisers have already been involved in the research. More advisers will be utilised in future research.

“We’ll shortly be kicking off some research with customers about new product ideas and service improvements with the aim of finding out what they like, so we can do more of it, and what they don’t like, so we can make improvements. Don’t worry, we won’t be bombarding them!

As valued distribution partners, we’re keen to involve you along the way. The insights will not only support how we shape our products to better meet the needs of the market but will also provide us with valuable data on their preferences when it comes to customer experience.

From time to time we’ll share a summary of the findings with you, and hope you’ll find them valuable in supporting your interactions with customers and improve their overall experience with Fidelity Life.

We’ve already experimented in engaging a few advisers in this research so we can enhance your experience and improve the way in which we work with you. We intend to do more of this in the future too, more on that to come.

We’re working with a trusted and established partner in this space and using their survey platform – Qualtrics. If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch”

In other news

From Stuff: Waiting in Pain: People without money and insurance the ones who suffer - a particularly valuable piece updating us on the situation with waiting lists and the process before that, even to get properly diagnosed. A powerful argument for having a plan and having insurance. 

FMA: March 2021 – A new financial advice regime begins for New Zealand