Medical / health insurance pricing comparison database updated

Medical /Health Insurance pricing comparison database V79 has now been issued to subscribers. This version includes the following changes:

  • Update Southern Cross rates effective 1/3/20
  • Update nib rates effective 1/4/20
  • Update Partners Life rates (including policy fee) effective 5/4/20

nib: half year results

nib holdings limited has announced its FY20 Half Year Results. In Australia claims provisions reduced net profit sharply. The analyst briefing focused on cost control measures and highlighted timing and provisioning. In New Zealand member growth helped the business to profit growth. Click here to read full press release: Download Media Release_Member growth delivers healthy result for nib New Zealand_240220


HFANZ: Older New Zealanders retaining health insurance to combat DHB uncertainty

From the Health Funds Association:

More New Zealanders over 65 are holding on to their private health insurance, which the Health Funds Association (HFANZ) says is due to uncertainty over access to public-funded healthcare such as elective surgery.   

Releasing its latest statistics for the December 2019 quarter today, HFANZ chief executive Roger Styles said the total number of lives covered was 1.411 million, up 2800, or 0.2 percent, for the quarter and up 8600 (0.6 percent) for the year to the end of December.

Working-age people still accounted for most of the health insurance uptake, but he said growth in the over-65 age group was significant. That older age bracket with health insurance grew by 2200, or 1.3 percent, last year to 167,000 – around 22 percent of the 65+ population.

“2019 was not a great year for DHBs, with industrial action and other difficulties resulting in a reduction for the first time in over a decade in the number of New Zealanders having elective surgery. Even though the growth in jobs and population has slowed, health insurance numbers are growing because the over-65s see the real benefit of retaining their health insurance for prompt access to treatment when they need it,” Mr Styles said.  

“Not only will they get faster access to treatment, but health insurance also provides increasing options to access treatments and drugs not funded or provided in the public sector.”

Mr Styles said claims paid were $363 million for the quarter, an increase of 5.2 percent on the December 2018 quarter. Claims paid for the year to December 31, 2019 totalled $1.379 billion, up 5.8 percent or $80 million on the previous calendar year.

Premium income for the quarter was up $12 million on the September quarter to $439 million. Annually, premium income rose $145 million or 9.3 percent to $1.695 billion.

 


Day of week of procedure and 30 day mortality for elective surgery: retrospective analysis of hospital episode statistics

The objective of this study was to assess the association between mortality and the day of elective surgical procedure. The conclusion suggests a higher risk of death for patients who have elective surgical procedures carried out later in the working week and at the weekend, than those who have it done earlier in the week. 


American medical services prices vs global prices

The International Federation of Health Plans published their latest report on the 2017 prices of international medical services. The report illustrated that both patients and insurance companies in the US paid higher prices in comparison to other countries sampled in the report. The 2018 study by Harvard on the things differentiate health systems found that the US is distinct in a number of ways.

Click here to read more

Ny times pic 1

The US is a very high-cost economy and there are dangers of comparing goods that cannot be traded across borders. A good example to remember is that your don't mind paying perhaps fifty times as much as someone in rural China for a haircut, because everything here is pricier. But service costs are becoming increasingly comparable and can be subject to substitution: some people can get their hip replacements done in Thailand, for example. 


Accuro: Changes to its board and CEO

Geoff Annals has announced his retirement from CEO at Accuro stating “I have reached retirement age and am planning to spend more time with my family and particularly my two new grandchildren, including the latest arrival on the other side of the world,”. Gavin Rutherford will step up as the interim CEO.

Erica Hodgson, who has experience in the mental health sector, was elected as a new member of the board, replacing Pat Curry. Accuro deputy chair Marion Guy was re-elected to the board by the firm’s membership for a second three-year term. Toni Ferrier is stepping down from the Accuro board to serve as the chief executive officer of AIG New Zealand.


HFANZ: Continued rise in numbers reflects value of health insurance

Health Funds Association of New Zealand media release:

November 11, 2019

Continued rise in numbers reflects value of health insurance

The continued rise in the number of New Zealanders covered by health insurance – now totalling 1.409 million – reflects the ongoing value people are getting out of it, the Health Funds Association (HFANZ) said today.

Releasing its latest statistics for the September quarter, HFANZ chief executive Roger Styles said the total number of lives covered was up 2200, or 0.2 percent, for the quarter and 7900 or 0.6 percent for the year to the end of September, with the vast majority of that growth once again in the 25-40 age group.

He said employer-subsidised health insurance plans were continuing to prove attractive to both workers and their bosses as part of the focus on wellness in the workplace.

“In addition to the availability of wellbeing and wellness initiatives that many of our insurers now offer, health insurance means getting a better level of service through faster access to treatment when it’s needed and increasing options to access treatments and drugs not funded or provided in the public sector,” he said.

The year also saw an increase in the number of older New Zealanders with health insurance, which Mr Styles said was due to the ageing population and an acknowledgement by many policyholders that maintaining their cover was sensible in the face of increasing difficulty accessing public-funded healthcare such as elective surgery. The number of people aged 65 and over with health insurance grew by almost 1700 or 1.0 percent to 166,400 – around 22 percent of the 65+ population.

Mr Styles said claims paid were up to $369 million for the quarter, an increase of 7.9 percent on the September 2018 quarter. Claims paid for the year to September 30, 2019 totalled $1.362 billion, up 7.8 percent or $98 million on the previous September year.

Premium income for the quarter was up $9 million on the June quarter to $428 million. Annually, premium income rose $143 million or 9.3 percent to $1.659 billion.

ENDS (Full release and three-page statistical summary can be found here)

The following chart showing the estimates of changes by policy type is interesting: 

Annotation 2019-11-12 085837