nib offer complementary mental health cover, and more daily news

nib New Zealand has launched the new complementary mental health cover that is available to Ultimate Health and Ultimate Health Max members who purchased their policies from 1 October 2021. Eligible customers will have access a consultation with a psychologist or psychiatrist without the consultation being linked to a hospital claim. The new mental health cover replaces the complementary Ultimate Health and Ultimate Health Max travel insurance cover that was offered in the past.

“nib New Zealand (nib) has launched a new complementary Mental Health cover for eligible Ultimate Health and Ultimate Health Max members to provide greater access to mental health services and help Kiwis continue to keep on top of their health and wellbeing.

The new mental health cover is available to members who are covered under a new nib Ultimate Health or Ultimate Health Max policy purchased from 1 October 2021 and provides up to $2,500 of consultations annually with a registered psychologist or psychiatrist on referral from a GP. The complementary cover will initially be available to members for one year.

nib New Zealand Chief Executive Officer, Rob Hennin said the health insurer was pleased to help improve access to mental health services and support the one in five people1 across the country who experience a mental illness each year.

“More and more Kiwis are seeking vital mental health services and we want to ensure eligible members are provided the opportunity to access such care, when they need it,” Mr Hennin said.

“The new Mental Health cover offers eligible members greater access to treatment as they can access a consultation with a psychologist or psychiatrist without it needing to be linked to a hospital claim such as cancer or cardiac services. Those members only need a referral from their GP to claim and they have the flexibility to choose their own health provider,” he added.

The introduction of nib’s mental health cover replaces the previous complementary Ultimate Health and Ultimate Health Max travel insurance cover. nib travel insurance sales have stopped while nib pursues new underwriting arrangements for its travel insurance business across Australia and New Zealand.

Mr Hennin said he believes the new cover will be well received by members who may need additional support for their mental wellbeing.

“As we move towards our ambition of health partner, we want to ensure our members feel supported and empowered to be proactive when it comes to taking care of their health and wellbeing. And, with varying lockdowns and COVID-19 restrictions likely to have an impact on the mental health of our community we believe the introduction of our Mental Health cover is timelier than ever,” he said.

nib’s new Mental Health cover is also available to existing members with an Ultimate Health and Ultimate Health Max policy that commenced from 21 April 2018, with the complementary mental health cover commencing following the renewal of their Ultimate policy from 1 December 2021.

For more information on nib’s Ultimate Health cover advisers should speak with their Adviser Partner Manager. ”

In other news

Fidelity Life: Fidelity Life has revised customer documents to simplify the language and made changes to policy wordings terminology

Fidelity Life: enhancements to CPI option and Indexation option. This will apply to new business issued on the amended wordings.

Fidelity Life: survivor's income cover options have been simplified

Fidelity Life: class 1-4 definition of ‘total disability’ has been updated for income protection-type covers

FSCL: FSCL sees spike in overall complaints


Quality Product Research: Proposed rating for Aplastic Anaemia

Introduction

Were back with another item analysis - this time for Aplastic Anaemia.

Please find our proposed sub-items below.

Sub-items rating review

Aplastic

Notes

A defined treatment option is a commonality across all insurers, excluding Asteron Life who have a more open definition when compared to their competitors. We have included a sub-item for those insurers who require diagnosis from a medical specialist along with a deduction to those that do not offer an additional treatment option. Aplastic Anaemia is a lowly weighted item in our database; however, our proposed rating aims to emphasise the difference in the definition between insurers, rather than focusing too much on ranking them from best and worse.  

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


Partners Life set to change Level Life premium rates, and more daily news

Partners Life has announced that from 1 November Level Life premium rates will increase by up to 20% for new business. This change is a result of monitoring the performance of products against several expectations, including claims, lapse rate, expenses, and positioning expectations. Partners Life has clarified that the change in premiums won’t apply to existing guaranteed level premium life covers.

“As a key leader in the Life and Health Insurance industry, Partners Life is focused on ensuring the sustainability of our products for the long-term benefit of our clients.

This means we are constantly measuring and monitoring the performance of our products against expectations in respect to claims, lapses, expenses and competitive positioning.

Our latest review has identified a need for us to adjust our guaranteed level premiums for Life Cover.

With effect from 1 November 2021, Level Life premium rates will increase by up to 20% for new business, which reflects our experience assumptions, and will bring our pricing for guaranteed level life premiums in line with the rest of the market.

This change in premiums will not apply to existing guaranteed level premium life covers (including future contractual CPI indexation increases), in keeping with the guarantee.

As is usual, any non-CPI increases of guaranteed level premium life cover on existing policies will be priced based on the premium rates applicable at the date of increase.”

In other news

nib: Nib halts travel insurance sales in Australia and New Zealand

AIA: Not all life insurers are equal

From Stuff: Why you should constantly review your insurance coverage


The biggest threat to the life and health insurance sector:

An insurable event is one which can be defined, measured, and is uncertain. Uncertainty is crucial. Things that are certain cannot be insured. Another feature of an insurance contract is asymmetrical information – we know general risks – like how likely cancer is – the insured knows specific risks – like how their health is. We have an obligation to each other, defined in law as utmost good faith.

But of course, you know all that.

Some people don’t, and some of them are actively working to break down the essential elements of the insurance process. One of those is the right to underwrite. We need to defend that. If a person knows that they are much, much more likely to suffer a critical illness such as cancer, they will be much, much more likely to seek insurance. This anti-selection causes headaches for both insurers and everyone else in the same risk pool: people with normal risks who end up paying over the odds for their cover. Pricing for risk is vital. Does this make me heartless about the problems of the person who is far more likely to develop cancer – not at all – I am glad to contribute to the costs of their care and support them, as we do through our health service and welfare benefits if they are needed. But some people believe private insurers can be compelled to cover people without pricing for the risk to the general good of all. I wish this were the case, but if we do compel insurers to take uninsurable risks, we are likely to see insurance enter a swiftly downward heading spiral: as costs rise the healthier and wealthier lives head for the exit, relying on higher savings and family to help. When that happens the remaining pool must be re-priced higher, which in turn makes the cover un-affordable for all but the worst risks. Then the risk pool fails – and no one has cover. A valuable risk sharing tool is lost.

If the aim is to destroy the insurance industry, depriving millions of a valuable risk sharing tool, the best way to do that is to deny the right to price risk. That takes all sorts of forms: the most common we have heard of recently is that we should not be able to price for mental health risks, or that we should cover cosmetic procedures in health, or that policies should always return the whole of the premium paid, or that we can’t ask all the questions we need to when underwriting, or that it is okay for the insured to withhold medical information. We must always push back against the idea that each of these would be a cost-less decision to take and would not harm other New Zealanders. Each would have consequences. Things that are certain - or very nearly certain - like events in the past or inherited conditions which emerge in later life, are not suited to insurance. As a society we need to look after people who suffer in this way - and that is probably the role of government, not insurance.

Of course, when it comes to underwriting, insurers could do more around education. Looser underwriting rules may have an adverse claims impact. Most clients cannot know that.  Material non-disclosure is not very common, normally it’s a genuine mistake. Mistake or not, some of the non-disclosure can be driven by fear or shame. Being clear about the benefits of underwriting can help reduce these a lot - as can smart question design.

 

In other news

From Good returns: 'Hole in one' cover and the design of insurance products

AIA has announced data can be passed from Iress’ Risk Researcher tool to AIA’s Quote Builder and eApp. Click here to read more

Health insurer nib has replaced the free travel insurance cover feature that was part of Ultimate Health with some additional mental health coverage. Details are to come.

 

Not vaccinated yet? Click here to get it done: https://bookmyvaccine.covid19.health.nz/


nib announces Clearhead content series, and more daily news

nib has announced that Clearhead has launched a new content series in partnership with former All Black and Clearhead ambassador Nehe Milner-Skudder. The initiative is designed to support the wellbeing of most at-risk communities and in honour of Mental Health Awareness Week. Clearhead aim to open up a dialogue about mental wellbeing among Maori communities. Throughout the series, Milner-Skudder shares his mental health story and strategies that helped him in his journey. Milner-Skudder has noted that he is proud to be part of the initiative and hopes that his story helps more Māori to seek help when they need it.

“In honour of Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW) and to better support the wellbeing of our most at-risk communities, Kiwi digital mental health company, Clearhead, has today released further resources to provide more tailored support for Māori, in partnership with nib foundation.

Alongside a suite of culturally appropriate upgrades across its website, Clearhead has launched a new content series with former All Black and Clearhead ambassador, Nehe Milner-Skudder (Ngāti Porou, Tapuika), with the hope of encouraging more open conversation about mental health across Māori communities.

The content series features Milner-Skudder sharing details of his own mental health journey, and the tips and strategies that helped him overcome his struggles – including the importance of reaching out to others for support.

Clearhead CEO, Dr Angela Lim says that while Māori populations are consistently over-represented in Kiwi suicide statistics and are twice as likely to experience mental health issues than non-Māori, most of the resources available in New Zealand are not designed to address these inequities.

“It’s important to note that the loss of indigenous culture and heritage can lead to challenges with identity, confidence, self-esteem, and a sense of belonging. We know from our own user data that Māori are 75% more likely to feel as though they don’t belong – and some of that comes down to not having adequate culturally responsive wellbeing support,” Dr Lim said.

“We wanted to help bridge that gap and respond to the feedback of our Māori users, who want to see content that looks and sounds like them to improve the chances of the material resonating,” she said. 

Clearhead ambassador, Nehe Milner-Skudder, says he’s proud to lend his support to the cause, and hopes that by sharing his story, more Kiwis (and in particular more Māori) will feel more comfortable to reach out when in need.

 “I used to see vulnerability as a weakness, but I’ve grown to understand that it leads to great strength. I think that’s a difficult mental obstacle to overcome, especially as a proud Māori male. What I hope people get from me sharing my story, is that you’re never alone in this battle and that there are resources and tools out there to help anyone who’s struggling,” he added.

The series of 20 videos sharing Milner-Skudder’s journey will be released via Clearhead’s Facebook Page during MHAW and will sit permanently on Clearhead’s website. Clearhead’s Māori-friendly website refresh is also live from today and now incorporates Kiwiana designs and includes a more holistic wellbeing journey, taking into consideration Māori models of care such as Manaakitanga – a principle that captures the idea of caring, supporting and uplifting others.

nib foundation Executive Officer, Amy Tribe, says “While mental illness doesn’t discriminate and can affect anyone, at any stage in their life, we know Māori are 30% more likely go on with these conditions undiagnosed compared to other ethnic groups*.

By funding the development of these resources through our foundation, we hope to help reduce some of the stigma around seeking support and promote Māori feeling more comfortable and empowered to seek help if and when it’s needed,” said Mrs Tribe.”

 

In other news

Financial Advice: The new draft Constitution

Financial Advice:  Financial Advice NZ 2021 Awards entries close 30th September

FMA: Momentum builds in KiwiSaver as scheme reaches $81 billion


Closing the protection gap and more daily news

Swiss Re yesterday published the results of a survey undertaken this year to understand New Zealanders' attitudes and behaviours towards life insurance:

The inaugural report, Closing New Zealand's mortality protection gap, estimates that the mortality protection gap for New Zealand households – the gap between households' financial resources and the protection they need to maintain their living standard in the event of the death of a primary earner – at USD 435 billion (NZD 670 billion) as of 2020. 

The findings show that this gap is projected to widen to more than USD 500 billion (>NZD 750 billion) within the next 10 years, in part due to rising consumption and household debt levels. As an industry, there is a need to act now.

The current COVID-19 crisis has increased the sense of risk and insecurity. More than 80% of those surveyed in New Zealand believe that losing the income of the primary earner will affect their family significantly. This is slightly higher than the 72% of all advanced Asia Pacific markets Swiss Re surveyed prior to COVID-19.

Swiss Re's findings show almost two thirds of households in New Zealand have some form of mortality protection gap. About a fifth of households have just 10% or less of the financial resources required to cover their protection needs; in other words, a protection gap of 90%.

The report also examines how to close the gap in New Zealand. Swiss Re estimates that in the decade to 2030, this could be achieved with an additional USD 1.5 billion (NZD 2.3 billion) of life premiums every year. Yet only 39% of consumers reported owning a life insurance policy, and survey responses find that buying life cover is not their default option for increasing security.

You can download the report here:  Closing the mortality protection gap in New Zealand | Swiss Re

Other daily news:

AIA Vitality is offering 1,000 points for members to get their Covid-19 vaccine

Montoux, sellers of decision science software, is running a seminar on engaging long-term care insurance clients

nib: are joining Protecht, sellers of risk management software, for a seminar on culture and conduct risk management.

Partners Life: an interview with Life Kris Ballantyne and Mark Leishman discussing financial literacy can be found here:


Quotemonster – Quoting any life insurer with any medical insurer

If you’ve noticed that an insurer tends to drop off when you’re quoting a package that includes medical cover, then we’d like to share a tip with you!

One of the most important features on Quotemonster is your “Settings” screen – as well as being able to set up your default occupation codes, Research report settings (whether you prefer our standard or star ratings, benefit overview or heatmap reports), user settings and security, the settings is where you can select your default product basket.

We highly recommend selecting your basket when you first create a Quotemonster account however you can alter this at any time.

Some of the major insurers like Fidelity, Cigna or Asteron do not offer a health insurance product so you can link them to a health provider which will them allow them to show up in your quotes.

Happy Crunching!

Forst

Second

Third


Partners Life new product training and more daily news

Partners Life set up knowledge assessment modules for new products and enhancements. Last month Partners Life announced two new products, Moderate Trauma Cover and Income and Expenses Cover, as well as a number of enhancements to other existing products. They have announced details for training sessions: 

"Three short knowledge assessment modules are now available to be completed by close of business 17 September 2021, on your Partners Life Academy portal.

Completing these modules is important to demonstrate your competence, as per your compliance requirements, and it will strengthen your ability to have fully informed conversations with your clients about the new products and enhancements."

You can find details of the sessions at the following link. Quotemonster will be updated to reflect the changes to existing products on 27 August. 

 

Other daily news: 

  • AMP continues to refocus on funds management and advice - link 
  • FSC releases latest Get In Shape update and an adviser survey - we know that the FSC would be very grateful if you can complete the adviser survey - Link 
  • nib financial results to 30 June 2021 released. Media release here: nib New Zealand delivers improved result and enhanced member experience - link
  • Prospa full-year results released. The advice business has continued to grow well. Contact us for a copy of the release. 

Partners Life financial assistance update, and more daily news

Partners Life has announced that it is too soon to determine the extent of the economic impact the current lockdown will have on clients. Previously, Partners Life offered a Premium Holiday and a Premium Suspension to support clients under financial hardship. Partners Life has noted that they will reassess whether other additional support will be required. 

“As you may remember, during the very first period of COVID-19 Alert Level 4, Partners Life offered a discretionary COVID-19 Premium Holiday to our clients, allowing them to suspend their premiums and keep their cover if their household had been significantly impacted by the period of lockdown.

Subsequently, during the period following the move down in Alert Levels, we permanently changed the criteria for our Premium Holiday and Policy Suspension affordability options as follows:

Premium Holiday

The provisions for Redundancy, Bankruptcy, Termination of a Fixed Term Contract and Permanent Closure of a business by which the life assured was fully employed were all extended to include the life assured’s Spouse, De Facto Partner or Civil Union Partner.

Premium Suspension

A catch-all criteriawas added for consideration where a life assured or policy owner paying the premiums are suffering from unexpected financial stress as a direct result of the Government’s Alert Level response to COVID-19.

We added these criteria to reflect the fact that the financial impacts of COVID-19 (and subsequent public health actions and orders) would likely be ongoing for some time. These criteria are stillavailable to our clients if they need assistance.

In light of the suddenness of the current Alert Level 4 lockdown, it is still too early to understand what sort of economic impact it may have on our clients given there was an economic boom immediately prior to this outbreak, and given we do not yet have any indication of likely duration – we will reassess whether any other specific additional support is required and warranted once more information comes to light over the coming days.”

In other news

Nib: nib holdings limited (nib) will announce its FY21 Full Year Results via webcast at 10.00am (AEST) on Monday 23 August 2021.

  

Dial: 0800 451 109 or +61 2 8038 5291

Passcode: 8677534

Lessons and opportunities from the regulatory shake-up in Australia from Fidelity Life on Vimeo.