The medical insurance comparison tool for institutional subscribers has been updated at 5 October 2021. This includes nib rates updated effective 1 October and Unimed rates updated effective 1 August.
Quality Product Research: Health Insurance - major review process commenced for exclusions item rating
Medical insurance is one of the most hotly contested areas of product comparison. Adjustments are made frequently to many features. Exclusions, however, are complex and difficult to compare. Although we update our exclusions ratings with every new product change released it is time to review the method and balance of the scoring of these items. We have therefore started the process of a major review.
Theme of review
The themes of this review are:
- A thorough review of all terms
- A focus on the relative weighting of the terms
- Calling for claims examples of how the terms are applied
We have alerted advisers and insurers to our plan to do a review and asked for data on the themes above. Changes will be based on our view of all the information sent to us.
We will then publish a model for changes to the guide scores for exclusions sub-items and ask for input on the proposed new model. Further changes may be made at this stage.
We are seeking claims examples for the review. Further changes may be made at this stage.
Timeline for review
March - advise review started
April - review claims information
May - consult on new model for rating
June - implement revised ratings
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, firstname.lastname@example.org
QPR subscribers have just received the latest database version (138) it is also live on Quotemonster, the changes in this version include:
* Cigna - new policy document 11/11/2020 - rating changes applied
* Unimed - new policy document 01/08/2020 - rating changes applied
* AA Health - new policy document nib366402 and nib366401 effective 01/05/2019 - rating changes applied
* ANZ Life and Living - new policy document A0006 effective 31/01/2020 - rating changes applied
* Momentum Life: - New policy document for Life 2633-MLPL2-PW 22/10/2020, New policy document for funeral 2667-MLF6-PW 21/09/2020 - Rating changes applied
* Revised view on: Medical - Treatment (overseas)
UniMed has announced that a new CEO will be appointed in January 2021. Louise Zacest is set to take over from Dermot Martin, who is retiring after 30 years at UniMed. Zacest has held senior roles in different industries and is the current General Manager, Strategy and Partnerships at Healthcare New Zealand.
“He will be succeeded by Louise Zacest.
Zacest joins UniMed from Healthcare New Zealand, the country’s largest home and community service provider, where she has held senior executive positions, including acting Chief Executive.
She is currently General Manager, Strategy and Partnerships. Her previous health and insurance experience includes senior roles with Southern Cross, Tower Financial Service Group and Counties Manukau District Health Board.” Click here to read more
In other news:
nib: nib’s 2020 virtual Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held at 1pm (AEDT) on 5 November 2020 - note that we have five companies that have updated financial results in our tracking set for the life and health insurance sector, which will all be updated in the company information section of the Quarterly Life and Health Sector review due on 20 December
Long Covid a new problem for insurers to grapple with contrast this with our view: we think it is not too much of a problem provided we keep COVID-19 at bay.
We have uploaded the latest product research database (version 12_7) onto Quotemonster and distributed it to subscribers. This version includes the following changes:
- Asteron Life policy wording added and rating changes applied effective 30.09.2019
- BNZ LifeCare 01.04.2019 policy wording added and applied rating changes
- Unimed Hospital Select 01.09.2019 policy wording added and applied rating changes
- Fidelity Trauma Multi 08.09.2019 wording added and applied rating changes
- AA Life and Funeral cover 01.08.2019 wording added and applied rating changes
- Kiwibank Home Loan and Life & Living 01.08.2019 wording added and applied rating changes
On Friday the latest version of the Quality Product Research database was sent to subscribers. QPRv107 is now also live on Quotemonster. This version includes the following changes:
- Update Business Expenses Cover
- New Sovereign Medical Wording and Rating
- New Unimed wording and Rating
- Update Key Person Cover
- Incidence changes income protection for "Plus" range
This article by Jon-Paul Hale from Willowgrove Consulting lists some of the recent changes and updates to medical insurance that have been bombarding the industry over the last few months.
Jenée Tibshraeny, at interest.co.nz, has a good piece about "navigating the road blocks preventing you from comparing 'apples with apples' when shopping for life insurance." As we spend a lot of time comparing policy documents we agree. The article is well worth a look.
"Of the 20 life insurance providers I’ve looked at, only half have published their policy documents on their websites.
These include AA Life, ANZ, ASB, BNZ, Cigna, Co-op Bank, Countdown, Kiwibank, Pinnacle and Westpac.
Those that haven’t include AIA, AMP, Asteron, Fidelity, MAS, OnePath, Partners Life, SBS, Sovereign and Volo."
Although I have to point out that AIA, AMP, Asteron, Fidelity, OnePath, Partners, and Sovereign do make their documents available publicly online: through sites like LifeDirect, KiwiCover, and others. If you google them, you can get several links to their policy documents.
Tibshraeny then moves on to highlight the differences in wordings. This is trickier territory. There's a difference between "bad" differences which are merely confusing and make it hard to compare policies and "good" differences which make a policy demonstrably better than the others. There is a difference between documents that have a lot of superfluous words and details for cover that you did not buy, and those that have lots of long words because they cover more medical conditions.
There have been some interesting developments in the UK to help raise consumer confidence in wordings.
But it all starts with a policy document.
Of course, most consumers do not read the document before they buy, but it is hard to argue that they should not have the opportunity to do so.
The New Zealand insurance market is richer, bigger, and more complex than you might suspect. Through adviser demand Quality Product Research has expanded the number of companies researched to 28, and that number is still likely to rise.
If, like most advisers, you don't use anything like that number of companies, they may still be useful to you:
- You may come across their products in the market and wish to do a comparison.
- You may be looking for a product solution for a client and find it is offered by an insurer you were unaware of.
- You may be approached by a new company and wish to build competence in advising on their products before you talk to clients about them.
You can check out the full list at the Quotemonster blog.