New Zealand’s health insurance industry recorded its twelfth consecutive quarter of growth in March 2018, with lives covered reaching 1.385 million and claims paid topping $1.2 billion, the Health Funds Association of New Zealand (HFANZ) said today.
Announcing its latest statistics, HFANZ chief executive Roger Styles said there was an increase of 2400 lives covered in the March 2018 quarter, and an increase of 20,100, or 1.5 percent, for the 12 months to March 31, 2018.
“This is the twelfth straight quarter of growth in lives covered, with 2017 showing the strongest annual growth in lives covered since 2001. Much of this growth appears to have come from an increase in the numbers of people with employer-subsidised health insurance as part of an increased focus on wellness in the workplace,” he said.
Health insurance paid out $281 million in claims for the March 2018 quarter, up 8.6 percent on the previous March, and $1.207 billion for the March 2018 year, up 5.4 percent – or $62 million – on the 12 months to March 31, 2017.
Mr Styles pointed out that in 2008 the annual claims total was $631 million, so that amount had doubled over the decade.
“People now have access to both a greater volume and a wider range of services and treatments through health insurance,” he said.
“Given media coverage is dominated by various demands on the public health sector budget, it’s easy to overlook the significant and growing contribution to healthcare funding which health insurance provides in New Zealand.”
Premium income for the March 2018 quarter totalled $373 million, up $4 million on the December 2017 quarter. Annual premium income for the year to the end of March was $1.454 billion, up 5.5 percent or $76 million, on the March 2017 year.