Your health is your most important asset. If you get sick or injured, you still need to pay your bills and support your family, insurance exists to help make ends meet in such a situation. The New Zealand health system is robust but has a few twists and turns that can make it a little complicated to figure out what you need. So, is private health insurance the right move for you?


Before you can make that decision it’s useful to know how the health system functions. By default, much of a person’s care in NZ is handled either by the public health system or by the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC). Any urgent or emergency treatment will be taken care of through the public system. Any non-emergency conditions need to go through assessments and qualify for elective treatments, such as hip replacements, hysterectomies or MRI scans.


In tandem with public health, ACC covers the cost of medical fees, treatments, as well as rehabilitation and residential care costs related to accidents or injuries.


How health insurance can help

Getting health insurance allows you to cover those gaps that exist when relying on the public system. If you end up diagnosed with a non-acute condition there might be a lengthy wait for treatment. Bypassing that waiting list can mean moving to the private system, but that can easily cost thousands of dollars.


Private health insurance may provide faster access to treatment, reduces the potential costs of any private treatment options, and gives you a lot more choice over when you receive different treatments.


Health-related policies can include medical insurance; which covers private hospital bills and other medical costs, trauma or critical illness cover; which gives a lump sum under certain conditions, income protection insurance, disability insurance, and mortgage protection.


If you are thinking about health insurance, our advisers can do the research and find the cover that suits your situation now and into the future. Remember, our advisers are paid by salary, not commissions, so they are focused on getting the best outcomes for our clients.

To contact one of our advisers, just call 0800 438 238 or email

AdviceFirst is a Financial Advice Provider (FSP23242).