Understanding The Top 3 Questions To Ask Private Health Care Providers To Ensure You Get The Coverage You REALLY Need!

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1 Equip Financial Medical Coverage For A Secure Future Medical Coverage Guide for help choosing the right Medical Insurance Understanding The Top 3 Questions To Ask Private Health Care Providers To Ensure You Get The Coverage You REALLY Need! By Barry Kloogh Equip Financial A division of Financial Planning LTD 34 MacLaggan Street Dunedin, New Zealand Phone: Fax:

2 Preface... This Medical Coverage Guide was designed to provide medical insurance agencies and the general public of New Zealand a way to examine the benefits of utilising private medical insurance to enhance public healthcare. The guide will also discuss Equip Financial, a proprietary concept designed to make the understanding and purchase of private medical insurance easy and affordable. Equip Financial is a division of Financial Planning LTD led by insurance expert Barry Kloogh, specialising in helping New Zealanders get affordable private medical insurance. Every New Zealander is unique which is why it is important to create a unique plan for your life, while eliminating everything that might not be right for you. As you are about to find out, Equip Financial takes all of the common, frustrating problems associated with health care and counters them with unique solutions aimed at providing the everyday Kiwi with the coverage and protection that they need to enjoy life. 1

3 Table Of Contents 1. Preface: Why Private Medical Insurance? 2. The Growing Problem With Public Healthcare 3. Why Private Medical Care Is The Answer 4. Private Medical Insurance In New Zealand 5. The Challenge Of Choosing The Right Medical Insurance 6. Equip Financial 7. Conclusion 2

4 Why Buy Private Medical Insurance? There are several inherent problems with generalised health care. Explaining those problems is going to be the purpose of the next section, but it is important to understand that there are ways to greatly enhance the landscape of healthcare for the average New Zealander. Any health care system is going to undergo changes as time progresses, the challenge is staying ahead of the curve to maximize yours, and your families, coverage. The keyword here is change. The big question is will you change to adapt to the shifting landscape in New Zealand s health care scheme? Evidence strongly suggests that buying private medical insurance is the key to getting health care that meets ALL of your needs. To understand why this is the case, you must first understand the underlying challenge. Once you understand the challenge, you will be equipped to better understand the solutions which are available, and how to choose the right solution for your life, and for your specific needs. The Growing Problem With Public Healthcare The challenges with public healthcare are very simple but they did not become challenges overnight. The majority of these challenges can be traced back to the aging of New Zealand s population, and to the subsequent strain this puts on publicly funded health-care. This dilemma can be summed up in three basic points, and every Kiwi who understands these three points will be better equipped to make positive, informed choices about their health care, and know exactly what questions to ask private healthcare providers if they choose to supplement their medical coverage. 1 Current Public Health Care Includes Long Waits For Those Suffering From Anything Other Than Emergency Medical Conditions. Unless you have an emergency medical condition, you could be waiting a LONG time to be seen by a doctor or to undergo surgery if you rely solely on the public health care system. According to an article published by Stuff.co.nz 1, Grant Hill 2 was quoted as saying that waiting for surgery 1 2 Tower Health and Life head of products 3

5 supplied by the public health care system can be quite a slow process. Currently, you could wait for up to six (6) months to get a hip-replacement surgery performed by the public health care system though he also said that the patient must be in quite a lot of pain and disability to reach the threshold to even allow them on the waiting list! Even getting a simple medical procedure, such as a Tonsillectomy, provides a similar level of frustration. According to the same article, a patient must suffer through four cases of tonsillitis before they are allowed to qualify! But surgery is not the only issue. Vital diagnostic tools such as CT and MRI scans also have long waiting lists if you rely on the public sector to supply them. Of course, these can be obtained without a wait in the private sector but therein is found another challenge. Unless you have private medical insurance, all of these private costs must come out of your pocket which is not an expense that most people can afford without it adversely effecting their regular budget, their personal savings, and their lifestyle. An article published by Everybody.co.nz 3, very accurately draws attention to the fact that while public health care is GREAT if you are extremely ill or require immediate treatment, you never know what is going to happen. If you end up requiring non-immediate treatment for a condition that is not considered an emergency, then you invariably must go through the lengthy assessment process to qualify for services. This is a process that often takes months, or even years. Imagine the discomfort associated with waiting so long to get a medical procedure. Unfortunately, it is a challenge that many New Zealanders face every year. In fact, there may even be cases where, after waiting, you still do not meet the necessary criteria required for surgery from the public sector. This would leave you with no option but to seek care in the private sector a solution that could very well burden you with excessive monetary costs if you are not insured. These problems have not always been so extreme but as stated earlier, the changing healthcare landscape, combined with the rising costs of healthcare and the aging of the population all contribute to making this a growing issue. An article published by the New Zealand Herald 4 written by Matthew Backhouse speaks directly about this issue. The article discusses how New Zealanders are going to be forced to

6 shoulder a lot of their own healthcare costs in the future due to public finances becoming increasingly stretched. As pressure on the public system continues to grow, more of these types of problems are going to continue to arise. All of the facts point toward a system where Private Medical Insurance is used in conjunction with the public sector to improve the quality of life for Kiwi s where medical care is concerned. 2 Public Health Care Is A First Come, First Serve Establishment That Treats You Like A Number, Not As A Unique Individual With A Real, Tangible Need For Health Care. The second increasing challenge with relying solely on public healthcare is that you are little more than a number in the system. To the public health sector, you are what you put on your eligibility form. You are the sum of the evidence that adds up to the big eligible or noneligible ruling in any medical situation that is not classified as an emergency. You are just another appointment on the waiting list, awaiting your turn for life-changing medical services that you need in order to live a life that is comfortable and healthy. With the public sector alone, you may find yourself waiting on everyone else to receive even basic medical attention. Or worse yet, you will find yourself waiting for your condition to deteriorate to the point that you qualify as an emergency. Is that what you want to bank on if you or a loved one develops a disease or a condition that requires non-emergency treatment? If your answer is no, then you are thinking the same thing that a lot of other Kiwis have been thinking more and more as time goes on. The good news is that there IS a solution and we are going to tell you what it is! 3 Reliance On The Public Health Sector Means You Have Nobody On Your Team To Fight For You, To Support You, And To Help You With Your Claim. Having someone on your side to focus on you, and to help you get your claim in motion as soon as possible is something that is sorely missing where public health care is concerned. Those who use Private Medical Insurance have someone to call with questions or concerns, those who rely solely on Public Health Care are alone when facing a health-care problem and are not sure what to do? Who is going to be there for you when you are worried, need advice, or simply need help getting the kind of care you deserve? 5

7 As the current system continues to be stretched, and waiting lists grow longer and longer, it is clear that there is even less time for the individual than there used to be and according to our research there are no signs that public health care is going to improve. You deserve the right to high-quality health care, and you deserve to get it when you need it, not just when the public health sector can fit you in and that is where our unique solution can help! Why Private Medical Care Is The Best Answer Private medical care was designed to solve all three of these problems. In the public healthcare sector, you often have no choice where wait times, quality of care, or choice in providers is concerned. But with private health care, you get personalised attention and medical treatment that is almost immediate. You also get access to the top treatment options, the most specialised healthcare providers, and all on a timeline that works best for you. In a very real way, private medical care helps to bridge the gap between what you need to stay healthy and happy, and what the public healthcare sector can actually provide. Currently, private healthcare system is actually responsible for carrying out half of all elective surgery in New Zealand. 5 The private sector has no waiting lists, gives you access to the very best medical care where and when it is convenient for you, and also gives you the option to choose your own medical professional. The main problem with private medical care is that it is costly. In fact, paying for it out of pocket is so expensive that it is really not an option for most Kiwi s. Making Private Medical Insurance Affordable To offset the unaffordable costs of private health care in New Zealand, more and more people have been realising that private medical insurance is the best answer. In fact, private health insurance paid out $876 million for claims in 2012 alone, which was up a staggering 5.2% from the previous year. 6 Of course, some people believe that self-insuring (putting money away to pay for their own future healthcare costs) might be an option, though there are a few problems with such a plan

8 While you might be able to save enough money of your own to pay for some of your own private health care costs, it is important to remember that, for the money, private medical insurance provides the best protection from unknown and excessive costs associated with unforeseen medical problems. Also, private medical insurance can be an incredibly effective way to ensure that your savings will not be drained if you have one or more medical problems in the future. Even if you can pay for one procedure out of pocket, several in a row can very quickly drain even the deepest bank accounts. The rising costs of healthcare procedures are escalating even faster than those of inflation. 7 Another consideration for private medical insurance is that, recently a bill was introduced into parliament that, if accepted, would create a 25% health insurance rebate for people over the age of 65. While this is just one bill, which is still yet to pass, many believe that it is a strong indication that the national ideology is changing as it relates to health care. Private medical insurance holds the key to long-term financial stability for Kiwis who don t choose to wait for months or years before the public system can get to them. By supplementing the public health option with private medical insurance, there is a clear line of sight to a stronger medical system for New Zealand in which most (if not all) of New Zealanders have a way to get the health care they deserve. The Challenge Of Choosing The Right Medical Insurance So is private medical insurance a total solution to the challenge? Well, private medical insurance does offer everything necessary to solve the problem but it also creates a unique challenge for Kiwis themselves. The major challenge associated with buying private medical insurance is... How do you know if you are buying the right coverage? Everyone lifestyle, goals and needs are different. Single adults are going to need different insurance than those who are married, and those with children are going to need to take the entire family into account. 7 7

9 But even when you take into account your marital and family status, there is still a myriad of questions to navigate before you figure out whether or not a particular medical insurance solution is best for you. Does your employer offer medical insurance? If so, then what is the best plan for you? How much should your premium be? Are you wasting money on your current policy by over-buying, or should you have even more protection? How can you be sure that your medical insurance is even going to protect you where it really counts? And of course, there is the big question Should you even buy medical insurance if you are in good health, or is it a waste of your money? These are the tough questions that you should be asking yourself, and knowing the right answer will play a big role in keeping you from signing up for the private coverage that you need. So how can you know FOR SURE what is right for you and what is not? Many Kiwis who are thinking about private medical insurance are confused by the wide range of options before them and for good reason. Every private insurance company claims that they are the best, and while they might be good at one or two aspects of your medical coverage, how are you supposed to know how that translates to YOUR life? How do you know that you are getting what is right for YOU? At Equip Financial we offer a solution that is PROVEN to solve ALL of these challenges, and make your decision much easier... How Equip Financial Helps New Zealanders Get Personalised, Affordable, Complete Coverage Equip Financial is a division of Financial Planning LTD led by insurance expert Barry Kloogh, specialising in the design and processing of affordable private medical insurance SPECIFICALLY to assist Accuro customers in choosing the right plan to improve their life and situation. Equip knows that every New Zealander is unique which is why it is important to create a unique plan for your life, while eliminating everything that might not be right for you. Equip Financial takes all of the common, frustrating problems associated with health care and counters them with unique solutions aimed at providing every Kiwi with the coverage and protection they need to enjoy life. Equip is the ONLY solution that takes real life into account, and this is how we do it. 8

10 1. You No Longer Have To Play The Waiting Game. We Help You Get Access To Immediate Health Care When You Need It Most! Equip Financial will help you to choose the Accuro Medical Insurance plan that is right for YOU. That means No more waiting lists! No more stress associated with not knowing when (if ever) you will be seen by a medical professional! No wasted money on medical insurance plans that don t fit your lifestyle. No more dealing with discomfort or pain while you wait to see if you even quality for treatment! And no surprises or lapses in coverage that show up when you least expect them. 2. You Will Be Treated Like A Real Person Not Just A Number In The System! We recognize you for who you are a REAL person with a REAL life that is unique, important, and valuable. We know that waiting months (or even years) to receive the medical treatment that you need is painful and unnecessary, and we also know that your life is not like everyone else s. We know that every single person, couple, and family has unique medical insurance needs, which is EXACTLY why we work with every single client to help them choose the perfect medical insurance plan for their life. We take your life into consideration, not just your pocketbook or bland facts and figures. Translating the coverage into a plan that will fit perfectly with your future objectives and goals is what we do best, and that is exactly what we will do for you. But most importantly, we know that our clients are REAL people and that is how we treat them. 3. You Will Have Our Team On Your Side, Regardless Of What Happens! The absolute best thing about our company is that we are on YOUR team! We can be the real, tangible human on the other end of the phone whenever you have a question or a concern. We are also there to listen to any issues you might be experiencing with your claim, and are equipped to deal with any and all problems standing between you and the medical care that you deserve. 9

11 Having private medical insurance unfortunately does not always solve the problems associated with slow or stalled claims but that is where we come in. We are fully equipped to get your claim paid out as fast as possible, ensuring that you receive the coverage you deserve with minimum delay. Having someone like us on your team gives you the kind of leverage necessary to dictate your own terms when it comes to healthcare for you and your family. 4. You Will Know Exactly What Insurance To Choose. Using private medical insurance does not always guarantee that you get what you REALLY need to be protected. Medical insurance providers often do their best to give you the coverage that you need, but Equip Financial goes above and beyond this by taking your unique situation into account so you do not end up paying for coverage that might be completely unnecessary. Equip is the ONLY solution that takes real-life into account. We specialise in getting you the RIGHT coverage for your life and your situation, and can guarantee to match you up with the Accuro medical insurance plan that fits you best. We also commit to standing by you when you need support. Having someone in your corner can often make the biggest difference, and we give you that for free. Conclusion Supplemental private medical insurance is where the future of New Zealand s medical landscape is headed, but even that won t solve all of your problems unless you have the help you need to choose the level of coverage that is right for you. You need a solution that is going to take you through the ENTIRE process, step by step at Equip Financial we are dedicated to helping you get the right coverage, fast and in a costeffective way. Equip Financial A division of Financial Planning LTD 34 MacLaggan Street Dunedin, New Zealand Phone:

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