The Health Funds Association (HFANZ), which represents health insurers in the country, has renewed its call for more to be done to diversify health funding sources to reduce the future projected burden on taxpayers.
In a blog, Mr Roger Styles, Chief Executive of HFANZ says that the New Zealand Treasury’s long-term forecasts show the cost of healthcare jumping to 9.7% of GDP by 2060 – up by 56% on 2015 - or another NZ$8 billion (US$5.54 billion) in today’s dollars.
HFANZ has long said that health insurance could be playing a bigger role in meeting future healthcare costs, he adds. Currently around 28.5% of New Zealanders have health insurance, which last year funded NZ$1.13 billion in healthcare, mostly for elective surgery.
“If we addressed some of the disincentives and penalties in the system, and instead moved to encourage health insurance, there is no reason why we couldn’t see health insurance funding much more in the future. That would help take some of the pressure off the government budgets,” Mr Styles said.