News eDaily27 Apr 2017

New Zealand:Fresh call made to diversify healthcare funding

27 Apr 2017

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.


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Recent Comments

Brian Turner

This is similar to debates in numerous other countries. However, what needs to be borne in mind is that it is not a debate about who pays - ultimately, citizens pay, through taxation, health insurance premiums, out-of-pocket payments or other methods - but rather about how the burden of payment is spread. Public funding sources, including taxation, tend to be more progressive (people on higher incomes pay a higher proportion of their income), while private sources, including private health insurance premiums, tend to be more regressive (people on lower incomes pay a higher proportion of their income). Therefore, this debate should be approached with caution.

04 May 2017

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