New Zealand's health insurance industry recorded its 12th consecutive quarter of growth in March 2018, with lives covered reaching 1.385 million and claims paid topping NZ$1.2 billion (US$842 million) for the year ended 31 March, the Health Funds Association of New Zealand (HFANZ) says.
Announcing the latest statistics, HFANZ chief executive Roger Styles said there was an increase of 2,400 lives covered in the March 2018 quarter, and an increase of 20,100, or 1.5%, for the 12 months to 31 March 2018.
“This is the 12th 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 NZ$1.207 billion for the March 2018 year, up 5.4% on the previous fiscal year.
Mr Styles pointed out that in 2008 the annual claims total was NZ$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.
Annual premium income for the year to the end of March was NZ$1.454 billion, up 5.5% or NZ$76 million, on the previous fiscal year.