Happiness in life comes largely from three sources: relationships with friends and family, good health and having a clear purpose in life. Good health comes about through adequate housing, diet and medical care and statistics show that on average, those with more money have better health. With the increased pressures on the health system, health insurance plays a big role. According to figures recently released by the Health Funds Association of New Zealand, around 1.33 million New Zealanders are covered by health insurance. That’s around 30% of the population. It’s big business, with claims of around $1 billion a year. The best time to take out health insurance is when you are fit and healthy. Once you develop a medical condition, you may be faced with increased premiums or exclusions, just at the very time you are likely to need the cover. It is encouraging to see that younger people, in the age group of 25-30, are increasing their uptake of health insurance For a young person with no dependents and limited budget, a basic health insurance policy should rank high up the priority list when looking at insurance needs. Later in life, health insurance helps to avoid getting stuck in long hospital waiting lists for non-urgent surgery.
Health insurance is not cheap, but neither is medical care. The purpose of health insurance is to allow you to obtain a high standard of medical care without having to compromise your standard of living in paying for it. If you have substantial wealth, you can probably cover health costs without the need for insurance. Others should keep in mind that 1 in 2 people will suffer from cancer during their lives and that there are over one million hospital discharges a year in New Zealand. Don’t take good health for granted.