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Health Insurance

Compare health insurance providers in New Zealand at Canstar. AA Health Insurance, AIA, NIB, Partners Life, Southern Cross Health Insurance and UniMed were compared on Overall Satisfaction, Communication, Comprehensiveness of Cover, Cost, Customer Service and Value for Money.

Rated brands

Overall Satisfaction*

Cost

Value for Money

Customer Service

Communication

Comprehensiveness of Cover

More information^

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*Overall satisfaction is an individual rating and not a combined total of all ratings. Brands with equal overall satisfaction ratings are sorted by the mean overall satisfaction score as rated by consumers. Canstar research finalised in June 2022, published in July 2022.

See our Ratings Methodology.

Most Satisfied Customers Award | AA Health Insurance

AA Health Insurance rated number one for customer satisfaction

AA Health Insurance: NZ’s Best Heath Cover

Over two years into the pandemic and health concerns are still at the forefront of all our minds. More than ever we are acutely aware of how overburdened our health system has become, and the need for timely and comprehensive treatment in the event of ill-health.

The fact that we can’t rely 100% on our overstretched national healthcare system only highlights the advantages of taking out private health insurance.

Yes, it doesn’t come cheap, but as the majority (59%) of Kiwis in Canstar’s latest Health Insurance survey attest, knowing that the health of you and your family is covered in the event of sickness provides true peace of mind.

But given the variety of different health insurance providers in the market, and the wide range of different insurance plans and levels of cover, it can be difficult deciding on the right health insurance provider to meet your needs.

But this is where Canstar can help. As part of our mission to inform consumers of the best NZ has to offer, each year we canvass the opinions of real health insurance customers to discover how they feel about their providers.

We ask them to rate their insurance companies across a range of categories, to measure and track their levels of customer satisfaction. And we award the best provider our prestigious Most Satisfied Customers Award.

To decide which health insurance provider offers the best level of customer satisfaction, each is rated across the following categories:

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Communication
  • Comprehensiveness of Cover
  • Cost
  • Customer Service
  • Value for Money

Coming out on top by a healthy margin is AA Health Insurance. This is the second straight win for the high-profile brand, which is the only health insurance provider in this year’s ratings to earn our top 5-Star ranking for Overall Satisfaction. It’s also the only insurer to earn 5 Stars in the all-important category of Value for Money.

However, it’s clear the customers of UniMed, AIA, Southern Cross and Partners Life are all happy with their health insurance providers, too. Each earns a 4-Star rating for Overall Satisfaction from its customers.

Also worthy of note is that of all the insurers in this year’s ratings, AA Health Insurance is the only provider to earn 5 Stars for Cost. While it’s clear that UniMed excels at service, earning two 5-Star ratings, for Customer Service and Communication.

What Kiwis Want from their Health Insurers

As we mention above, health insurance is an expensive addition to the family budget. Indeed, this year’s awards research shows a large jump in the average monthly premiums we’re paying, up from an average of $192 to $277. And just over half of respondents in our survey (51%) think that health insurance is becoming too expensive.

Therefore, it’s no surprise that Value for Money is the biggest driver of satisfaction for those in our survey. This compares to only 13% who cite Cost, revealing that Kiwi consumers are willing to pay more for a product that delivers on true value.

Also important, placing just above Customer Service and Communication, is Comprehensiveness of Cover. This a vital factor for many, as nearly a third of those in our survey say that they stick with their current provider due to pre-existing conditions.

Overall, the main drivers of satisfaction are:

AA Health Insurance: NZ’s Best Heath Cover

Health issues can strike at any time and without warning. And finding yourself unable to access immediate and professional treatment only adds to the stress and worry. But AA Health Insurance can offer true peace of mind.

It offers three plans:

Note: T&Cs apply and 5% discount on premiums available to AA Members.

Everyday

For day-to-day medical expenses, such as dental, GP, physiotherapy and glasses and contact lenses. Take out Everyday Cover by itself, or in combination with Private Hospital or Private Hospital and Specialist.

  • Provides up to $900 worth of cover each year
  • Reimburses 60% back on eligible claims

Private Hospital

Helps cover diagnostics, surgery and treatment in recognised private hospitals.

  • $300,000 surgical cover per person each year
  • $200,000 medical and cancer cover per person each year
  • Choice of excess options

Private Hospital & Specialist

The most comprehensive level of cover, taking care of specialist consultations, diagnostics, surgery, and treatments in recognised private hospitals.

  • Specialist consultations
  • Obstetrics benefit up to $2000 per pregnancy
  • Cover for many pre-existing conditions after three years
  • $300,000 surgical cover per person each year
  • $200,000 medical and cancer cover per person each year
  • Choice of excess options

So if you are looking for a health insurer that offers great value, service and customer satisfaction, check out AA Health Insurance.

Voted by its own customers as the winner of Canstar’s 2022 Health Insurance Award, AA Health Insurance is sure to have the good health of you and your family covered.

Key statistics

Like the peace of mind a health insurance policy provides: 59%

Think health insurance is becoming too expensive: 51%

Happy with the claims process of provider: 44%

Stay with current provider due to pre-existing conditions: 30%

Will sacrifice spending in other areas to keep health care policy: 25%

Can only afford surgery and specialist policy: 24%

Worry about their weight and the impact it has on health: 22%

Believe there should be a health tax on unhealthy foods to pay for healthcare: 21%

Have health insurance for their children: 20%

Have reduced or changed cover as premiums have risen: 16%

Have used health insurance for serious illness: 15%

Average monthly policy spend

$277

Canstar Blue surveyed 5000 New Zealand consumers across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from respondents who have health insurance. In this case, 1270 New Zealanders. Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criterion.

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Most Satisfied Customers Health Insurance Winners 2019

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About Private Health Insurance

What is Private Health Insurance?

New Zealand’s health and disability system is mainly funded from general taxation. The Ministry of Health allocates more than three quarters of the public funds it manages via Vote Health to District Health Boards (DHBs), who then use this to purchase and provide public health services.

However, the government is currently in the process of making substantial changes to the way the health system is structured, and how it operates. This includes the disestablishment of the DHBs, and the creation of Health NZ and a Māori Health Authority, by July 2022.

Other funding sources include the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) and other government agencies. But the public health system does not cover all healthcare and private health insurance covers a wider variety of healthcare options.

More than 1.4 million New Zealanders have private health insurance, according to the Health Funds Association of New Zealand. Having private health insurance means New Zealanders can access treatment without the often-lengthy wait of the public health system. It also gives the policy holder some more control over their healthcare, such as the option of getting cover for extra treatments, such as dental, optical, chiropractic or physiotherapy.

These are a general explanation of the meaning of terms used in relation to health insurance.

Policy wording may use different terms and you should read the terms and conditions of the relevant policy to understand the inclusions and exclusions of that policy.

Annual limit: The maximum benefit payable for a particular service within a 12-month period.

Benefit: The dollar amount paid to you by your health fund when you make a claim with your hospital cover or extras cover.

Benefit limitation period: Benefit limitation periods are a period of time after taking out your health insurance policy where you will only be able to claim a restricted amount of benefit for nominated conditions. This time period usually commences after standard waiting periods have been served.

Claim: When you request that your health funds contributes to the cost of health services provided by a hospital, doctor, or other healthcare provider. If you have already paid the invoice in full, you can make a claim with your health fund afterwards and they will reimburse you with some or all of the cost via a direct payment, such as electronic funds transfer. If the invoice has not yet been paid, the health fund will pay this invoice in full, and then request that you pay them the balance owing (the difference between the actual bill and the amount the health fund will cover).

Compensation or Damages: Fund benefits are not payable when compensation and/or damages may be claimed from another source, such as Workers’ Compensation, Compulsory Third Party (CTP) car insurance, Common Law, Sports Insurance, Travel Insurance, Litigation, or Crimes Compensation.

Default Benefits: The minimum level of benefits private health insurers must pay, as set down by the government. These cover claims for treatment provided in public hospitals, non-contracted private hospitals and day surgeries.

Elective surgery: Surgical treatment of a condition that, according to your doctor, does not require immediate attention. Elective surgery waiting lists are one reason why it’s great having health insurance.

Excess: Much like with a car insurance policy, your health insurance policy charges an excess when you make a claim. It is an amount of money you agree to pay for hospital admission or medical services before you can claim anything back from your health fund. An excess does not apply to extras cover.

Exclusions: Any medical procedure, treatment, or health service that is not covered by your policy. You cannot make a claim for these items with your health insurance.

Pre-existing condition: An ailment, illness, or health condition is considered to be pre-existing if, in the opinion of a doctor appointed by the health fund, it existed at any time during the six months prior to the member joining a hospital cover or upgrading to a higher level of cover. Health funds can impose a maximum 12-month waiting period for hospital treatment for ailments, illnesses, or conditions that are considered to be pre-existing.

Premium: The annual payment or monthly payment (or other regular periodic payment) that a policyholder makes to a health insurance company to pay for having health cover.

Restriction: Some hospital cover policies have procedures that are restricted, meaning they will only pay the Public Hospital Benefit for that procedure. Policyholders would pay a considerable gap fee if they chose to be treated for a restricted procedure.

Waiting periods: The time you need to wait after buying health insurance, before you can start claiming benefits on the policy.

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