Compare: Healthcare Options For Expats In New Zealand

Date Nov 23, 2020
Blog category Health Insurance
By Sieg C
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New Zealand has a great healthcare system. It provides coverage for a wide range of medical conditions, services, and emergency responses. It also offers specialised care for more complicated medical conditions like cancer care, mental health assistance, elderly care, and maternity and postnatal care, among others.

If you’re an expat, you'll need to know the best healthcare coverage and system for you. To see your best options, it’s essential to know the basics of healthcare in New Zealand first. Here’s a quick breakdown for you.

Healthcare systems in New Zealand

New Zealand’s healthcare system is divided into two categories: public and private. Both systems are easy to access and high-quality. While this is mostly true for big cities and urban areas, finding a reliable healthcare system can be difficult in rural communities. Take a closer look and comparison of both systems.

Public healthcare

The current model for the New Zealand public healthcare system was first introduced in the 80s. Most of the services are subsidised by the government. This means most of the services are free. However, there are other services which are both subsidised and funded by private sectors. These services often come with a fee, which are rather cheap. 

Aside from medical treatments and emergency responses, free treatments under this system include but are not limited to:

  • GP visits
  • Dental care
  • Maternity and postnatal care
  • Routine checkups

Getting into the public healthcare system can also greatly reduce your medication costs.

New Zealand residents, permanent residents, and refugees can take advantage of this free public healthcare service. For expats, they first need to have a work visa with two-year validity to be eligible for this free government healthcare.

Private healthcare

The private healthcare system of New Zealand works similarly with the public ones. The big difference is, you can be assured of top-quality medical care without waiting for long queues. There are plenty of private healthcare institutions in the country, ranging from radiology clinics, specialists, as well as state-of-the-art testing labs.

Getting a private healthcare policy isn’t a common choice for New Zealanders, as the free healthcare system is already great. However, almost 35% of Kiwis still opt for a separate private health insurance policy because they can specifically pick the medical care they need. 

Another great thing is, it provides great coverage for expats who don’t have a working visa with two-year validity! They simply have to purchase a health insurance policy from a trusted insurer. This can cover for a wide variety of medical situations — from basic medical cover to specialised conditions. 

Best health insurance providers in New Zealand

With the increasing demand for private health insurance, expats don’t have to worry about having plenty of choices. You can have peace of mind in your stay in New Zealand with cheap but comprehensive policies. Plus, there's always focused care and almost no waiting time to get medical assistance.

Here are some of the best health insurance providers in New Zealand.

Southern Cross Health Insurance

Southern Cross is one of the biggest health insurance companies in New Zealand, with over 870,000 active members. They’re 100% Kiwi-owned and operated, meaning your coverage exactly caters to the NZ healthcare institutions.

  • Credit Rating: A+ (Strong) Standard & Poor’s
  • Excess options: $500, $1,000, $2,000, $4,000
  • Pre-existing conditions coverage: Qualifying conditions are covered for 3 years

nib Health Cover

nib has a long history of providing private health insurance in Australia. They’ve since expanded in New Zealand back in 2012, and are now offering great coverage in their policies for Kiwis and expats.

  • Credit Rating: A- (Strong) Standard & Poor’s
  • Excess options: $250, $500, $1,000, $2,000
  • Pre-existing conditions coverage: Qualifying conditions are covered for 3 years

Partners Life Medical Cover

Partners Life provides customised health cover for both Kiwis and expats since 2011. They have strong partnerships with financial advisers, giving them the freedom to craft basic to comprehensive medical cover.

  • Credit Rating: B++ (Good) A.M. Best
  • Excess options: $250, $500, $1,000, $2,000, $5,000, $10,000
  • Pre-existing conditions coverage: Pre-existing can be accepted without an extra premium, upon subject to evaluation.

AIA Health Insurance

AIA has over 100 years of experience in providing quality healthcare options in New Zealand. They have several partnerships with different health institutions as well as international insurance companies to provide faster medical solutions.

  • Credit Rating: AA- (Very Strong) Standard & Poor’s
  • Excess options: $250, $500, $750, $1,000, $2,000, $4,000, $10,000
  • Pre-existing conditions coverage: Pre-existing can be accepted without an extra premium, upon subject to evaluation.

Accuro Health Insurance

Accuro Health Insurance has been helping Kiwis in their healthcare needs since 1971. Despite their small size, they take pride in providing a wide range of health insurance options for both New Zealand citizens and expats.

  • Credit Rating: B+ (Stable Outlook) A.M. Best
  • Excess options: $250, $500, $1,000, $2,000, $5,000, $10,000
  • Pre-existing conditions coverage: Pre-existing can be accepted without an extra premium, upon subject to evaluation.

Get the best health coverage for expats

Living as an expat in New Zealand should be fun and easy! Make sure you have a health insurance policy that puts you first — your condition, medical history, nature of work, and more! Compare the best insurance coverage for you here at CompareBear.

About the author
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Sieg C

Sieg C is a content writer who has written in a diverse range of industries including tech, energy, automobiles, and finance. His daily creative booster is at least two cups of black coffee and his curated chill vibes playlist.

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