nib New Zealand has launched a new health insurance add-on which provides Kiwis with access to medications not publicly funded by PHARMAC.
Known as non-PHARMAC Plus, the new product is available through nib’s adviser and group distribution channels, and can be added on to new or existing hospital cover policies. Its benefit limits range from $20,000 to $300,000 annually.
According to nib NZ chief executive Rob Hennin, this new add-on was developed in response to a growing need for cover that provides members with greater choice, affordability and flexibility when it comes to modern medicines.
“New Zealand’s public healthcare system is often recognised for the level of care it provides, but we’re also ranked as having the worst access to funded modern medicines of the 20 OECD countries,” Hennin said.
“Without funding, these medicines can often cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, placing Kiwis who are already under significant stress dealing with an illness, with the added financial burden of paying for treatments out-of-pocket.
“It’s why we’ve introduced this add-on option which is designed to better protect our members’ health by making potentially life-saving treatments more affordable and accessible.”
Hennin added that non-PHARMAC Plus allows nib’s members to “future-proof” their cover, as it will include new medicines that become available before they are added to those covered by PHARMAC.
The benefit covers the cost of medicines where nib has accepted a claim for treatment and where the non-PHARMAC drugs are used in a private hospital or at home for up to six months after being admitted to hospital for treatment. The benefit also covers any drug administration costs. There will be no waiting period if a member chooses to add this option to their policy.
“By offering this benefit to our members and the New Zealand community we hope to provide some peace of mind knowing they can immediately access the treatment they need without the financial burden or the need to wait for public funding which can often take years to eventuate,” Hennin said.