Waikato-Tainui links up with Southern Cross for elders' health insurance

Waikato-Tainui links up with Southern Cross for elders' health insurance | Insurance Business New Zealand

Waikato-Tainui links up with Southern Cross for elders' health insurance

Waikato-Tainui has partnered with Southern Cross Health Insurance to provide health insurance to around 14,000 kaumātua and help facilitate better health outcomes for its tribal members. 

According to a survey commissioned by Southern Cross, 78% of Māori are concerned about having access to good, affordable healthcare. The survey also found that 50% of Māori are happy with their health – 10% lower than the general population. Also, 62% are concerned about not being able to afford to be healthy. 

The iwi currently offers an annual kaumātua medical grant to its registered tribal members aged 60 and above to provide relief and support in meeting age-related medical costs. As part of the agreement with Southern Cross, kaumātua can apply for the grant and choose to apply the grant in obtaining a policy from the insurer, which provides cover for day-to-day healthcare services that kaumātua may be hesitant to avail.

These services include GP visits, dental care, optometry and self-care specialist consultations like physiotherapy and chiropractic treatment.

“We want to protect our valuable kaumātua and help them to stay with their tamariki and mokopuna for longer,” said Glenda Taituha, general manager, heritage and identity, Waikato-Tainui. “Our kaumātua guide us, and without them we would be lost, so we have huge aspirations to care for and protect them by increasing access to preventative healthcare. We’re always looking for ways where we can create an impactful investment for our tribal members, and this partnership with Southern Cross will help us to make sure they can live healthier lives.”

Southern Cross Health Insurance CEO Nick Astwick said the partnership with Waikato-Tainui is a huge honour and is a meaningful step forward in supporting the insurer’s aspiration to improve health outcomes across the nation, including those in vulnerable communities. 

“As New Zealand’s largest health insurer, we feel a huge responsibility to work with Māori to effect change,” Astwick said. “In these uncertain times, there has never been a more important time to support and protect health and wellbeing, and this is something we’re wholeheartedly committed to.“