web analytics

A quick question

Written By: - Date published: 8:14 pm, October 12th, 2009 - 26 comments
Categories: ACC - Tags:

Do any health insurance companies fully fund long-term claims in the way ACC is being asked to?

26 comments on “A quick question ”

  1. rocky 1

    Sort of. If you take out an insurance policy you won’t be covered for any pre-existing conditions. If you have to make a claim you are covered for anything to do with that claim in future – but only if you keep paying the premiums.

    Unfortunately once you have made a claim (or if you get sick with something before you get insurance), if it’s an ongoing condition, you are stuck with that provider forever, because you won’t be able to switch providers and have that now pre-existing condition covered.

    Likewise if you cancel your policy and you have a pre-existing condition covered by the provider, you can’t even sign up again with the same provider at a later date and have that condition still covered.

    Exclusions for pre-existing conditions also aren’t just for things that are ongoing. If you have for example one particular type of heart problem, when you take out a policy you will likely be excluded for any heart related problems, regardless of whether they have anything to do with your pre-existing condition.

    • rocky 1.1

      On a related note, there are also issues when you have health insurance as to whether ACC pays or your provider pays. Generally speaking, if ACC will cover something, your insurance provider won’t. But the problem lies where ACC will only cover part of the cost for something. Some health insurance providers (for example Southern Cross) won’t cover anything if ACC will cover even part, but if ACC won’t cover it at all they will. Other insurance providers (for example Tower) will cover whatever shortfall there is from ACC.

  2. Marty G 2

    I think they do, in that they have to have a pool of funds to cover future costs of current claims should they go under etc. In fact, I think they buy insurance themselves against their future costs.

    Earlier this year when Nick Smith was using that dumb ‘If ACC were a private insurer it would be insolvent’ line, what he meant, as I understand it, is private insurers have to have their future liabilities covered.

    The difference, of course, is that insurance companies can and do go under. The State is perpetual. So while being fully-funded is nice, it’s not vital for ACC. Nick Smith didn’t seem to mind when for the previous 18 years he has been in Parliament.

    I’ll see if I can check it out though.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Another difference is that insurance companies will go the extra mile not to pay out on insurance claims.

  3. John A 3

    Is National Superannuation fully funded?

    • Marty G 3.1

      good point , John, it’s not apart from a little bit by the Cullen Fund and we know why, because it’s a state scheme, like ACC.

      In fact, National reduced future funding of super and said it was nothing to worry about when it cut the Cullen Fund payments.

      • Herodotus 3.1.1

        Was not the Cullen fund only going to provide about 15% of future super requirements at best?
        Unless we strike oil (Not in the Nat parks) will the current population be able to be supported in their retirement (Whatever the applicable age will turn out to be, my guess will be you retire when you can afford to or 75)
        Re ACC also not only are NZ poorly paid, but the country is not as wealthy as we would all like. The “luxureries” we have enjoyed since the 50’s will slowly be reduced/wiped out if we follow the ongoing current policies.
        Someone needs to show real leadership & be bold with a plan to progress this country. With the little mindness that is being currently displayed (By both sides) we will in my opinion slowly become a very ugly society. So were is our FRD New Deal or a 1930’s govt?

        • Marty G 3.1.1.1

          we’re far wealthier than we were in the 1970s when the 3rd Labour government established ACC.

          In fact, ACC saves us a huge amount – look at the States where there’s no ‘no fault’ cover for injuries and people have to try to sue someone to cover their costs instead. It’s a disaster that ties up the court system and it’s unfair because many people can’t even afford to take a suit.

          • Herodotus 3.1.1.1.1

            Not all good ideas come out of the US. Like all good policies they get “Bastardised” and there is a loss on focus what the original intentions were. Would not a re-evulation of ACC to see what should be covered where the source of funding is to power this. Otherwise there could be a hugh mill-stone around our neck that we cannot fund. An idea is immigrants/toruists to have private medical insurance with immigrants qualifying after a no. of years to be ACC covered.
            Private insurance will work for the blessed who remain healthy and the rich.

  4. vto 4

    If only we could all fully fund our future ay?

    Says a great deal about the power that rests in the hands of the state that it can carry out this sort of crappola.

    A glaring example of the power imbalance in our society. Give the power back to the people!

  5. Cactus Kate 5

    A quicker question –

    Do any health insurance companies cover those who have not even paid premiums to it?

    • sk 5.1

      An even quicker question: what does a lawyer charge out in HK when on a NZ blog at 4.41pm?

      • Marty G 5.1.1

        As much as she can? It’s the capitalist way.

        And there’s so many lazy public servants to complain about.

    • Marty G 5.2

      Yeah, good point Cactus. Another way in which ACC is not a comparable to a private insurer.

      It was actually set up to take away the need for the unfair and expensive system for personal injury tort law suits that previously existed. To think of it as just like a private insurer is a bit silly.

    • The benefit of paying taxes is that you can expect to get the benefit of doing so.

      Cactus Kate, are you suggesting that those who do not pay taxes or ACC levies ought not to receive the benefit of superannuation or ACC?

      I must admit that this has some attraction.

      Even beneficiaries pay taxes.

  6. Michael Over Here 6

    This was mentioned above but it deserves to be beat in to the ground so no one forgets:

    ACC is the price that we pay in order to live in a no-fault society. ACC is public compensation for sacrificing our right to seek damages via lawsuits through the court system. When we start examining the cost of ACC we should also consider the steep costs on our court systems (and our national character) if we had a system like America where damages are sued for.

  7. Cactus Kate 7

    Sk – She charges nothing when she’s on holiday unfortunately and is coming in from a long day in a lounge chair by the beach being served by below NZ minimum wage workers.

    ACC is so silly that it will pay out for those who don’t contribute to it (myself) when I come to NZ and have an accident (Calm down I have full health insurance). But then takes away my right to sue someone who causes harm to me. Surely this will appeal to your audience – why should you be paying for Cactus Kate’s ACC appointments in NZ (if she didn’t have full health insurance) when she visits when she does not pay the levy anymore?

    Mickysavage – Beneficiaries pay GST and a neglible amount of other taxes and levies, but are not net taxpayers. They take more from the system in benefits, housing etc.. than they put in.

    • Armchair Critic 7.1

      “why should you be paying for Cactus Kate’s ACC appointments in NZ (if she didn’t have full health insurance) when she visits when she does not pay the levy anymore?”
      For similar reasons that we pay for the Fire Service to put out fires on uninsured and underinsured properties, who don’t pay or underpay a fire service levy.
      No funding model is perfect, but ones that minimise ambulance chasers are preferable to those that encourage them.

    • sk 7.2

      Cactus Kate, touche. I will take your word for it. Bali?

      A couple of questions though.

      (i) Our PM clearly values tourism given he made a complete ass of himself on Letterman (when he did not even qualify as a guest). What happens to tourism in NZ if we went to a tort system?

      (ii) Since the Hon N. Smith is now into actuarially assessed liabilities, what is the actuarially assessed liability of the government’s climate change policy (implicit subsidy)? Should I care if the cement that Cactus Kate’s lounge chair rests on while on holiday in NZ comes from NZ or Indonesia?

  8. ExportEarner 8

    Cactus Kate- you said Beneficiaries don’t pay taxes- you are assuming that under a National government a certain amount of people are to be kept on the benefit in order to keep the minimum wage low and people afraid of losing their jobs.

    Under a Labour government that supports workers and working, the benefit is seen as a short term fall back in tough times. In the long run (as well as all being dead thanks Mr Marshall) they certainly pay their full share.

    Are you suggesting that PriceWaterhouse Coopers or whoever the accountants are don’t know a silly scheme when they see one and can’t calculate what one is like?

  9. Rich 9

    It doesn’t matter that private health insurers need to run a fund. They are private insurers, cover a small group of people and have no guarantee of the future level of premium income. It may be that as public health cover improves, less people will be willing to pay for private insurance, for instance.

    It only makes sense for ACC to fund future entitlements if the government wants to scrap ACC and go back to a litigation-based system with private insurance for the minority who can afford it. Which is their real approach, isn’t it?

  10. Yes, life insurance companies (with products like income protection, disability (total permanent or temporary), and medical crisis cover all fully fund, it is standard practice. It is good for long term stability as you have the funds already put aside and (especially under the new life insurance tax rules) makes accounting easier.

    The one thing they don’t do (as far as I am aware) is re-insure, how ever I understand with the size of their “customer base” that isn’t really required (and under extreme cases the general taxation could possibly cover things). It is how ever costly to switch over, as MartyG noted, at the moment they are basically required to carry on paying existing claims as they go, plus the whole of new claims, once the switch over is complete the cost will be no different.

    So yes, it’s good normal business practice. Personally I believe ACC should be operating as basically a commercial entity, with out the blood sucking money grubbing arsehole-ness, and I think it does that well.

    This beat up over the shift in funding models is flat out lying on the part of Smith and Judge, I am seriously concerned by it.

  11. Adrian 11

    Of course they are “fully funded”, they know that if they go tits up, the government will have to pick up the mess.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Celebrating the Entry Into Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
    [Opening comments, welcome and thank you to Auckland University etc] It is a great pleasure to be here this afternoon to celebrate such an historic occasion - the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This is a moment many feared would never come, but ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Supporting disabled people to stay connected
    The Government is providing $3 million in one-off seed funding to help disabled people around New Zealand stay connected and access support in their communities, Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni announced today. The funding will allow disability service providers to develop digital and community-based solutions over the next two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Voluntary saliva testing offered to quarantine workers from Monday
    Border workers in quarantine facilities will be offered voluntary daily COVID-19 saliva tests in addition to their regular weekly testing, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. This additional option will be rolled out at the Jet Park Quarantine facility in Auckland starting on Monday 25 January, and then to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Next steps in firearms buy-back
    The next steps in the Government’s ambitious firearms reform programme to include a three-month buy-back have been announced by Police Minister Poto Williams today.  “The last buy-back and amnesty was unprecedented for New Zealand and was successful in collecting 60,297 firearms, modifying a further 5,630 firearms, and collecting 299,837 prohibited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature projects target iconic ecosystems
    Upscaling work already underway to restore two iconic ecosystems will deliver jobs and a lasting legacy, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says.  “The Jobs for Nature programme provides $1.25 billion over four years to offer employment opportunities for people whose livelihoods have been impacted by the COVID-19 recession. “Two new projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Public Housing Plan announced
    The Government has released its Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 which outlines the intention of where 8,000 additional public and transitional housing places announced in Budget 2020, will go. “The Government is committed to continuing its public house build programme at pace and scale. The extra 8,000 homes – 6000 public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates President Joe Biden on his inauguration
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated President Joe Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States of America. “I look forward to building a close relationship with President Biden and working with him on issues that matter to both our countries,” Jacinda Ardern said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding will create training and employment opportunities
    A major investment to tackle wilding pines in Mt Richmond will create jobs and help protect the area’s unique ecosystems, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says. The Mt Richmond Forest Park has unique ecosystems developed on mineral-rich geology, including taonga plant species found nowhere else in the country. “These special plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Pre-departure testing extended to all passengers to New Zealand
    To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The change will come into force for all flights arriving in New Zealand after 11:59pm (NZT) on Monday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago