web analytics

In praise of ACC

Written By: - Date published: 2:21 pm, April 3rd, 2008 - 34 comments
Categories: health, workers' rights - Tags: ,

accident-insurance.jpgIt was nice to see this independent report into the ACC scheme by Price Waterhouse Coopers. Amongst the general positive comments was this observation:

“The ACC under its current implementation structure performs as well or better than most other schemes we can observe around the world.”

“No fault” models (such as ours) are associated with:

• More injured people (70-95%) receiving compensation;
• More money reaching people: A higher portion of total costs (up to 90% in some schemes) goes directly to claimants’ benefits compared to perhaps only 50% in liability systems;
• Getting results faster: No fault systems get payment happening more quickly than in tort systems. The average settlement completion in the US tort system is 15 to 20 months, whereas benefits flow in 3 weeks on average in an uncontested workers’ compensation claim, and 4 months in contested claims; and
• Outcomes for people are better. A New South Wales study (on a blended system) found those on the no-fault system better off in terms of health outcomes and return to work rates.

So why privatise something that seems to be working so well?

John Key: “I want to confirm today that National’s policy is to re-establish a competitive market to provide accident insurance. This delivered more efficient accident coverage in the 1990s, and will do so again when National forms the government.’

Can we expect a change in direction?

34 comments on “In praise of ACC ”

  1. Draco TB 1

    John Key – proving National is out of touch with reality. They probably still think the US health system actually works and is cost effective.

  2. dave 2

    why privatise something that seems to be working so well? Ask any former manager who is assessed to be a stock clerk and is kicked off ACC onto a sickness benefit because he is too injured to work, despite the fact that there arent many stock clerk jobs going.

  3. Tane 3

    I doubt it. Remember last election National deliberately hid elements of its ACC policy from the public in collusion with the Insurance Council, then went on to receive $2 million in secret donations.

    No necessary connection there, but enough to make you wonder whose interests they’re working in.

  4. Steve Pierson 4

    “Ask any former manager who is assessed to be a stock clerk and is kicked off ACC onto a sickness benefit because he is too injured to work, despite the fact that there arent many stock clerk jobs going”

    – I will next time I encounter one, cause you know, you run into people in that situation all the time. And we must always be willing to throw out the baby with the bathwater

  5. r0b 5

    My favourite part? – “and will do so again when National forms the government”.

    Don’t get ahead of yourself there Johnny. There’s this wee formality called an election before anyone gets to form a government.

    (captcha: “sort elections” heh!)

  6. Pablo 6

    “Don’t get ahead of yourself there Johnny.”

    He wasn’t necessarily referring to forming a government this year. National will, probably, form a government at some stage in the next 20 years.

  7. insider 7

    I know little about ACC but it appears to be an organisation that delivers outcomes and those outcomes are determined by legislation. ie you are entitled to 90% of wage whether it is ACC or another company providing it

    So what is wrong with having a monopoly provider challenged by private ones if that brings down costs for the whole system and does not affect outcomes?

  8. dave 8

    Insider, you certainy know little about ACC if you dont know that it is 80% not 90% of the wage. It does deliver outcomes, but many of these outcomes are not determined by legislation, they are determined by polices which have nothingto do with legislation. If it brings down costs and does not affect outcomes you then haveto ask whether those outcomes are consistant with legisalation – ie is it a no fault scheme, effectivey, are all people being rehabilitated to their pre accident condition, are all getting all the home help they are entitled to, do all claimants have a say in their rehabilitation plans.

    The answer is no in all cases.

    So the process of getting these outcomes is not in line with legislation and I challenge anyone to prove me otherwise.

  9. insider 9

    Dave

    you seem to be saying it is not working very well now. Isn’t that all the more reason to look at options?

  10. Dan 10

    Go into any insurance office in the country and they are eagerly awaiting the carve up of ACC to private buyers if National gets in. They are not chasing efficiency or a better service for the public, but the chance to make big dollars.
    Insurance companies win; New Zealanders lose.

  11. Matthew Pilott 11

    Dan – agreed. When you look at it, the equation is very simple. ‘Will the money saved by increased efficiency due to open-market competition outweigh the profits extracted from the market by the competition.’

    Answer’s no.

  12. higherstandard 12

    MP

    No the answer is unknown until the question is answered via a competitive tender or request for proposals from private insurerers. The results of which could then be weighed against the incumbent ACC setup.

  13. Stephen 13

    Dan how does a competitive market automatically lead to big dollars for all the insurance companies??

  14. Steve Pierson 14

    higherstandard. We don’t have to repeat other countries’ mistakes to learn not to follow them.

  15. higherstandard 15

    SP

    If private providers can supply the same service under the same legislation and rules which govern ACC and save the taxpayer money why wouldn’t we consider it ?

  16. Steve Pierson 16

    If those things were the case that would be fine. But foreign experience shows that it is not the case. Why go through a legislative process for something that all the evidence shows would be a failure, providing worse cover than the excellent cover we have now?

    Maybe you should check out the post again.

  17. higherstandard 17

    SP

    I should probbaly clarify ….

    Any privatisation or part provatisation of an ACC scheme would have to be heavily regulated to ensure insurers met their obligations but to dismiss it out of hand is I beleive short sighted.

  18. higherstandard 18

    Apologies for the spelling typing with one hand and coffee in the other.

  19. Steve Pierson 19

    Yeah but I don’t think we are dismissing it out of hand, I think we’re dismissing it on the basis of evidence.

    Incidentally, do you like the sheet music photo? Took ages to set up right but now everytime I see ‘fade out with image of me looking messianic’ I think it was worth while.

    Hey, my captcha has a spelling mistake: ‘diner univeristy’ has Sam Dixon been mucking around with it?

  20. insider 20

    Was it worse or better when it was done in the 90s? Surely that is the best evidence we have? I’d point out that a lot of people think ACC underperforms as it is.

    Oh and to stroke your egos re the sheet music, I’d say you and KBB are far better at biting satire on JK and the nats, than your opposing blogs on Labour. Wonder if there is a media studies thesis in that? But then you have to score a hit occasionally given the sheer volume you post on one person!

  21. Matthew Pilott 21

    Just out of interest, and this is because of my lack of knowledge with the specifics of the area, but ACC isn’t meant to make any profit, right? The dues they take are purely to cover payouts and administration?

    I can’t see private companies being too keen to take that on…

    Also on the topic of ACC vs private insurace, I gather that satisfaction with private insurance as an industry isn’t exactly high, given their tendencies to not pay out wherever possible, and having fantastically complex policies that rule out as many pay outs as possible. This is not a model I would like inflicted upon New Zealanders.

  22. Dan 22

    Keen they are, so they must see profits somehow and somewhere. I am no insurance whizz but do know that the words out that if National gets in, then ACC is gone. But why?
    Stephen, you have wonderful faith in the competitive market which I do not share. Usually there are price-fixing deals, niches, cartel arrangements, nod nod, wink wink schemes. Have a look at airline arrangements or oil companies, theoretically in competition, but more often than not with various levels of understanding. the big price discounts in flying tend not to last or are designed to drive out competition.
    And now I hear the Nats want to sell Kiwibank. Can someone reassure me that is not the case.

  23. motorist 23

    Lets keep in perspective that ACC needed to build an investment portfolio to bring in investment return income to help fund the long term liabilties (long term injury costs). That current investment portfolio is somewhere around 9-11 billion dollars. Those funds were built up from us levy payers paying into the scheme.

    Also keep in mind that the Galvin Committee set out a plan to privatise the ACC long ago, with that came a niggardly mean case management designed to constrain access to medical treatment and other entitlements with the big push to “exit of the tail”(claims over 1 year old)where ACC used the “wcap” process to kick many injured people off onto winz benefits. imho, by severely limiting help to injured people, money was able to be funnelled into the investment scheme.

    So what happens to our public funded investment scheme for injured workers when national sets out to privatise all major accounts? The large invetment funds would look nice on any privaqte insurer balance sheet, but will that happen? will the private insurers obtain massive amounts of the acc investments to be transferre to private insurers?

    Furthermore, the largest account is the motor vehicle accident account. If that account is fully privatised then is nz on the way to compulsory vehicle insurance for accidents?

  24. Pat 24

    ACC is one of the largest expenses in my business, and it annoys the crap out of me because the premiums I pay are completely out of step with the actual risk profile of my industry. 7 years of excessive premiums and no claims. I would prefer to have the option of taking my risk profile to the market, and pay a market rate.

    [it’s not about you. It’s about insuring your workers have secure, dependable, transportable injury cover wherever they go. And you’re dreaming if you think it’s chepaer in a privatised system. SP]

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Quarantine-free travel with Australia to remain suspended for a further 8 weeks
    Suspension to be reviewed again mid to late November Decision brought forward to enable access from Australia to first tranche of around 3000 rooms in MIQ Air New Zealand working at pace to put on more flights from Australia from October    The suspension of quarantine-free travel (QFT) with Australia has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Extra support for Ethnic Communities to share vaccination information
    Extra support is being made available to Ethnic Communities to help them share COVID-19 vaccination information within their communities, Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities Priyanca Radhakrishnan said. “We know we need to get every eligible person in New Zealand vaccinated. A fund being launched today will allow for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • School holidays remain unchanged for Auckland region
    School holidays in Auckland will continue to be held at the same time as the rest of the country, starting from Saturday, 2 October, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “I’ve carefully considered advice on the implications of shifting the dates and concluded that on balance, maintaining the status quo ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government continues crackdown on gangs and organised crime
    Operation Tauwhiro extended until March 2022 Since it was launched in February, Operation Tauwhiro has resulted in:   987 firearms seized $4.99 million in cash seized 865 people charged with a firearms-related offence Gangs and organised crime groups will continue to be relentlessly targeted with the extension of Police’s successful ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to Body Positive 'HIV Treatments Update Seminar 2021'
    E ngā mana E ngā reo E ngā iwi Tēnā koutou katoa Ka huri ki ngā mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēnā koutou. He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei I raro I te kaupapa o te rā. Nō reira tēnā koutou katoa Acknowledgements It’s a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ economy’s strong momentum will support rebound from Delta outbreak; COVID fund replenished
    The economy showed strong momentum in the period leading up to the recent Delta COVID-19 outbreak, which bodes well for a solid economic rebound, Grant Robertson said. GDP rose 2.8 percent in the June quarter, following on from a 1.4 percent increase in the previous March quarter. This was a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Projects create benefits into the future
    Making a well-known lake swimmable and helping to halt the decline of the endangered hoiho/yellow-eyed penguins are among a suite of new projects being supported by the Government’s Jobs for Nature programme across the southern South Island, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “It’s no secret that many of our most ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Opening statement for Whāriki Indigenous Small Business Roundtable
      Kei ngā tōpito e wha o te āo e rere ana te mihi maioha ki a koutou nō tawhiti, nō tata mai e tāpiri ana ki tēnei taumata kōrero mo te ao hokohoko arā mā ngā pākihi mo ngā iwi taketake Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa – Pai Mārire.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New members appointed to Kāpuia
    The Government is adding four additional members to Kāpuia, the Ministerial Advisory Group on the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch mosques. “I’m looking forward to having Pamela MacNeill, Huia Bramley, Melani Anae and Katherine Dedo  join Kāpuia and contribute to this group’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Timeline confirmed for Emissions Reductions Plan
    Cabinet has agreed to begin consulting on the Emissions Reduction Plan in early October and require that the final plan be released by the end of May next year in line with the 2022 Budget, the Minister of Climate Change, James Shaw confirmed today. “Cabinet’s decision allows organisations and communities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Pay parity pathway for early learning teachers confirmed
    Pay parity conditions and higher funding rates for education and care services will come into force on 1 January, 2022, Minister of Education Chris Hipkins confirmed today. The Government signalled this work in Budget 2021. “From 1 January, 2022, centres opting into the scheme will receive government funding and be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Nurses Organisation Conference 2021
    Kia Ora tatau katoa.   Ka tuku mihi ki nga nēhi, He pou Hauora o Aotearoa, E ora ai tatou.   Whakatau mai  I runga i te kaupapa o te ra Te NZNO conference.   Tena koutou tena koutou Tena tatou katoa   Good morning, and thank you inviting me ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government investment in farmer-led catchment groups sweeps past 150 mark
    171 catchment groups have now been invested in by the Government 31 catchment groups in the Lower North Island are receiving new support More than 5,000 farmers are focussed on restoring freshwater within a generation through involvement in catchment groups  Government investment in on-the-ground efforts by farmers to improve land ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Fight to protect kauri on track
    The Government is pitching in to help vital work to protect nationally significant kauri forests in Auckland, Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan says. “Ensuring the survival of these iconic trees for future generations means doing everything we can to prevent the potential spread of kauri dieback disease,” Kiri Allan said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Joint statement of Mr Bernard Monk; Hon Andrew Little, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry,...
    [Note: The Parties have agreed on terms to fully and finally settle the proceeding and will jointly issue the below statement.] At the heart of this litigation are the lives of the 29 men tragically lost at the Pike River mine on 19 November 2010 and to whom we pay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More financial support for businesses
    Today’s decision to keep Auckland in a higher COVID Alert Level triggers a third round of the Wage Subsidy Scheme which will open for applications at 9am this Friday. “The revenue test period for this payment will be the 14th to the 27th of September. A reminder that this is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Aotearoa New Zealand provides further humanitarian support for Afghanistan
    Aotearoa New Zealand is providing a further $3 million in humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today.  “There is significant humanitarian need in Afghanistan, with the crisis disproportionately affecting women and girls,” said Nanaia Mahuta. The UN has estimated that 80% of the quarter of a million ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Innovative te reo prediction tool announced in Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori
    A new Māori language prediction tool will play a key role in tracking our te reo Māori revitalisation efforts, Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson announced today. He Ara Poutama mō te reo Māori (He Ara Poutama) can forecast the number of conversational and fluent speakers of te reo Māori ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Further Government support for people to access food and essential items
    The Government is responding to need for support in Auckland and has committed a further $10 million to help people access ongoing food and other essential items, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced today. This latest tranche is targeted at the Auckland region, helping providers and organisations to distribute ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Half a million Pfizer vaccines from Denmark
    The Government has secured an extra half a million doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines from Denmark that will start arriving in New Zealand within days, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “This is the second and larger agreement the Government has entered into to purchase additional vaccines to meet the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Inland Revenue providing essential COVID support for businesses
    Inland Revenue is seeing increased demand for Resurgence Support Payments and other assistance schemes that it administers, but is processing applications quickly, Revenue Minister David Parker said today. David Parker said the Resurgence Support Payment, the Small Business Cashflow (loan) Scheme and the Wage Subsidy are available at the same ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand marks 20th anniversary of 9/11 attacks
    New Zealand is expressing unity with all victims, families and loved ones affected by the September 11 2001 terrorist attacks, and all terrorist attacks around the world since, including in New Zealand. “Saturday marks twenty years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States, which killed nearly 3,000 people ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to SPREP Environment Ministers
    Talofa Honourable Ulu of Tokelau Faipule Kelihiano Kalolo Tēnā koutou katoa and warm Pacific greetings from Aotearoa to your excellencies, ladies and gentlemen. The new science released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on 8 August paints an alarming picture of the projected impacts of climate change on the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Additional Resurgence Support Payments to support business
    Businesses affected by higher Alert Levels will be able to apply for further Resurgence Support Payments (RSP). “The Government’s RSP was initially intended as a one-off payment to help businesses with their fixed costs, such as rent. Ministers have agreed to provide additional payments to recognise the effects of an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More Dawn Raids scholarships announced
    Details of the ‘Manaaki New Zealand Short Term Training Scholarships’, a goodwill gesture that follows the Government’s apology for the Dawn Raids of the 1970s, were released today by Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio. “These scholarships that are targeted to the Pacific will support the kaupapa of the Dawn Raids’ ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • One-way quarantine-free travel for RSE workers starting in October
      One-way quarantine-free travel for Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) workers from Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu starts in October New requirement for RSE workers to have received their first vaccination pre-departure, undertake Day 0 and Day 5 tests, and complete a self-isolation period of seven days, pending a negative Day 5 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt boosts Pacific suicide prevention support
    Applications have opened for the Pacific Suicide Prevention Community Fund as the Government acts to boost support amid the COVID delta outbreak. “We know strong and connected families and communities are the most important protective factor against suicide and this $900,000 fund will help to support this work,” Health Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt parks the expiry of licenses, WoFs and regos
    As a result of the Delta outbreak, driver licences, Warrants of Fitness (WoFs), Certificates of Fitness (CoFs), vehicle licences (‘regos’) and licence endorsements that expired on or after 21 July 2021 will be valid until 30 November 2021, Transport Minister Michael Wood has announced today. “While this extension won’t officially ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 community fund to provide support for vulnerable women and girls
    Minister for Women Jan Tinetti today announced a $2 million community fund that will provide support for women and girls adversely affected by COVID-19. “We know that women, particularly those who are already vulnerable, are disproportionally affected by the kind of economic disruption caused by COVID-19,” Jan Tinetti said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Next phase of support for Fiji’s COVID-19 response announced
    A further NZ$12 million of support for Fiji’s COVID-19 response has been announced by Foreign Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta today. The package builds on previous tranches of assistance Aotearoa New Zealand has provided to Fiji, totalling over NZ$50 million. “Fiji remains in a very challenging position in their response to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Robotic asparagus harvester aimed at addressing industry challenges
    The Government is backing a $5 million project to develop a commercial-scale autonomous robotic asparagus harvester, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. The Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund (SFF Futures) is contributing $2.6 million to the project. Project partner Robotics Plus Limited (RPL) will build on a prototype asparagus ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Additional Pfizer vaccines to arrive tomorrow
    More than a quarter of a million additional doses of the Pfizer vaccine are on their way from Spain to New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. The additional doses will arrive in Auckland on Friday morning to help meet the current surge in demand for vaccination. “It’s been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Young people to have their voices heard in Youth Parliament 2022
    The dates and details for Youth Parliament 2022 have been announced today by Minister for Youth Priyanca Radhakrishnan, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Youth Parliament is an opportunity for 141 young people from across Aotearoa New Zealand to experience the political process and learn how government works. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Boosting support for tertiary students affected by COVID-19
    Students facing a hard time as a result of COVID-19 restrictions will continue to be supported,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. The Government is putting a further $20 million into the Hardship Fund for Learners, which will help around 15,000 students to stay connected to their studies and learning. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Immediate relief available for Māori and iwi organisations
    The Government has reprioritised up to $5 million to provide immediate relief to vulnerable whānau Māori and communities during the current COVID-19 outbreak Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson announced today. The COVID-19 2021 Whānau Recovery Fund will support community-driven, local responses to gaps in access and provision of critical ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New beef genetics programme to deliver cows with smaller environmental hoof-print
    The Government is backing a genetics programme to lower the beef sector’s greenhouse gas emissions by delivering cows with a smaller environmental hoof-print, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. Informing New Zealand Beef is a seven-year partnership with Beef + Lamb New Zealand that is expected to result in more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Appointments to the New Zealand Qualifications Authority
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced new appointments to the board of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). Former Associate Minister of Education, Hon Tracey Martin, has been appointed as the new Chair for NZQA, replacing the outgoing Acting and Deputy Chair Professor Neil Quigley after an 11-year tenure on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt supports residential house building by allowing manufacture of building supplies
    The Government has agreed to allow some building product manufacturing to take place in Auckland during Covid lockdown to support continued residential construction activity across New Zealand. “There are supply chain issues that arise from Alert Level 4 as building products that are manufactured domestically are mostly manufactured in Auckland. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government invests in scientific research to boost economy, address climate change and enhance wellb...
    Research, Science and Innovation Minister Hon Dr Megan Woods has today announced the recipients of this year’s Endeavour Fund to help tackle the big issues that New Zealanders care about, like boosting economic performance, climate change, transport infrastructure and wellbeing. In total, 69 new scientific research projects were awarded over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Transport to drive economic recovery
    The Government is investing a record amount in transport services and infrastructure to get New Zealand moving, reduce emissions and support the economic recovery, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today. The 2021-24 National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) was released today which outlines the planned investments Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago