Media releases 2013

Media medium

Southern Cross welcomes media inquiries about any health related topics.

Please contact: Alistair Gray, Communications Adviser, Southern Cross Healthcare Group
Phone: 09 925 6420  Mobile: 021 375167  Emailalistair.gray@southerncross.co.nz

Oct
04

Health of the sexes

Friday, 4 October 2013 by Aimee Bourke

People need to protect themselves for the medical claims they’re most likely to make – that’s the recommendation from New Zealand’s largest health insurer, Southern Cross.

Southern Cross has released the top five surgical claims for men and women in each age band from 20 years to 70 and over – and figures show that males and females have very different requirements when it comes to claiming for healthcare services.

Peter Tynan, Southern Cross Health Society Chief Executive, says the claims highlight the need for those taking out health insurance to check that their policy covers them for what they’re most likely to need.

And each sex has their own distinct set of health complaints. For example, in their twenties and thirties males claim the highest amounts for hernia repairs and endoscopic sinus surgeries while, in the same age bracket, claims costs for females are predominantly for endometriosis, the freeing of abdominal adhesions and ovarian cyst surgeries.

“Men, in particular those in their 20s and 30s, think they’re invincible but I think information like this goes to show that no one’s immune from developing condition’s that require surgical treatment,” says Tynan.

And it’s when a person goes under the knife that treatment gets really pricey. While surgical procedures only account for 7% of Southern Cross’ claims, they make up around 75% of costs.

Common procedures such as endometriosis surgery and hernia repairs can range in cost between $7,000 and $9,500 while more complex procedures, such as knee and hip replacements, can be upwards of $20,000.

Tynan points out that health insurance is one area where policy holders really get what they pay for and advises purchasers to carefully check what they are covered for, particularly if they looking to change insurers or going for cheaper policies.

“It’s wasted money to under insure - just like you wouldn’t want to insure your house and find that the policy just covers the letter box, you need to be careful with your level of health coverage.

“Health insurance is long-term insurance. You need to find a policy that suits your needs and a stable, financially strong insurer that can provide multiple plans. There is no use looking to change insurers once a pre-existing health condition has been developed.”

Top procedures by paid total from Jan 2012 to December 2012

Top 5 procedures 20-29 age band

Women
Removal of teeth
Endometriosis surgery
Freeing abdominal adhesions
Ovarian cystectomy
Excision skin lesion

Men
Removal of teeth
Excision skin lesion
Septoplasty
Hernia – inguinal repair
Colonoscopy

Top 5 procedures 30-39 age band

Women
Endometriosis surgery
Hysterectomy
Excision skin lesion
Cholecystectomy
Removal of teeth

Men
Removal of teeth
Colonoscopy
Excision skin lesion
Hernia – inguinal repair
Septoplasty

Top 5 procedures 40 - 49 age band

Women
Hysterectomy
Hysteroscopy D&C
Excision skin lesion
Colonoscopy
Endometriosis surgery

Men
Colonoscopy
Excision skin lesion
Hip replacement
Hernia – inguinal repair
Coronary Angioplasty

Top 5 procedures 50 - 59 age band

Women
Colonoscopy
Hysterectomy
Hip replacement
Excision skin lesion
Knee replacement

Men
Hip replacement
Colonoscopy
Excision skin lesion
Coronary angioplasty
Hernia – inguinal repair

Top 5 procedures 60 - 69 age band

Women
Knee replacement
Hip replacement
Colonoscopy
Cataract
Excision skin lesion

Men
Knee replacement
Hip replacement
Excision skin lesion
Coronary angioplasty
Colonoscopy

Top 5 procedures 70+

Women
Cataract
Hip replacement
Knee replacement
Excision skin lesion
Colonoscopy

Men
Knee replacement
Cataract
Hip replacement
Excision skin lesion
Coronary angioplasty