Southern Cross Health Society has pledged to return $50m to its members and business customers as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The initiative is designed to assist the health insurer’s 880,000 members and 4000-plus business customers during a challenging time for Kiwis.
The CEO of Southern Cross Health Society, Nick Astwick, said Southern Cross wanted to do the right thing by its membership.
“Southern Cross is essentially owned by its members and our top priority right now is being here for them and supporting them in the most practical way we can.
“In these difficult economic times and during a period of lower claiming, our pledge is to support our members and business customers. That means keeping money in the pockets of our members and in the interests of equity and fairness, no one will miss out.”
The plan will see a credit based on a percentage of each policy’s premium applied as soon as possible.
Astwick said Southern Cross was able to move quickly to provide support in the face of the economic fallout of the pandemic.
“As a not-for-profit friendly society, Southern Cross has no shareholders or overseas owners, which means we are in a unique position to focus on making decisions in the best interests of our membership.
“We’re constantly monitoring the situation and will continue to review our position regularly in terms of the ways we can help our members and business customers. We are with them every step of the way.”
The $50m plan is in addition to a raft of financial support measures announced by Southern Cross in early April.
These include the ability for members who have experienced a loss of income and are no longer in paid work to put their policy on hold for up to six months, while members who have not lost their income but are otherwise experiencing financial hardship can put policies on hold for up to three months.
Members cannot make claims while their premium payments are on hold.