Southern Cross Health Society has announced a range of options to help New Zealanders struggling financially in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
The options are designed to assist members and businesses experiencing severe financial hardship due to COVID-19.
Southern Cross Health Society is a not-for a-profit friendly society which aims to deliver better value health insurance to more than 870,000 members.
The financial support options include the ability for members who have experienced a loss of income and are no longer in paid work to put their policies on hold for up to six months, while members experiencing financial hardship can put policies on hold for up to three months.
During this time members are not required to pay premiums and retain their pre-existing cover while being unable to make claims.
Eligible members also have the option to add an excess to their plan, remove add-on modules or downgrade their plan to reduce their premiums.
The CEO of Southern Cross Health Society, Nick Astwick, said the financial support options are designed to assist those members most affected by the crisis.
“My message is very clear: we are here with our members every step of the way. That means if you have lost your income and need to put your health insurance policy on hold, that’s something we can offer you.
“We are closely monitoring the impact of COVID-19 on our members and will be announcing further initiatives to support them shortly.”
Astwick said Southern Cross had moved quickly to remain open and available to its members, with all of its contact centre staff working remotely.
Members can submit claims as usual online or via a mobile app, including the ability for eligible members to submit claims for virtual and phone consultations with GPs and specialists.
COVID-19 testing and treatment is provided free by the public health system.