New Cancer Assist gives Kiwis money and options

Monday , 8 May 2017 by Janine Kendall

Southern Cross Health Society’s new Cancer Assist product add-on is set to provide people with extra financial support at a time when emotional, physical and financial pressures can mount.

While the Society’s health insurance plans already fund cancer treatment, its newest add-on is set to provide money and additional options during what can be a difficult time.

Cancer Assist provides members diagnosed with a qualifying cancer with a one-off, tax-free payment option ranging from $20,000 to $300,000. This is in addition to their health insurance and can be spent on whatever the member chooses, including accessing additional non-Pharmac approved drugs, paying off their mortgage, taking leave from work, or travelling to see family.

Southern Cross Health Society’s Head of Marketing, Chris Watney, says recent research carried out by the society revealed cancer is the biggest health concern among its members, with younger people more likely to be concerned about a cancer diagnosis.

“With 23,000 new cases registered in New Zealand each year it often feels like we all know someone affected by cancer. In the last couple of years, we’ve seen an increase in people with cancer looking to access new therapies, which can mean making big decisions like mortgaging their home. It’s important we address this while also giving people options about what they want to spend money on after a cancer diagnosis.

“We’ve also been careful to keep the cost of Cancer Assist premiums at an affordable and accessible level for individuals and families. For example Cancer Assist costs from just 43 cents a week for children, or from $1.15 per week for a 30 year old female non-smoker (based on $50,000 of cover)*,” says Mr Watney.

Many of Southern Cross Health Society’s most popular health insurance plans already include unlimited cover for surgery related to treating cancer, as well as up to $60,000 for chemotherapy treatment, $60,000 for imaging and testing, and $5,000 for specialist consultations each year. Additional allowances for home nursing, post-operative physiotherapy, and palliative care are also included in the majority of plans.

The Society was also the first insurer to offer a $40,000 allowance per lifetime on some plans for prophylactic treatments, such as mastectomy, which can prevent cancer from occurring where there’s an identified high risk.

“Cancer Assist gives members the option to build on those benefits and ensure greater freedom, flexibility and choice at a time when they need it most,” says Mr Watney.

Southern Cross members can add Cancer Assist to their policy by 30 June 2017 to get the first two months free.

Additional information

  • There are approximately 63 new cancer cases registered in New Zealand every day.
  • Around 9,000 deaths in New Zealand every year are due to cancer.
  • Prostate cancer is the most commonly registered cancer for men.
  • Breast cancer is the most commonly registered cancer for women.
  • The top five causes of cancer deaths in both men and women in New Zealand are lung, colorectal, prostate, breast, and pancreatic cancer.
  • Cancer Assist is only available to Southern Cross Health Society members with an eligible health insurance plan, excluding HealthEssentials.


* Premiums for Cancer Assist start from 43 cents a week for children ($50,000 cover), with costs for adults varying based on age, sex, whether they smoke, and the level of cover they choose. A 30-year-old non-smoking female will pay $1.15 per week for $50,000 worth of cover, whereas a female 40-year-old non-smoker will pay $2.50 per week for $50,000 worth of cover.