A PC and laptop screen

Southern Cross launches new online tool for confirming procedure cover

Tuesday , 5 April 2022 by Andrew Drever

Southern Cross Health Insurance (Southern Cross) has launched a new interactive tool which helps members quickly confirm if their surgical procedure is covered under their policy, allowing them to follow their treatment journey online.

The Procedure Checker tool, which features search technology and capability that is a first for the New Zealand insurance market, allows members to search for specific treatments and see what is covered under their policy, saving them a phone call to enquire about the same information.

In addition, the tool provides information on any terms and conditions, including excess requirements and whether pre-existing conditions may affect cover. Members can also check if their procedure needs to be performed by an Affiliated Provider partner, or if prior approval needs to be requested.

Members can follow their treatment journey through the tool and access other My Southern Cross services to help with their recovery.

With Procedure Checker, Southen Cross has utilised the latest technologies to support members and offer an improved experience. This includes Natural Language Processing technology, which translates a member’s plain language query and links it with a procedure name, and Machine Learning technology, which may be used to train the tool over time and offer ongoing improvements.

Southern Cross Health Insurance’s Chief Operating Officer Anthony McPhail says the new tool demonstrates the business’ push to utilise digital channels to better serve customers.

“Previously, our members have had to take time out of their busy day to call and check if a certain procedure is covered. Procedure Checker was developed to make this much easier and faster,” he said.

“This intuitive tool is simple to use and allows members to search for procedures in plain English, without having to know clinical jargon. It also makes it very easy for members to see what their individual cover or limits are.

“There’s a clear trend in people wanting more self-service options and Procedure Checker meets that demand for accessing accurate information, around the clock.”

The tool is currently available to members who are registered with My Southern Cross and on Ultracare or the Wellbeing 1 and 2 plans, but McPhail says the organisation will further extend this service in time.