Healthy Business Blog

Jul
27

When health insurance counts the most

Monday, 27 July 2020 by the Southern Cross team

As we face a vulnerable economy and an uncertain future, what will drive your success and give you an advantage? 

If your answer is your people, then their health and wellbeing should be a priority for your business. And, so too, should be ensuring you're with the right workplace health and wellbeing provider.

Health insurance can provide a healthy return

A healthy team and a healthy business go hand-in-hand – both support each other, and that's especially true after a crisis. 

Following the GFC in 2009, Gallup found US companies with engaged workforces regained and grew their Earnings-Per-Share faster than their industry equivalents.1 

Health insurance can play a vital role here. In New Zealand, employees with subsidised health insurance are more likely to report feeling valued at work, proud of where they worked, and ready to recommend their workplace to others.2

The bottom-line benefits of paying for health insurance for your team can include:

  • attracting and retaining the best staff
  • nurturing a more engaged team
  • supporting a team that's 'present', physically and emotionally
  • a more productive team.2

How we’re with you

At Southern Cross, we're here to support Kiwi businesses that care for their employees, and we'll work with you to create a healthier and more productive workplace. 

Here’s one example of positive feedback received from one of our business clients: “It gives our employees and their families important peace of mind and they feel valued and supported, which is really important to us. We in turn benefit from having them back at work after prompt treatment.” 

Building resilience to build a stronger business

We're all living through stressful times, and work stress can take its toll on your productivity.4

Even before the lockdown, almost 1 in 4 Kiwi workers reported they were experiencing stress and anxiety. And with the two main drivers of stress and anxiety being finances and workplace pressures, we're facing a perfect storm.5

Helping your people build personal resilience could be crucial right now, especially when you might need a resilient work culture to thrive in a tough marketplace.

How we’re with you

That's why we've made our StayingWell content free for business clients and members. You can check out our StayingWell content here. It includes resilience videos from The Flourishing Institute and meditation sessions by Hum, and we're currently collaborating with health and wellbeing experts to develop new content. 

One of our business clients says: "And the benefits in partnering with Southern Cross are not solely due to the providing of health insurance for staff, but the wrap around package that Southern Cross delivers in terms of support initiatives, assisting us in the achievement of a healthier workplace culture”.

Being there for you, and not for the profit

When times are tough, you should expect your health insurer to step up for you, because it's the right thing to do.

As a not-for-profit, Southern Cross exists for our members, so what we care about aligns naturally with what you care about: the wellbeing of your team and business. 

How we’re with you

Southern Cross pledged to return $50 million to support our members and business customers as part of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This pledge has now been applied as a credit to all eligible health insurance policies.

On top of that, members who are experiencing financial hardship can now put their premiums on hold for 3-6 months, depending on their circumstances. Plus, they also have some extra flexibility in downgrading and upgrading their cover temporarily, so they don't lose benefits like pre-existing conditions.

We have also expanded our financial hardship options even further to support those who need it most, including members being able to place a policy on hold for a minimum of 30 days or a maximum of 6 months, depending on their situation. We’ve introduced a temporary Hardship Downgrade for members who have had their policy on hold. This enables members to downgrade their plan and, provided they return to their original plan within 18 months, not lose any pre-existing condition cover and also be covered for any new health conditions. 

A quote from one of our business clients: "We were also impressed with their integrity as a not for profit organisation, that typically more than 90 per cent of their premium income goes into claims for members and that they were willing to share detailed work scheme information. This enabled us to develop a relationship of trust and openness very early on.” 

A young man leaving his home, holding onto his taonga

‘We’re with you' is more than words

In the end, you want to be with a health insurer who is with you. And that's our commitment to New Zealand, and one we've being fulfilling for nearly 60 years.

By working with each other, and helping employees flourish and businesses to thrive – together, we can all get back to our best. 

Find out what we can do for your business

Whether your business is with Southern Cross, or you just want to know more about how subsidised health insurance can support your business objectives, we're here to help. So contact your Southern Cross account manager or healthybusiness@southerncross.co.nz if you don’t have one yet. 



  1. (2013, June 20). How Employee Engagement Drives Growth. Retrieved from https://www.gallup.com/workplace/236927/employee-engagement-drives-growth.aspx
  2. Southern Cross & KANTAR TNS, Measuring the benefits of Health Insurance 2019 survey.
  3. (2019, September 1). 42 Worrying Workplace Stress Statistics - The American Institute of Stress. Retrieved from https://www.stress.org/42-worrying-workplace-stress-statistics
  4. Wellness in the Workplace Survey, 2019, BusinessNZ and SCHS

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