Engineering a perfect partnership

Chloe Stewart Tyson, Group Health and Safety Manager

For over three decades, Southern Cross and Beca have been working together to support a healthy and productive workforce at Aotearoa's largest professional services consultancy. Beca began in Auckland in 1920, as an engineering consultancy. More than 100 years later, it has grown to become a multinational powerhouse in the Asia-Pacific region - with Southern Cross right alongside since the 1990s.

With a huge team of specialists across a range of disciplines, Beca understands how important it is to take care of its employees and their families.

Diverse options for the Beca team

With cover available for the whole family under Southern Cross plans, New Zealand businesses can tailor their health cover to suit their budget and requirements. The partnership between Beca and Southern Cross has kept evolving, offering Beca's employees comprehensive health coverage and peace of mind.

"They really are a true partner with us," says Chloe Stewart Tyson, Group Health and Safety Manager.

"I think as we've grown as an organisation, they've grown as well. We're leading in the digital transformation space and I've seen Southern Cross do exactly the same. They've broadened their approach, they've listened really well to their clients, and they've got a diverse package that they can offer our people, which is just awesome."

Accelerated surgery with Southern Cross

When Andrew Ford, Beca's Defence Market Segment Leader, was diagnosed with colorectal cancer, he was told there would be a three or four month wait to get a portacath inserted, without which he couldn't start chemotherapy.

"I was understandably very keen to start my chemo out as soon as I possibly could. So I went to Southern Cross and asked if they could accelerate the surgery if I went through them. And they said absolutely - they were incredibly helpful."

His chemotherapy was successful: "I'm cancer free and that's a really great thing and really positive. But it's also made me very much an advocate for men's health here in the company. When Movember came around, I jumped in boots and all, and grew the big Merv Hughes moustache."

He says Southern Cross is an important way that Beca takes care of its employees, which is particularly important as an employee-owned company. It makes sense for the business in two ways.

"First, to improve productivity: It's in our interest that we have a healthy and a well workforce who are able to be productive in what they do, but also happy in what they do and want to stay with us."

"And second, because it reflects Beca's values as a business; Reflecting on my own health journey, when I think about the value of care, it was paid back to me in spades,

says Andrew. "If we all care for each other, then it's second nature that we should be encouraging people to look after their health through Southern Cross."

Andrew's whole family is covered by Southern Cross, "because it makes sense to us. That's something we can do for our grown-up kids which is a huge benefit. Having Southern Cross on board with your total care just gives you better options."

Wellbeing for the entire team

Ben Hume is Group Leader, Fire Engineering, and his whole family has been covered by Southern Cross since he started with Beca 14 years ago. His family policy really proved its value after the birth of the Humes' children, Isabelle and Finlay, who were immediately linked to their parents' cover after they were born 13 and 11 years ago.

"When my son was born he had silent reflux," Ben explains. "Then he started to get recurring tonsillitis, which led to inflamed tonsils and sleep apnoea. And I can tell you that one of the most terrifying things as a parent is being in a room with your child and seeing them stop breathing while they are sleeping. Southern Cross gave us the ability to get specialist care straight away to be able to get them into a hospital and have a tonsillectomy and adenoids out. Knowing that he was safe and that we could trust that he would be here and keep going was really important."

As New Zealand's largest health insurer, Southern Cross paid out over $1 billion in claims during the 2021 financial year, paying out on 73% of claims from nearly 900,000 members.* Local research shows that businesses offering health insurance as part of their employment packages find it easier to attract talent, have lower absenteeism and greater staff loyalty.

The benefits of health insurance in the workplace are clear to Ben.

"If you have something going on in your life that is creating stress and disruption to you, it's very hard to separate yourself at work and create. If people are in a good space, that translates to our team, and it means that they're able to do some amazing things. So Southern Cross is a big part of actually being able to provide that well-being for the entire team."

Southern Cross makes it easy for Beca to deliver outstanding healthcare support, along with a simple, rapid claims service - and they pay 87c on the dollar, compared to 62c for other insurers. Not only Aotearoa's largest health insurer, Southern Cross is also the most trusted health insurance provider - providing industry-leading results to its industry-leading clients.

*Based on data provided by the Financial Services Council.

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