If you’re moving to New Zealand, you can apply for Southern Cross health insurance if:

  • you are a New Zealand citizen, or
  • you have a permanent resident’s visa, or
  • you are otherwise entitled to publicly funded health and disability services as determined by the Ministry of Health.

Southern Cross Travel Insurance

If you're moving to New Zealand and don’t meet the criteria above, check out your options at Southern Cross Travel Insurance.

If you’re a student, take a look at the International Student insurance page.

Otherwise, take a look at the Visiting NZ insurance page.

Why do you need health insurance in New Zealand?

Consider private health insurance as New Zealand’s public healthcare system cannot provide everything for everyone. Southern Cross health insurance policies are designed to complement these public services.

How the public and private health systems work in New Zealand

New Zealand has a quality public healthcare system. If you need urgent medical help, you get seen. If you’re injured, there’s ACC. But if you need non-urgent care - like having cancer removed, a knee repaired or heart surgery, you can go on a waiting list…sometimes for a long time. In the meantime, the wait can impact both your health and quality of your life. 

Southern Cross health insurance policies are designed to complement these public services. 

Non-urgent care in the health system

If a condition is a non-emergency condition, in the public system you will usually need to go through an assessment process and qualify for ‘elective’ treatment. Common elective treatments include: hip or knee replacement, heart surgery, hysterectomy, cataract removal, cancerous tumour removal, and diagnostic services such as endoscopy, laparoscopy, MRI scans, tonsillectomy, and grommets.

Private health insurance helps with the cost of many non-urgent procedures and provides faster access to private hospitals for the treatment. Not having to wait for treatment within the New Zealand health system means getting back to work faster and enjoying a better quality of life.

Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC)

Anyone in New Zealand, including visitors, who has an accident or injury is usually covered by the government’s personal injury scheme, ACC. ACC can help to pay for medical and treatment fees and rehabilitation costs or residential care incurred by any accident or injury.


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