We’re with Kiwi businesses 

Many New Zealand businesses are facing tough times due to the impact of COVID-19. We are here to continue supporting you and your teams to stay healthy and productive.  
 
As a New Zealand not-for-profit friendly society, we have no shareholders or overseas owners, so our focus is always on the best interests of our members and business customers.

With you during financial hardship 

We have developed a range of options for businesses facing financial hardship. The best solution for you and your employees will depend on your company’s circumstances. Please contact your Account Manager or Adviser directly to discuss what’s right for you. 

We’ve returned $50 million in support 

We 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 that were in place on 1 April 2020. We intend that all eligible policyholders will receive notice about their premium credit details by 22 June 2020.

We’re with Kiwi businesses 

Many New Zealand businesses are facing tough times due to the impact of COVID-19. We are here to continue supporting you and your teams to stay healthy and productive.  
 
As a New Zealand not-for-profit friendly society, we have no shareholders or overseas owners, so our focus is always on the best interests of our members and business customers.

With you during financial hardship 

We have developed a range of options for businesses facing financial hardship. The best solution for you and your employees will depend on your company’s circumstances. Please contact your Account Manager or Adviser directly to discuss what’s right for you. 

We’ve returned $50 million in support 

We 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 that were in place on 1 April 2020. We intend that all eligible policyholders will receive notice about their premium credit details by 22 June 2020.

We’re with Kiwi businesses 

Many New Zealand businesses are facing tough times due to the impact of COVID-19. We are here to continue supporting you and your teams to stay healthy and productive.  
 
As a New Zealand not-for-profit friendly society, we have no shareholders or overseas owners, so our focus is always on the best interests of our members and business customers.

With you during financial hardship 

We have developed a range of options for businesses facing financial hardship. The best solution for you and your employees will depend on your company’s circumstances. Please contact your Account Manager or Adviser directly to discuss what’s right for you.

We’ve returned $50 million in support 

We 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 that were in place on 1 April 2020. We intend that all eligible policyholders will receive notice about their premium credit details by 22 June 2020.
If you’re a member, visit our member COVID-19 web page.
 
If you’re an Affiliated Provider, visit our provider COVID-19 web page.
 
If you’re a member, visit our member COVID-19 web page.
 
If you’re an Affiliated Provider, visit our provider COVID-19 web page.

 
If you’re a member,
visit our member COVID-19 web page.
 
If you’re an Affiliated Provider,
visit our provider COVID-19 web page.

See Nick’s first update for members >
 
If you’re a member,
visit our member COVID-19 web page.
 
If you’re an Affiliated Provider,
visit our provider COVID-19 web page.

Our team is here for you 

We welcome you to talk to your Southern Cross Account Manager or Adviser if you have any concerns or ideas for how we could assist you.

Our team is here for you 

We welcome you to talk to your Southern Cross Account Manager or Adviser if you have any concerns or ideas for how we could assist you.

Our team is here for you 

We welcome you to talk to your Southern Cross Account Manager or Adviser if you have any concerns or ideas for how we could assist you.

StayingWell 

Supporting you to keep your business and teams healthy is important. We’re pleased to offer you StayingWell, a hub of health and wellbeing content for you and your teams. See below for details.

StayingWell 

Supporting you to keep your business and teams healthy is important. We’re pleased to offer you StayingWell, a hub of health and wellbeing content for you and your teams. See below for details.

StayingWell 

Supporting you to keep your business and teams healthy is important. We’re pleased to offer you StayingWell, a hub of health and wellbeing content for you and your teams. See below for details.

FAQs for businesses and members (your employees) 

Our COVID-19 web page has information and helpful FAQs for members and is regularly updated. We encourage you to first check that web page if you have a specific question before contacting your Account Manager or Adviser. Below you'll find answers to questions about premium credit information, hardship options, and general information regarding COVID-19 and your business.  

FAQs for businesses and members (your employees) 

Our COVID-19 web page has information and helpful FAQs for members and is regularly updated. We encourage you to first check that web page if you have a specific question before contacting your Account Manager or Adviser. 

FAQs for businesses and members (your employees) 

Our COVID-19 web page has information and helpful FAQs for members and is regularly updated. We encourage you to first check that web page if you have a specific question before contacting your Account Manager or Adviser. 

Premium credit information

The premium credit was applied to all eligible policies on 27 May 2020 and the total will be shown on your statement. Unless we've contacted you directly, you should have already received a communication with details of how the premium credit has been applied.
  • The premium credit has been made to whoever was the bill-payer on 27 May 2020.
  • If your business fully subsidised health insurance for your employees at 27 May 2020, then you receive the full premium credit for each eligible policy. This will show on your next bill. If you and your employees both contributed towards the cost of their health insurance (ie you partly subsidise their premium) at 27 May 2020, then the premium credit is shared. Your portion for each eligible policy will show on your bill.
  • If you provide a ‘voluntary’ work scheme for your employees and they paid for all of their premiums personally on 27 May 2020, then the premium credit will be applied directly to those employees’ policies.
We shared the $50 million allocated to support our membership by applying a credit to each eligible policy. It has been shared out proportionally based on a percentage of the policy premium. The amount used to calculate the premium credit is the total after any discounts (such as the low claims discount) have been applied.   
 
If your business was paying the premium (or a substantial portion of the premium) for your employees on the 27 May 2020, then you have received a share of this fund by way of a credit to your bill.   
 
Effectively this is a one-off reduction to the amount you pay us.
It has been applied proportionally to all eligible policies and based on a percentage of the policy premium.
As a general rule, the premium credit has been applied to all health insurance policies (including Health Essentials) that were in place as at 12.01am Wednesday 1 April 2020 and were not cancelled before 27 May 2020. Policies where no premium is payable as a result of a specific policy benefit or a specific group arrangement are an exception to this rule. 
 
The premium credit applies to eligible Southern Cross health insurance policies. It does not apply to the following:

  • Critical Illness policies
  • Cancer Assist policies
  • Southern Cross Travel Insurance policies
  • Southern Cross Pet Insurance policies
  • Southern Cross Life Insurance policies
You should have already received a communication with details on how this has been applied for your specific work scheme.
Yes, you receive an information email for each billing arrangement. We’ve tried to only send one information email per work scheme if you have multiple work schemes that share a common billing type. 

We're sending a separate credit confirmation email for each work scheme so you’re aware of how the credit has been applied against each of your schemes.
We’ve emailed or sent a letter to the majority of all policyholders to let them know the details of their credit. If you can encourage your team members to register for My Southern Cross and update us with their personal contact details, it always helps us keep in touch directly.

In most cases the premium credit was calculated on a percentage of annual premium for each policy as it was at 1 April 2020, and it equates to 14.4% of three months’ premium.  

In some cases, due to the status of the policy, we had to calculate the premium credit as a percentage of annual premium as at an earlier date, for example where the policy was on hold at 1 April 2020.

The premium credit directly relates to the amount you contribute towards your employees’ health insurance, and it’s been applied for every eligible policy.

In some cases, due to the status of the policy, we had to calculate the premium credit as a percentage of annual premium as at an earlier date, for example where the policy was on hold at 1 April 2020.
You or someone in your organisation should have received information on how the credit will be administered, if this hasn’t happened please contact your Relationship Manager or Adviser. More detailed information has been provided to you with a breakdown of the premium credit as it applies to each individual employee.

All eligible policies are receiving the premium pledge as a policy credit (there are no cash refunds being made). For work schemes where employees contribute to their premiums through wage or salary deductions, we are unable to apply the premium credit directly to employees’ policies.

We have been progressively working with business customers to help them transition from wage and salary deductions as a premium payment method. Please talk to your Relationship Manager regarding this. Meantime, thank you for assisting with passing on the premium credits to your eligible employees.

If your work scheme is on hold you have still received the premium credit for each of the eligible on-hold policies under your work scheme. When you restart paying premiums, the first payment will be reduced by the amount of the credit.  
 
If any of your employees have opted to keep their policies active (and make premium payments themselves) and they’re paying for it at the time the credit is applied, then the premium credit will be applied directly to those employee’s policies. 
Your Relationship Manager or Adviser will discuss your specific renewal and circumstances with you.
Your Relationship Manager or Adviser will discuss your specific renewal and circumstances with you.
If you’re behind in premium payments you have still received the premium credit for the eligible policies in your work scheme, so the amount you are behind by will be less after the credit. We do ask that if you’re experiencing financial difficulty due to COVID-19 that you contact your Relationship Manager or Adviser so we can work through your options.
Please speak to your Relationship Manager or Adviser in the first instance. We will have options to support you, but they will be specific to how your scheme is currently set up.
Essentially, we looked at the claims we would normally have paid during Alert Level 4 and 3 and estimated the proportion we expected to be deferred versus cancelled altogether. This number is our best estimate of the value of those claims that will likely be cancelled altogether, and we pledged to return that back to the membership by way of a credit based on a percentage of each policy’s premium.   
 
Now we are at Alert Level 1, claims have returned to normal levels.
The total amount of the pledge that we shared with members and businesses came to $50,003,826.27.
79.61% of the premium pledge was applied directly to policyholders (who pay for all or some of their health insurance), and 20.39% was applied to business customers who pay for all or some of their employees’ health insurance.

We can’t say for sure, but if we continue to remain at a lower Alert Level, it’s unlikely. At Alert Level 1, claims have returned to normal levels.

The Premium Pledge was given in response to the lower number of claims that were made during Alert Level 3 and 4, due to the limited access to private healthcare services during the lockdown.

Claims reduced significantly during Level 4, as expected due to reduced access to private healthcare services. They picked up again significantly at Level 3 and 2 and at Level 1 claims have returned to normal levels.
We have opted to make this premium credit to all business customers (and all members) with eligible policies so it is as fair as possible. While there are some businesses that are less directly impacted by the upheaval of COVID-19, the economic effects will be widely felt throughout New Zealand for some time.  

Financial hardship options

We have developed a range of options for businesses who may be facing hardship. These options do depend on the individual circumstances of your business, and in order to assess your position your Account Manager will need to gain a variety of information to determine what solution is best for you and your employees. Please contact your Account Manager directly to discuss further.
There are a range of options for businesses facing hardship. These options depend on your individual circumstances of your business, and we will need to talk to you to assess your position and determine the best solution for you and your employees. Please contact your Account Manager or Adviser directly to discuss further. 

We have doubled our usual support for members who have lost all of their taxable income and are no longer in paid work so they can now apply to put their health insurance policy on hold for up to six months. Members who have not lost all of their income but are suffering financial hardship can also apply to put their health insurance policy on hold for up to 3 months. While their policy is on hold they won’t be able to claim but they will retain cover for all currently covered pre-existing medical conditions and won’t have to pay premiums. If members want to keep their policy active but decrease their premium, we also have other options to help. For more details please read here. We’ve let all members know about these, and they’re detailed online.

You're not alone, we're working with other Kiwi businesses in the same situation. We may have options that could work for you that would ensure you can keep the valuable benefit of health insurance for your employees. Please contact your Account Manager or Adviser directly to discuss the details.

General information

Letting staff go this way is never easy, and if you find yourself in this position, we’d like to help make things as stress-free as possible. Please send us official confirmation of the job losses or redundancies and provide the details of affected staff the way you would normally for any employees leaving your business. We will be in touch with you to discuss. 
Yes, please carry on with your standard process of informing us about your new hires so that we can onboard them.

Introducing StayingWell 

The health and wellbeing of all New Zealanders remains a priority for us. To support you and your team during this time while many are working from home, we have launched StayingWell.

StayingWell is a content rich website, to help you create a culture of health in your business. It’s easy to access, filled with useful and shareable content that’s updated regularly. Learn how to stay physically active, mentally strong and engaged with your peers while working from home. Your employees will also be able to access the website on their personal devices, and they can even share it within their bubble and family.

StayingWell is free and open to you, all of our business and BeingWell clients, and Southern Cross members. Start StayingWell now.