Your health matters most. Southern Cross has been with Kiwis for their health for over 60 years, and we will continue to be with you during this time, and for many years to come.

Your health insurance and COVID-19 

You can rest assured that your health insurance with us is not affected by COVID-19. There are no changes to your benefits or cover.

In New Zealand we are fortunate to have a public healthcare system which provides acute care. Acute care has always been an exclusion in our policies (acute care is a sign, symptom, condition or disease that requires immediate treatment or monitoring - i.e. emergency care in a public hospital). So, if you need emergency treatment for COVID-19, it will be provided in a public hospital for free and is not covered by your private health insurance. Testing for COVID-19 is provided only through the public health system for free, and cannot be accessed privately. If you’re concerned about signs and symptoms, follow the guidelines from the Ministry of Health.

Your questions answered 

Our teams across NZ are now safely working from home. This includes our Contact Centre team who will continue to provide the best service possible in the circumstances, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. 

To ensure we can be here for members needing urgent help during this time, please call us for urgent queries only - for example, if you need prior approval for something in the next five days. We have helpful FAQs available here, and you can manage your policy online in My Southern Cross any time.

Security remains a priority for us and there will be no compromise to your data and confidentiality.

You can find the most up-to-date COVID-19 information on the COVID-19 website.   

Making claims 

If you can, please submit any claims online using My Southern Cross or our mobile app. Posted claims will take us considerably longer to process than normal.  

Easy-claim is still available at many healthcare providers such as GPs and pharmacies and payment using Easy-claim can be requested over the phone – make sure you mention you want to use Easy-claim at the start of your call.  

Cover for video or phone health consultations 

If your GP or specialist is providing consultations by video or over the phone, these will be covered under your policy as long as you have the relevant benefit/s and they are provided according to your policy terms and conditions. 

Cancelled or rescheduled healthcare 

Prior approvals remain valid for 60 days. If you have a healthcare service rescheduled, there is no need to contact us or request a new approval so long as the new date is within 60 days of your approval being issued. 

If your healthcare service is cancelled, you don’t need to contact us. Your prior approval will expire if no claim is made for the service within the 60-day period. If your procedure is with an Affiliated Provider, they will request a new approval if needed.  

You can request a new prior approval using My Southern Cross, our app, or by giving us a call. If you have any queries regarding upcoming treatment and whether you should proceed with it, speak to your GP or healthcare provider directly.

If you’re an Affiliated Provider, visit our provider webpage for more details.

Options for financial hardship 

We understand it’s a hard time for many, and we welcome you to contact us if you’re facing financial hardship. We have options available, to discuss what will be best for you please phone 0800 800 181 or contact us online. If you’re a business customer, please speak to your Account Manager or Adviser about this.

Are you living alone or in a vulnerable health category? 

If you’re an older member, you live alone, or you need some help with managing your health insurance, please make sure you have a family member or friend noted as an ‘authorised person’ for your health insurance policy. An authorised person is able to contact Southern Cross on your behalf to discuss your policy. To add (or change) an authorised person, please send us an enquiry.

Please include their name, contact phone number (preferably a mobile phone) and an email address on the enquiry form. 

Social media

Follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn for updates. 

Travel insurance enquiries

If you have a query about your Southern Cross travel insurance, we recommend you first visit scti.co.nz for information as the travel team is experiencing high call and email volumes.  

Stay home, stay safe, stay healthy. Let’s do this New Zealand!

 

FAQs

Southern Cross health insurance policies are designed to complement the services provided by the public health system. There is therefore no cover for acute care under Southern Cross health insurance policies (acute care is provided in response to a sign, symptom, condition or disease that requires immediate treatment or monitoring).  

For a healthcare service to be eligible for cover under Southern Cross health insurance policies, it must also be performed in private practice. Due to the nature of COVID-19, it’s unlikely that anything other than GP consultations, prescriptions or ambulance allowances (depending on the plan held by the member) would be covered. However, Southern Cross health insurance policies don’t necessarily exclude cover for treatment of medical conditions which may develop as a result of having the virus. What cover is available will depend on the terms of the policy you hold and the treatment you require.
Acute care is an exclusion in our health insurance policies – i.e. a sign, symptom, condition or disease that requires immediate treatment or monitoring (emergency care in a public hospital). This means that if you need emergency treatment (acute care), this will be provided in the public system for free.

As yet, we don’t have a lot of information about specific ongoing medical issues that might arise from COVID-19. However, should you develop something such as a kidney problem that requires surgery as a result of having COVID-19, and it was not an emergency situation, then provided the surgery was undertaken in a private facility (you would need to be discharged from the public hospital) you may have cover for that kidney surgery under your health insurance policy. This would depend on the terms of your policy and be assessed under normal policy eligibility criteria.
Tests for COVID-19 are Government funded and are free, so they are not covered under Southern Cross health insurance policies.  

Although some policies include a benefit for laboratory tests, this benefit only covers laboratory tests performed for diagnostic purposes which are not funded by the Government.
Please refer to the Ministry of Health website to find out if you are eligible for care under the New Zealand public health system and for the services that are covered. 
Southern Cross health insurance policies don’t cover overseas medical evacuations. To find out whether you are covered under a travel insurance policy, please contact your travel insurer.
Any prior approval is valid for 60 days. You don’t need to let us know if you re-book your treatment within 60 days. If the treatment is postponed beyond 60 days, you’ll need to re-apply for prior approval and the best way to do this in online at My Southern Cross or use the app. Alternatively, if your Affiliated Provider applied for approval last time, they’ll do this again on your behalf.  

If your healthcare service is cancelled, please don‘t contact us. The prior approval expires if no claim is made for the service within the 60-day period.
If required, your specialist will contact you around the best way to manage any follow up care you require. We have communicated to our Affiliated Providers they can complete consultations (if appropriate) over the phone or via video and we will fund these under our health insurance policies, provided you have the necessary benefits and meet any eligibility criteria.
We are following Government guidance on movement and delivery of essential health services. If your healthcare provider has confirmed that you are able to continue treatment, we will still process the claim in accordance with your policy terms and conditions.
If you have a GP benefit in your plan, then submit your claim the usual way. Remember that GPs are asking that you phone them first if you have any concerns about COVID-19 symptoms, or you should contact Healthline. 
Yes, if you have a GP benefit in your plan and your GP offers phone or video consultations, you can claim for this in the usual way. If they offer Easy-claim, this is the simplest way to claim.
Yes. Other than for UltraCare, all specialist consultations must be with an Affiliated Provider. We have made a change to enable you to claim for specialist consultations undertaken over the phone or by video and specialists can process your claim as they usually would on your behalf.

If you are on UltraCare and consult a specialist who is not an Affiliated Provider, you will need them to send you a receipt and then submit your claim as you usually would. Remember that online claims are processed faster and there is currently a delay processing posted claims that could be further impacted by a reduction in postal services depending on the current Alert Level.
The prescription benefit does not cover the cost of delivery. If you have a prescription benefit on your plan, then the prescription is processed normally according to eligibility for cover. 

If you choose a pharmacy that offers Easy-claim, then your claim can be processed quickly and simply this way. Tell them you are with Southern Cross and provide your Member Card number - make sure you do this when the prescription is given to the pharmacy. Your Member Card number is the 16-digit card number starting with 6101 - you can also find this in your My Southern Cross app.
You’ll need to discuss this with your healthcare professional, GP or the specialist you are seeing, and also act according to the current Alert Level advice. They will be able to answer any specific questions about risks or concerns you may have.
You will need to discuss this with your healthcare provider, GP or the specialist you are seeing. They will be able to answer any specific questions about risks or concerns you may have.
If you would like to change the cover you have, please contact us or speak to your Adviser.
Our key business activities are continuing with our staff working from home, including the ability to maintain a contact centre. If you need help, you can find answers to most commonly asked questions on our website. Use our contact us page to find the best way to get in touch depending on what information you need.
We may at times receive high call volumes during the COVID-19 outbreak or need to temporarily stop taking calls. If you need to call us, we’ll try to answer as soon as possible, but please be aware it may take us longer than usual to respond. 

In the event that we’re unable to answer any calls at a given time, we have enquiry forms available online for common queries. There’s also lots you can do to manage your policy online in My Southern Cross or through the app and you can also check out our Frequently Asked Questions. Remember, if your query is about whether you should postpone a procedure or health visit, please discuss this with your healthcare provider first.
Our Contact Centre team are available to help you 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. In particular, do call us:

  • For urgent prior approval – for treatment within five days
  • To change your premium payment date or frequency
  • To change your plan, let us know you’re leaving your employer or any other plan changes such as adding or removing members
Go to contact us on our website. There’s information and enquiry forms to help direct your query.

You can do many things to manage your policy in My Southern Cross. If you have an Adviser you can also contact them.

The quickest way to submit a claim is online through the My Southern Cross app or website, claims are usually paid within 5 working days. Our turnaround time for posted claims is 10-15 days once we’ve received the claim form.

Our team aims to respond to all other online enquiries within 3 working days.

Southern Cross Travel Insurance is run separately to Southern Cross Health Insurance. As we do not have access to Travel’s systems, we are unable to answer any queries regarding travel insurance. 

We recommend you first visit scti.co.nz for information as the travel team is experiencing a high volume of enquiries.

Please try and register for My Southern Cross and submit your claim online. Using the app also is very simple.

If you’re not able to do this, then you can still post your claim to us but please understand that during the current situation it will take us significantly longer to process posted claims.

If you’re an older member, you live alone, or you need some help with managing your health insurance, please make sure you have a family member or friend noted as an ‘authorised person’ for your health insurance policy. An authorised person is able to contact Southern Cross on your behalf and discuss your policy with us.

To add, change or update an authorised person, please send us an enquiry. Please include their name, contact phone number (preferably a mobile phone) and an email address on the enquiry form. If you’ve added an authorised caller in the past, you can still send us an enquiry to check whether we have the correct details for the them.

Please contact us to do this or speak to your Adviser.
It’s important that you let us know if you or family members have returned, within 30 days of coming back to New Zealand, to ensure your health insurance policy can be continued. Please contact us and we’ll get back to you as soon we can.
There are strict guidelines for this situation. The guidelines are published on the Ministry of Health website or you can call the free Healthline on 0800 358 5453.