AIA rolls out cancer-specific health policy

SP Insurance

AIA New Zealand has launched a new health insurance product specifically covering cancer diagnosis, treatment and recovery.

The new Cancer Care product aims to give Kiwis a more affordable cover option, and to help increase early diagnosis and treatment. CEO Nick Stanhope says the product is geared towards those who are happy to go through the public health system for non-cancer related illnesses, but would like to ensure access to potentially high-cost treatments and specialists which may not be publicly funded.

Sam Tremethick, chief partnership insurance officer at AIA says Cancer Care costs significantly less than a standard health insurance policy, and is designed to be an “affordable alternative” to comprehensive cover.

What we really wanted to do was address affordability, and this policy is anywhere from 25% to 50% of the cost of a full health insurance product because it is specific to cancer,” Tremethick said.

“This allows the customer flexibility at the time of diagnosis and treatment, and the work that we’re doing around Vitality hopefully means that we’re addressing the causes too. The logic of the product was not to have it be an “addition” to other products, but rather a more affordable alternative.”

“It’s really about giving people choice when we know that with an early diagnosis and treatment of cancer, the survival rates are fairly high,” he explained.

“However, we are stretched in access to healthcare here in New Zealand, and this provides people with that choice and flexibility - whether it’s access to pharmac and non-pharmac drugs, access to specialists or even potentially treatment overseas.”

Tremethick said that having this cover in place will take away the hassle of choosing between the public and private system purely on a financial basis, particularly when the cost of healthcare and insurance is rising globally. He said that cover specific to a particular illness will likely be an ongoing trend in the future, with some companies overseas already offering similar products.

“Globally, we’re seeing more of a trend towards cover for specific conditions, and that’s driven largely from an affordability perspective,” Tremethick said.

“The cost of healthcare is ever-increasing and general health products are becoming more expensive, so I think this will be a trend going forward. We’ll continue to innovate our ambition, and that’s for New Zealand to be the healthiest and most protected nation in the world.”

by Ksenia Stepanova 13 Feb 2021

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