Day 2: Government Subsidised Healthcare

Healthcare in NZ is government subsidised (spelled with a ‘z’ if you’re an American). For immigrants, if you’re a resident or your Visa is valid for two years or more then you qualify. And if you qualify, then your children aged 17 and under do as well.

Injuries from accidents are covered under a special program called the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC). ACC covers everyone in NZ regardless of their citizenship.

There are good and bad things about subsidised healthcare in NZ. The good is that it is affordable and available to people who otherwise couldn’t afford it. The bad is that there are often long delays for treatment, especially in cases that aren’t urgent. This has created a secondary market for health insurance and caused many companies to offer additional insurance policies to their employees.

But even secondary policies are cheaper than in the states. When I first moved to NZ, I was on a one year Visa so I didn’t qualify for subsidised healthcare. I took out an insurance policy as a result that includes life insurance, medical insurance and trauma insurance for just about $210 NZD per month. The medical doesn’t cover routine office visits but the price is nice. Trauma insurance was new to me — it covers me in the event that something specific like a stroke, cancer, etc. happen.

For today’s picture, I chose my dear mother-in-law — Aileen Ratu.  Aileen is now the bionic woman as she had a pace maker installed earlier this year and has been in and out of the hospital as a result. But she has been well taken care of and they even reimbursed her for the gas (fuel) it took her to get to the hospital for one of her stays!

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