27 Apr 2011

Extent of pre-existing health problems questioned

12:00 pm on 27 April 2011

The Medical Association is questioning a claim by Southern Cross Health Society that a quarter of its adult members have pre-existing medical conditions, which are not covered by their policies.

Southern Cross says the financial hardship caused by high surgical costs is a warning to young New Zealanders to take out health insurance before they develop problems.

However, the Medical Association says health insurers often mistake treatment in their client's medical records for pre-existing conditions, when in fact they don't constitute ongoing health problems.

Chairman Peter Foley says people considering health insurance should talk carefully to their broker and family doctor about their medical records before releasing them to insurers.