When it comes to your health, are you taking a preventative approach?
Everyone knows the cliché, “prevention is better than cure”, but we do not always take it to heart. Life gets in the way, we’re busy and sometimes some important regular health checks can be skipped.
When was the last time you had any of these important check-ups? You may find your insurance is on hand to make the process very simple and easy.
Unfortunately, New Zealand is a world-leader when it comes to skin cancer, and that dubious honour makes it really important to keep an eye on what is going on with your skin. You can self-check your moles and freckles and watch out for anything that’s changing shape or colour. But for extra peace-of-mind, it’s a great idea to have a specialist look over your skin every year. They can identify things that are a problem now or tell you what to look for in the future.
Some health insurance policies will help if you have a specific concern about your skin while others will fund or part-fund regular screening.
If you wear glasses or contact lenses, make sure you pop back to your optometrist every year to have your prescription checked.
And even if you have 20/20 vision, it’s still a good idea to have regular eye health checks, particularly for glaucoma. Finding out about this condition early makes a big difference to your prognosis. If you have a health insurance policy that covers everyday appointments like the GP and dentist, you may find that this annual health check is covered.
Mammograms can be helpful for picking up breast cancers before they can be detected through touch. While these are available on the public health system if you are aged between 40 and 65, your insurer may cover the cost, or some of it, if you require additional screening. Southern Cross, for example, offers mammograms through its affiliated provider programme.
Once you’re 40, it’s a good idea to have a regular prostate check-up. This is usually performed by your GP. Depending on your health insurer, you may have cover for GP visits. As with visits to the optometrist, some “everyday” policies are designed to cover these more common health visits, while the most comprehensive insurance policies cover the daily and less common surgical appointments.
Bowel cancer screening
New Zealand also has one of the highest bowel cancer rates in the world and it is the second-highest cause of cancer death in New Zealand. Because it’s not something you can see easily, it can be really important to do regular checks to make sure everything is as it should be. Some insurance policies the cost of a bowel screening kit at regular intervals. This may require you to have been a member for a set period of time.
If you’re worried about your thyroid, your hormones, your liver, your nutritional status or something totally different, you may need a blood test to work out exactly what is going on.
Most of the time, screening blood tests are covered in the public system if they are ordered by your GP or through a public hospital specialist. But if you are being treated by a specialist, or need them without referral from your GP, you may be able to call on your insurance.
Like to talk?
Health insurance can be a great tool to help you stay healthy as long as possible. If you’d like to talk to us about what support might be available from insurers, give us a call today.
Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information provided is subject to continuous change and may not reflect current developments or address your situation. Before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article, please use your discretion and seek independent guidance.