The benefits of private health insurance

None of us wants to fall ill, but it’s a fact of life that it happens from time to time. If you or a family member were to become unwell, perhaps seriously, wouldn’t you want timely access to quality medical care, when and where it suits you? Private health insurance can help to give you that confidence. Here’s some information about the many benefits that insuring your health can provide.


Understanding health insurance

ASB private health insurance offers important protection for you and your family. It gives you peace of mind from the start, with greater choice and the security of prompt treatment for your condition, putting you in control when you or your family need medical care.

Rather than enduring a long and uncomfortable wait for treatment, you can be seen at a convenient time and location, and with your choice of medical provider. More importantly, we can help you get back on your feet that much quicker.

It helps in other ways too. For example: if your child needed serious medical treatment and you had to temporally stop work to look after them, having private health insurance may quickly give you access to treatment. That way, you can be back to work sooner than may otherwise be possible, once your child recovers.

Depending on the cover chosen, having private health insurance means you can get access to specialist consultations, diagnostic procedures or scans. If and when you need treatment, your insurance will take care of the often significant costs associated with hospitalisation and surgery.

Typical treatment costs


  1. Adenotonsillectomy
    $4,500 - $7,000
  2. Grommets
    $2,500 - $3,500
  3. Strabismus (squint surgery)
    $5,800 - $7,400
  4. Gastroscopy
    $1,400 - $2,700
  5. Hernia repair
    $4,900 - $7,100

Adult (20 - 60 years old)

  1. Sinus surgery
    $9,000 - $33,500
  2. Cardiac ablation
    $21,700 - $45,500
  3. Mastectomy (unilateral)
    $17,000 - $30,000
  4. Gall bladder removal
    $8,800 - $18,900
  5. Endometriosis surgery
    $15,000 - $35,000
  6. Hernia repair
    $8,500 - $20,000

Senior (60+ years old)

  1. Cataract surgery (one eye)
    $3,300 - $5,600
  2. Coronary angioplasty
    $17,200 - $37,300
  3. Valve replacement
    $60,000 - $85,000
  4. Colonoscopy
    $1,800 - $5,500
  5. Hip replacement
    $25,000 - $40,000
  6. Robotic prostatectomy
    $32,000 - $35,000

Source: AIA Health Claims Data, 1 July 2019 - 30 June 2020


Public healthcare

Sometimes relying on public healthcare just isn’t enough.

Our public health system provides quality emergency care and treatment for serious medical conditions. However, rising health care costs and increased demand continues to put pressure on the system’s ability to both diagnose and treat non-urgent medical conditions. These include many that have a significant impact on lifestyle, such as sinus complications, cardiac conditions and hernia repair.

In some cases, you may have to qualify for public treatment before even joining the queue. Having private health insurance can remove the barriers to being treated quickly.


ACC and health insurance

ACC’s role is to provide treatment and rehabilitation services for anyone who suffers an injury as the result of an accident. It doesn’t cover you for anything that ACC does not deem to be an accident. For example:

  • Illness
  • Conditions related mainly to ageing
  • Injuries that come on gradually and are not due to a work task (non-occupational gradual process injuries)

In cases like these, unless you have private health insurance, you’ll have to rely on the public health system for treatment.


Choosing the right health insurance

When choosing private health insurance, it’s worth bearing in mind that the levels of cover can differ from insurer to insurer. What may look like a bargain policy, on closer examination may not provide the level of cover that you need – so always read the small print and find out exactly what the policy covers.

For example: ASB Private Health gives you access to private treatment cover from your choice of medical provider, including:

  • Unlimited cover for surgery, including related specialist consultations and diagnostic tests six months either side of surgery.
  • Cancer care benefit - a comprehensive cancer care benefit, which includes non-Pharmac subsidised chemotherapy drugs.
  • Flexible overseas treatment options
  • Cover for your children - if you add your children before they are three months old, no health information is needed.
  • Public hospital credit - we will credit your policy with the amount of the annual premium which relates to the person who used the public system, provided the treatment is for a condition covered by your policy and requires at least two nights' stay in hospital.

ASB Private Health Plus gives you all the benefits of ASB Private Health, plus:

  • Wider access to specialist consultations, diagnostic imaging and tests.
  • Access to routine health screening allowance every three years after three years of continuous cover.
  • Pregnancy, maternity and infertility allowance to cover related costs after three years of continuous cover.

You’ll find more information on both health insurance options in our brochure.

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Other helpful guides

The availability of insurance cover is subject to your application being approved. All applications are subject to individual consideration. Special conditions, exclusions or premium loadings may apply. An excess may apply for health insurance policies. For full details refer to the Policy Document which is available on request from any ASB branch. ASB life, health and disability insurance is underwritten by AIA New Zealand Limited ("AIA").

Health insurance The benefits of private health insurance