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New Zealand Society of Actuaries (Inc) PRESIDENT'S NEWSLETTER
 
HEALTH NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER 2016
 
 
 
NZ Health Insurers
Private Health Insurance Coverage 2011-15: New Zealand Health Survey
Individuals with private health insurance (PHI) may have more timely access to non-urgent treatment than those without insurance. This report presents findings about the PHI of adults and children from data collected between 2011 and 2015 in the New Zealand Health Survey. 
 
KiwiSaver approach to health insurance needed
KiwiSaver-style incentives to boost health insurance coverage would ease the burden on the public health system and help more New Zealanders get access to surgery, Health Funds Association says.

New data shows thousands more people missed out on surgical assessments in the December quarter.
 
AA enters health insurance market with nib

AA has entered the health insurance market, in partnership with nib. Membership and brand general manager Dougal Swift said AA Health was a natural fit for the association.
 

We’ve broadened our range of services significantly over recent years as we look for new areas where we can offer value for our members and the public.

 
Sovereign launches rewards for healthy living
Sovereign is launching a new loyalty programme that will tap into New Zealanders’ fitness trackers and reward customers who exercise, eat well and have regular dentist and GP check-ups.

Chief marketing and strategy officer Chris Lamers said it was a way to help motivate New Zealanders to take charge of their health and wellbeing.
 
Reserving for high cost cancer claims
A paper by Len Elikhis to be presented at the New Zealand Society of Actuaries conference 2016.

Health insurance is managed as simple short-tail business. This approach has traditionally been fit for purpose as health insurance claims are approximately independent at the individual policyholder level and are generally settled within the policy year. The assumption of independence does not hold for policyholders with developed medical conditions known to lead to an increased risk of claim.
 
Mutuality and Solidarity – is it possible to solve the crisis in private health insurance in New Zealand?
A paper by J. Holmes to be presented at the New Zealand Society of Actuaries conference 2016.

Public and private health cover in New Zealand are on the brink of a crisis. Private health insurance take-up rates continue to decline across all groups, but particularly in the crucial 50-65 group. Our current age-rated premiums increase dramatically over this period, driving private health cover to the point where it is unaffordable for many people.

Projections for New Zealand spending on healthcare are sobering. Our ageing population combined with the increasing cost of treatments result in a fast-growing proportion of National spending on healthcare. Additionally, a shrinking proportion of this is being covered by the private sector leaving a heavier burden on the taxpayer.
 
Public health in NZ
Annual Report for the year ended 30 June 2016 Ministry of Health
Each year, the Director-General of Health publishes an Annual Report to Parliament that assesses the Ministry of Health's performance against objectives set at the beginning of the financial year. The Annual Report contains the Ministry's achievements including the Ministry's financial and non-financial performance over the past year.
 
Health Loss in New Zealand 1990-2013
A report from the New Zealand Burden of Diseases, Injuries and Risk Factors Study. This report analyses health loss and health expectancy in New Zealand from 1990 to 2013.
 
Vaping electronic cigarettes could be the key to solving obesity crisis
The newest quick fix to staying slim could be vaping electronic cigarettes, according to New Zealand researchers.

Two Massey University professors were part of a team that has published a commentary titled Could vaping be a new weapon in the battle of the bulge?”, which says vaping electronic cigarettes with flavoured liquids could help with keeping weight off.
 
New restrictions proposed on advertising food to children, Health Minister says
The advertising of chips, chocolate, sugary fizz and other junk foods face new restrictions following a review. "The major code change is an explicit restriction on advertising occasional food and beverage products to children," said Health Minister Jonathan Coleman.
 
ACC
Kiwi claimants injured by faulty hip implants vow to fight on after ACC law bars compensation
Kiwis injured by faulty hip implants have hit another legal roadblock in their bid to hold the manufacturer to account, but say they are not giving up.

In the High Court at Wellington, Justice David Collins ruled that New Zealand's accident compensation scheme prevents the three plaintiffs, representing a group of 38 claimants, bringing a claim for compensatory damages against DePuy International, which made the implants mainly in Leeds, England.
 
Other
IAA Discusses Co-operation with World Health Organization
IAA President Malcolm Campbell and members of the IAA’s Health Committee, Roseanne da Silva and Christelle Dieudonné, met with the World Health Organization (WHO) recently to discuss a range of issues where co-operation would be beneficial.

The meeting, held in Geneva, highlighted the actuarial profession’s work in health-related areas, such as cost trend forecasts, predictive modelling, personalized medicine, and forecasting the prevalence of diseases.
 
Football: Study expected to show heading a ball 'damages the brain'
A potentially explosive study is expected to reignite the safety debate around heading footballs if evidence is found that players' brains are damaged by repeated head impacts.

The study, undertaken by researchers at Stirling University and set to be published on Sunday, is expected to claim changes to brain function can be caused by the everyday head impacts - also referred to as sub-concussive blows - associated with heading footballs.
 
Global interest in Kiwi anti-ageing drug grows
Global interest in a Kiwi company's anti-ageing drug is ramping up, with three major clinical trials now under way to test it against a range of ailments.

Mitoubiquinone mesylate, marketed as MitoQ, is a New Zealand owned and developed super-antioxidant that works by penetrating and optimising the cellular mitochondria, the so-called batteries within our cells.

Its backers believe the drug holds the potential to increase lifespan by 10 to 15 per cent, while also improving health.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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