By Rob Hosking
Wednesday 13th July 2005
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The account, Activa, is aimed at addressing the $2 billion of day to day health related spending carried out by New Zealanders every year, says Southern Cross's group chief executive Ian McPherson.
Activa is a complement to health insurance and the public health system, he says.
"What we are offering is a health management account to get New Zealanders greater value for money and more control over that $2 billion."
Health management accounts are used overseas but this is a first for New Zealand, says McPherson.
The main features are:
Activa chief operating officer Louise Kerridge says the growth in health management accounts mirrors consumer demand for options that acknowledge healthy lifestyles and recognise the personal investment people make in their health.
"Our research showed that individuals older than 30, on average spend around $1,500 on their health each year and families spend around $2,200. More than 70% of that money goes on everyday costs, like GP or dentist visits, prescriptions, products from pharmacies or health food stores or gym memberships.
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