Autoimmune diseases and skin & lung cancer - scary words when put down in black and white, right?
Those are the major health concerns that have affected my family and Jay’s in the past, which of course means they are on the radar for us, and now also our boys. Our tiny, perfect boys that I hope more than anything never have to suffer from either of these conditions. But with the way life goes, there is always a chance, and it's a chance that I have never been willing to take in terms of getting the care they need ASAP, if and when they need it. I’m so lucky my parents signed my brother and I up for health insurance when we were very little, which means numerous things that have affected us over our lives have been covered. As adults, we have been able to transfer to our own plan, meaning things like the endometriosis I ended up with is covered as it wasn’t a pre-existing condition at the time of joining.
It’s a bit sad that having things like that go “wrong” for me is what made me realise just how IMPORTANT health insurance for myself and my young family was.
When Jay and I first found out we were pregnant, and with twins too, we had a discussion around this. Jay never had health insurance and always relied on ACC and the public health system. It was funny - he said he didn't understand what the fuss was around health insurance since he had always been “fine” and well looked after by our system. That was until I pointed out how he had two useless shoulders with torn rotator cuff muscles, and never had them fixed because the public system would insist on doing both at once, putting him out of service for far too long. So, he’s put up with the pain his entire adult life. If he’d had health insurance, he could have had them fixed one at a time, making the process somewhat easier. It made him actually think back about a number of things that had happened to him over his life - and that yes, he would have been treated much faster (or just treated at all) if he had health cover.
A change in thinking meant it wasn’t a hard sell to invest in our kids’ future and health. You know what - I’m so thankful that we did. Our boys were reflux and colic babies. We visited countless specialists to help ease their suffering, including osteopaths, and all of it was covered by their insurance. It would have cost thousands of dollars to see the people we saw, some of which we wouldn't have been even able to visit through the public health system. It was a relief knowing I had access to the best, without having to go through my GP who would roll their eyes at me and tell me babies cry and they also spill their milk. That it was normal, and I’d have to just wait “longer” to see if it really was reflux. Safe to say we didn't ever visit them again.
I know how the usual argument goes: “health insurance is expensive and we have great cover already through New Zealand’s health system”. And you know what, yes, we are lucky to live in a country like ours where we are looked after. But for me, budgeting for health insurance is a must, cos sometimes that treatment just takes too long and I don't want my two boys to suffer a moment longer than they have to because of it. Try explaining to toddlers why they have to wait months on end to get their tonsils out or have recurring ear infections waiting for a grommet operation. It’s just so tough seeing little ones in pain.
Last year, the boys were having major sleeping issues; if you are a long-time follower, you would remember my months of being up with the boys, sometimes 10 times a night. It was hell. We saw a sleep specialist, but nothing helped. It wasn’t until a friend asked if they snored that I realised there was a bigger underlying issue. They both snored rather loudly: a sign their adenoids were too large (as kids shouldn’t snore). Large adenoids made breathing difficult and made them prone to waking up throughout the night - not so great when they both already have asthma. I booked straight into an ear, nose and throat specialist, who after a quick X-ray told me they had huge adenoids. We were booked straight into back-to-back operations later that week. After the op, it was like someone flicked a switch - they were sleeping SO much better. I was literally on the edge and I don't know what my own mental health would have been like if we had to wait many months longer for that operation surviving on such broken sleep.
That all being said, one of the things I feel the best about by prioritising health insurance in our lives is that I’m safeguarding my boys’ future. If any issues arise - praying that they never do - I know we’ll have that support. As great as it is, health insurance won’t cover something that’s already gone wrong, so while I can't predict the future, that’s not a gamble I’m willing to take. Some people have said it’s a waste of money if you never use your health insurance, but that’s money I would spend over and over again if the boys don't need it because that’s even better than actually needing to use your health insurance.
And it’s not all doom and gloom. There are so many day-to-day things it can cover depending on the level you get. With nib’s Everyday Cover, you may get a contribution of up to $1,000 for BRACES! We know these are expensive - and if you had them as a kid, then you know your children are likely to need them as well. That's reasoning enough for me! GP visits and prescriptions are covered, visits to the Osteopath (one of my favourite places to visit for a stuffed back and body after carrying twins), optical needs such as glasses or contacts, and if you have Hospital Cover, then all the big “scary” things are covered - some plans contribute towards treatment by an obstetrician if you are planning on falling pregnant, and even cover for skin lesions and my old friend Alopecia!
So please, it's so easy to just get a quote to see what suits your family needs, and I urge you to think about whether health insurance is right for you. Informed decisions are the best ones. So, talk to nib Health Insurance about coverage. Their plans have been built with young families in mind, to help address the worries and problems we most commonly face with a growing family.
This post was sponsored by nib but all opinions as always in my blogs are my own, health insurance is something I have always felt very strongly about.