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Author Topic: Children and costs  (Read 2924 times)

Offline Goto

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Children and costs
« on: July 06, 2012, 08:43:52 am »
Hi everyone - I found some info on this from 2010 but thought to ask for some updated info. Please could you let me know what free health care there is for NZ children. Under a certian age they are treated free of charge...and I think they get free dental too....? Then once they have passed this age what does a Dr visit cost and is there any assistance if they have to say have an x-ray or blood tests? Any other info on what is free for children would be appreciated. Thanks!!!

Offline SA3001

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Re: Children and costs
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2012, 11:23:25 am »
It can all be a bit confusing, so wil try and explain it very simply and from personal experience.  Most people don't realise that you have to enrol with a GP to get the lower rates.  Most GPs offer services to children under 6 for free or at a minimal rate, like ours which charges $11.  My son 17, pays $33 per visit and we pay $38.  If we weren't enrolled then the costs would be $11, $47 and $63. My son recently had a range of blood tests requested by his GP to diagnose a stomach ailment and that didn't cost anything.  Prescription medication is very cheap, which was a killer in SA.  You pay $3 here and the pharmacy claims the rest from NZ health. It's free for all if you're admitted to hospital for a procedure, but you may have to wait a while for minor things like tonsils etc.  Emergencies are handled straight away and you don't pay for ambulances.  Children are not normally made to wait for even minor procedures. Some people prefer to take out private health care to avoid the wait, especially to see specialists.  Medical plans here are cheap as chips and offer a wide range of options to suit your situation and pocket.  GP visits can start adding up if you or your child are prone to illness or have existing conditions and you end up going to the doc every couple of weeks.  But this is where it's important to choose your GP carefully ie:  one who will take proper action the first time so you don't end up only getting antibiotics etc on your 4th visit.  We have a wonderful GP, also an immigrant, from Poland, who doesn't mess around ie in the case of my son.

Dental is free for children under 18 for basic care, not braces.  Our daughter (4) had to have a crown and 2 teeth removed and it didn't cost us anything.  She was admitted to hospital for the procedure and she now sees the dentist there every 3 months, which is also free.  She was initially referred by the school dental clinic who usually handle checkups and even fillings.

Depending on your income and residency status, you may qualify for a community services card (CCS):
http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/individuals/a-z-benefits/community-services-card.html#Whocangetit2

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Re: Children and costs
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2012, 11:23:25 am »

Offline Goto

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Re: Children and costs
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2012, 12:34:59 pm »
What an awesome answer - thanks so much for the time you took to cover EVERYTHING!

Offline Siouxzee

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Re: Children and costs
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2012, 11:33:48 pm »
Just to add on that, do shop around for a GP as some do charge more for under 6, ours is $18.
Also prescription medicine could cost alot more it is dependent on if it is the brand/make subsidised by the Government. Majority of the time the GP's do prescribe the fully subsidised ones and then you do only pay $3. However as in our case eardrops for my son the ENT has advised that the non subdised one was better for and even though on prescription costs about $40 from our pocket.
I am not not complaining though because still far cheaper than SA ever would be :)
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Offline Shirls

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Re: Children and costs
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2012, 10:59:50 am »
Siouxzee even the ear drops that are funded for after grommets still cost around $20! But it's way better than paying for treatment back in SA any day.

Waiting lists do happen for kids too at the public hospitals... ask me, we are on it again for grommets. The longest wait was for the first set back in 2010, when he was nearly a year old and that was 5 months. But now that he has had one set, and they know he has hearing loss and a few other ENT problems he is seen much quicker and the last set we waited 8 weeks from the consult for the op.

Do shop around for a GP, the group we are with kids under 6 are free; a 15 minute consult costs $17. 


Offline Chan in Wellington

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Re: Children and costs
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2012, 09:51:36 pm »
Can't add anymore to SA3001's answer...  Only that I am making the most of the free dental while my kids are under 18!  My daughter was at the dentist for a full hour a few months ago and I didn't pay a single cent.
'The only difference between a rut and a grave, is the depth'.

Offline Goto

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Re: Children and costs
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2012, 07:57:12 pm »
Thanks everyone! I love this forum - all the info you give makes the landing more manageable, especaily with a child! - hugely appreciated!

SA Going to NZ Advice Forum

Re: Children and costs
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2012, 07:57:12 pm »

Offline Savayla

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Re: Children and costs
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2012, 08:43:31 pm »
The dental system for kids here is amazing.  Top of the art too !!  My daughter had severe anxieties about going to the dentist.  It took me, and eventually my husband, 3 times, before she would allow them to do anything to her teeth.  Now, I have had an experience with her in SA when she was 4 when the dentist told us to not waste his time and take her away, as he couldn't stand her crying and screaming. 

Here, her dentist made a whole hours appointment each time, to give her time, and when she left after having nothing done, then she hugged her and told her to try again next time.  She eventually was able to do the job with no injections or electric tools, but there was another problem she didn't think she could do, so booked her in with a "proper" dentist in town.  This lady was brilliant too and everything was fine.

My other daughter required a trip to the orthodontist, at age 9, and had to have 4 top braces to save a tooth that was being pushed out due to the way her teeth had grown.  We had to pay, but they allowed us to pay $200 and then $100 monthly .  That cost us $600.  It includes a monthly check-up, then every 6 months.  Now she has beautiful straight front teeth !! 

I am booking their half yearly check up, and they can't wait to go !!! 

Offline cyclewife

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Re: Children and costs
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2012, 11:28:36 am »
My husband is on chronic medication for cholestrol & asthma
Our initial visa was only for 9 months - he went to register with the GP & the visit for 1st appointment was $71 PLUS he had to pay for his prescription in full - another $310  :eek:
However, now that we have a 3 year working visa - we filled in more forms... he got his next prescription & nearly kissed the pharmacist when they charged a mere $ 3 for the full script...  :yippee:  What a pleasure!  The SAME prescription in SA was costing us over R1000 per month (over and above our R3500 per month to belong to a medical aid which savings plan last about 4 months if we were lucky)
He went to have blood tests today to check his levels - $8...  :yippee:  Helloooooo  the last blood tests in SA cost a small fortune.
he could have had the tests done for free at a pathologist but he was at the medical centre & it would have cost more in petrol to get to the pathologists - so just had it done right here 5 minutes away from home.

Regarding dental - thanks for this info - i was going to check what the situation was cause I need to send my son for a check up & clean.  ;)
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Offline zerohennie

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Re: Children and costs
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2013, 09:55:24 pm »
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« Last Edit: September 04, 2013, 03:07:16 am by zerohennie »