Health insurance making all the difference

Since introducing health insurance as a staff benefit at HWR in 2022, there have been many staff members who have been able to access life-changing procedures and medical care.

Health insurance, provided by Southern Cross, is available for employees that have been working for the Group for 12 months or more. Since it was introduced, 80% of eligible staff have signed up for policies. Staff also have the option to include family members on their policy at an additional cost, and more than 600 family members of staff are also covered by this.

More than 180 claims have been paid out through health insurance, totaling almost $1 million. This has been through the private system with reduced wait times and enhanced care to match, and will have fast tracked return to work outcomes.

Here are some great stories from HWR staff who have had some great outcomes as a result of having health insurance covered by HWR.

Graeme Slack
Andrews Transport

Graeme, known to all as Slackie, has been a driver with Andrews for 45 years.

Slackie had a hip replacement in 2016 and with great rehabilitation and determination was back behind the wheel. But two years ago, his other hip started to decline with arthritis. An X-Ray showed his hip arthritis was severe, but Slackie had a two year wait ahead of him waiting on the public system wait list for a replacement. Having already been on painkillers for a couple of years Slackie reckoned at best he might only have one more season in him in that condition. When health insurance became available, Slackie was all over it. He had a full hip replacement within three months of his health insurance onboarding.

Slackie is now well into his recovery and is looking forward to returning to work. He’s found a fantastic at-home “nurse” in his lovely wife, Naomi, and hasn’t been on painkillers for about two months.

Slackie would like to thank the HWR Group and Dave and Eryn Duffy – Andrews Transport, for making it possible to get the total hip replacement through the health insurance scheme. He’d also like to thank Sandra Stewart who oversees administration at Andrews Transport for helping him with “all the online computer stuff” with his application.

“I know a bit about carting stock but I’m bloody hopeless with computers.”

Rest up, Slackie – the team are looking forward to having you back on the road in no time.

Shayne Stevenson
Sewage Plant Supervisor

Shayne, based in Oamaru, has been with SouthRoads for six years. After some health worries for a couple of years, Shayne took out a health insurance policy to help him address these issues. Kidney stones had been bothering him for a bit so he had a look to see if the health insurance could help him out.

Sure enough it could, and Shayne was able to have the stones removed. As you can imagine, they’d been causing a bit of discomfort.

“I think they should only give kidney stones to terrorists,” he says.

He was also able to apply for health insurance for his wife, which turned out to be quite fortuitous as she ended up having kidney stones removed with the help of the scheme, too.

Shayne wished to express his gratitude to SouthRoads and HWR, who have been supportive since day one.

“The company has always been A1, they’re really good to work for and are caring, too.”

Graham Robson
Wastewater Operator

Graham has been with SouthRoads for seven years, working out of North Otago. By his own admission, he had been putting with a dodgy hip with arthritis for quite a few years.

“I was hobbling around like a bloody 90-year-old and was in a lot of pain.”

Graham thought because the hip pain was a pre-existing condition that perhaps a it wouldn’t be covered by health insurance but after exploring it, his application for a hip replacement was accepted. Things happened pretty quickly and he was all sorted within six months.

Prior to getting a hip replacement, Graham was doing his job as best he could but the hip was holding him back a bit. Now, he’s in well into his recovery and looking forward to being back at work kicking and getting up and down the ladders without bother.

If health insurance hadn’t of worked out Graham was looking at paying out of his own back pocket, which he thinks would have come at a cost of around $27,000.

“I’m so grateful to SouthRoads and HWR. This has been a huge relief and they have been excellent about it.”