120,000 girls and women in New Zealand (that’s around one in 10) are affected by the inflammatory disease endometriosis, which causes uterine lining tissue, the endometrium, to grow outside the uterus. Endometriosis is a health crisis for women in New Zealand and results in some women having a hysterectomy which can cost up to $15,000. For some women with endometriosis the pain just isn’t liveable. There is a lack of awareness generally, social stigma over reproductive health problems and uncertainty over what level of pain is normal – specifically around menstruation. Let’s take a look at what women suffering with endometriosis have to say about their struggles and how health insurance can help.

Women Living With Endometriosis:

In a recent article published by Stuff.com they talk with Taylor Gartner who has suffered with it since she was a teenager. Gartner had just turned 18 when she was confronted with the diagnosis the chronic pelvis pain that she had lived with for the past five years was in fact endometriosis. Taylor said her diagnosis “led to a lot of mental health difficulties for me, being told that I might not be able to be a mum,”. Taylor underwent a laparoscopy which is a common and minor procedure. Taylor was suffering with severe endometriosis lesions, which were treated while Gartner was under the general anaesthetic.

Jess Sandoval’s story was also shared on Stuff. Jess shared that her health was so poor, doctors told her she couldn’t work anymore, and she had to medically retire. Endometriosis diagnosis takes an average of eight years. In the meantime, sufferers are left to manage symptoms including chronic pain, nausea and excessive bleeding, resulting in time off work and school, distress and mental health problems.

Endometriosis is a big issue in New Zealand but there is support and cover out there…

Common Insurance and Endometriosis Questions Answered:

The topic of insurance and endometriosis brings with it a lot of common question such as: Can women who have endometriosis get medical insurance?  and what about girls who have symptoms but no diagnosis?   

Can women who have endometriosis get medical insurance?
Yes! nib is currently offering health insurance to those with pre-existing conditions until the end of June. A pre-existing condition is any injury, illness, symptom or diagnosis that happened any time prior to the customer’s policy starting, stats nib chief executive Rob Henninsaid. Rob also says “As a pre-existing condition is the sign or symptom of any condition, it does not require a diagnosis to meet the definition of a pre-existing condition. nib paid out on 600 claims – equating to more than $2.5million – by customers for treatment and surgery related to endometriosis last year.

If you or someone you know is suffering and you would like to find out what policies are available, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and we can give you some advice on options that are available.