Healthcare Matters

Marram's working for you...

We have paid $3.4million in healthcare reimbursements over the past year.  This includes our Contributors, Partners and Dependent Children up to their 18th birthday. 

15 February 2018

Do you know how well our Healthcare Benefits work with your Health Insurance?

Our Healthcare Benefits are great for your everyday healthcare expenses like seeing your Doctor, going to the physio or replacing your glasses.  But if you're looking for more reassurance that includes surgery and specialist care, here's a great way to do it.

Combine Marram Healthcare benefits with a Health Insurer's plan for hospital, surgical and specialist care.

The end result is greater security at a fraction of what it would cost you if you only used a health insurer.  It's a great way to look after your family while saving you money.

30 May 2017

'Flu Vaccinations

As we edge into the winter months, it's important that you and your family are well protected from 'flu and your best protection is to be vaccinated.  The good news is Marram can consider reimbursement for 60% of the protect yourself this winter.

Getting the 'flu shot is so much easier these days.  Along with your doctors, you can now get the vaccine at selected Unichem and Life Pharmacies with no appointment necessary

29 May 2017

Mental Health Awareness...

One in six New Zealand adults have been diagnosed with a common mental health issue.  Making the decision to seek help and start therapy is great, so we are pleased to be able to offer financial assistance for two treatments.

What’s the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist? Here we break it down for you so you can make an informed decision about what care you, or your family, may need.


  • Benefit category of ‘specialist or surgical’ for Marram healthcare

  • 75% of the cost reimbursed

  • Maximum reimbursement of $2,500 per year,  per family

Psychiatrists in NZ are members of the NZ Medical Council.  They are usually involved in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of mental health issues and are able to give you prescriptions for medications such as anti-depressants, mood stabilisers and sleeping tablets.


  • Comes under the category of 'alternative therapy'

  • $20 per visit reimbursed

  • Maximum reimbursement of $200 per year, per family

Psychologists in NZ do not prescribe medication, but look at solution-focused treatments for issues and use different techniques to find solutions.  go to

'Flu Vaccinations

Have you had your 'Flu vaccination yet?  Now is the time to start thinking about booking your 'Flu vaccination for this year. This expense falls under the GP benefit of the Marram healthcare and reimbursement of 60% of the cost can be provided.  This benefit maximum is $400 per family per calendar year. 

19 April 2016

Hints for a healthy heart...

  • Eat mostly fruit and vegetables;
  • Eat lean meat;
  • Increase your fish intake;
  • Use Low-fat milk;
  • Reduce salt intake;
  • Avoid eating deep fried foods, fatty foods, butter, cakes and pastries.

Your heart will be grateful to you!

27 July 2015

Healthcare requests...

We have been working on making your Healthcare Benefit:

Easier to understand;

More relevant to you;

A better distribution of money.

From 1st April 2015 our new benefits have been introduced and have superseded the existing healthcare benefits. You will notice that the family benefits are over a calendar year which we believe is easier to understand.

1 April 2015

Healthcare requests...

Please, please, please post us your Healthcare Requests as soon as possible.  With the lead-up to Christmas, the volume of requests dramatically increases.  The earlier you post them, the earlier your request can be considered for reimbursement.

For any further information about the administration of our Healthcare requests, please click on the 'Health' icon, the 'Benefits'.  You will then need to scroll down to Guidelines for Distributions for more detail.

17 November 2014

5+ a day

5+ A Day is a Charitable Trust that encourages all Kiwis to eat five or more servings of colourful, fresh fruit and vegetables every day for health and vitality.
This is in line with our Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation’s recommendations.
The Ministry of Health in New Zealand recommends that adults eat at least three servings of vegetables and two of fruit each day.
The World Health Organisation recommends a minimum of 400g of fruit and vegetables per day (excluding potatoes and other starchy tubers).

5 November 2014

Understanding Stroke...

Stroke is a brain attack where there is a sudden interruption of blood flow to part of the brain.  This temporarily causes the brain to stop working and damages brain cells.  Strokes are largely preventable.

Keep an eye on your weight so you don't strain your blood circulation which can lead to diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure - all of which pose a stroke risk

Exercise regularly which will also help you stop smoking.  This will also lead to eating a healthy diet ensuring you reduce your salt intake.  Limit your alcohol consumption.

1 September 2014

Cancer Awareness...

Daffodil Day (29th August this year) is the Cancer Society's annual flagship event and one of the most important fundraising and awareness campaigns in the country. As well as providing an opportunity to raise awareness of cancer in New Zealand, Daffodil Day is a major funding source for the Cancer Society. We are proud to be regarded as one of the country's most trusted charities and this is reflected in our fundraising practices.

The donations received go towards vital scientific research into the causes and treatment of all types of cancer, as well as providing a wide range of support services, information, health promotion and education programmes to reduce cancer risk, awareness campaigns and programmes for people affected by cancer.

11 August 2014

Bowel Cancer Awareness...

June is Bowel cancer awareness month.

Bowel screening involves a test for bowel cancer in people who do not have a personal or family history, or any obvious symptoms of the disease. If you have symptoms or a personal or family history of bowel cancer you should discuss this with your doctor.

17 June 2014

What makes my nose go red?

(taken from Outlook, April 2008)

When you're skiing down a snowy slope, or walking on a cold winter's day, a red nose gives you that "I'm-having-healthy-fun" look. However a red nose can be embarrassing when it suddenly appears after you simply enter a chilly room, drink hot coffee or alcohol or give a speech in front of a crowd.

This is all caused by oversensitive blood vessels, where the blood vessels clamp down as tight as a vice. This diverts blood away from the skin's surface. When the body warms up, however, the blood vessels open super wide. This brings a rush of blood to the nose, turning it rosy red.

A red nose can also be triggered by emotional stress. This causes a surge of adrenaline, which over dilates the blood vessels. Sudden redness on the nose and face can also be caused by medications used to treat high blood pressure, alcohol, spicy foods and spending too much time in the sun.

But if your nose turns red frequently or the redness persists, you could have rosacea - a common skin disorder in which the blood vessels in the nose become enlarged. This usually becomes noticeable around age 30 to 40. Rosacea's exact cause remains a mystery, but women are more likely to have it than men, which may point to a hormonal link.

26 May 2014

What is Hospice?

This week is Hospice Awareness week.

Hospice is a philosophy of care.  Mose hospice services have inpatient facilities but the majority of people are cared for in their homes.  Anyone living with a life limiting condition – e.g. heart failure, motor neurone disease, MS or cancer – can access and benefit from hospice services.

Hospice care has a unique whole person approach – which means physical, spiritual, emotional and social needs are equally important – a multidisciplinary team provides care for the person who is dying and their families and friends, both before and after a death.


12 May 2014


Bank accounts for healthcare requests...

...We receive many requests for reimbursement of healthcare expenses, which do not provide bank account details for the funds to be deposited in to.  Our reimbursements are made by direct credit so we need those bank account details provided every time you submit an application.

28 April 2014

Physiotherapy Benefit

...we can reimburse 60% of Physiotherapy costs, per person, to a maximum of $250 over a two year period.  This excludes any supplies provided to you to support your physiotherapy treatment.  The reimbursement provides for the treatment only.

22 April 2014

Healthcare Benefit...

...incorporates reimbursement of healthcare expenses incurred by the Contributor, Partner and any dependent children up to their 18th birthday.  

14 April 2014 

Hearing week this week...23-28 March

If you are hard of hearing and have to have a hearing test, Marram can provide partial reimbursement of the cost.  This falls under the Alternative Therapy benefit, which will reimburse $20.00 per visit, to a maximum of $200 per calendar year, per family.

Go to the National Foundation for the Deaf website for additional information.

24 March 2014


Additional information for Healthcare requests...

If you have not provided all information required to reimburse a healthcare request, you only have12 months, following when the expense was incurred, to provide this information to us.  If we receive the information more than 12 months after the date the expense was incurred, you will not be reimbursed.  These rules are strictly adhered to.

20 March 2014



 Youthline is an organisation that can provide information for:

  • Young people;
  • Parents and Caregivers;
  • Schools;
  • Youth Workers.

There are various services available from Counselling Services, Programmes and Seminars and much more.  Go to their website for more information: 

Healthcare Benefit requests

All Healthcare Requests are entered into the Marram Online database on the day they are received.  An email is sent to the Contributor to acknowledge this.  Please be aware that requests can take up to 10 days to reach us from when the have been posted.  If you have not received an email confirmation that your request has been received, within three weeks of posting, please follow this up with New Zealand Post. 

10 March 2014

'Flu vaccination

Now is the time to get your 'Flu vaccination.  Immunisation is your best defence against influenza. Even fit and healthy people should consider getting the flu jab to protect themselves.The flu spreads quickly from person to person through touch and through the air.

4 March 2014

Prevent winter illnesses...

...with our Summer drawing to a close and Autumn just around the corner, now is the time to be thinking about how you are going to avoid becoming unwell during the next six months.  This can be done by taking additional vitamins and minerals as well as generally taking care of yourself.  Ensure your diet is high in fruit and vegetables, that you excercise regularly and make time for rest and relaxation.  Make sure you have a healthy sleep pattern to recharge you for your next day.

24 February 2014


(taken from Outlook, Winter 2009)

The sun's rays might be weaker during winter months but this doesn't mean your chances of developing skin cancer have also been reduced. The trouble is skin cancer, and in particular melanoma, isn't the result of yesterday's sun but an accumulation of UV radiation damage over the years.

Summer sun does most of the damage but its potentially cancerous effects take months or even years to present. And the longer a melanoma is left, the more problematic it can become.

So winter is no time for complacency. In fact, it should be the time to look for changes in your skin. Medical data from Australia indicates that while fewer melanomas were discovered in winter, those that were detected were 7% thicker and potentially more deadly than melanomas discovered in summer.

If you have a mole that is itchy, changing in size shape or colour, or is just generally worrying you, then you should get it checked.

3 February 2014

Full Details required...

Please remember to include your bank account details when submitting an application for healthcare reimbursements.  We require this information each time you submit an application.

27 January 2014


Healthcare Requests...

...are reimbursed within 10 working days of being received in the Marram office.  How good is that?

13 January 2014

Optical reimbursements...

Reminder:  Marram can provide reimbursement of up to $250 over a two year period for the Optical Benefit.

If you are thinking of replacing your glasses or contact lenses, please contact us to find out the next date that reimbursement can be considered from.  If you replace these items within two years of Marram providing reimbursement, we will not consider additional payments.

6 January 2014

Healthcare Requests...

EFTPOS receipts on their own are not enough for us to make reimbursement on.  You need to supply the tax invoice from the treatment provider as well.  On many occasions, we have to ask for the additional information which leads to a delay in reimbursement being made by Marram. 

If you are not sure on what is required, please phone us. 

16 December 2013

Healthcare requests...

...we aim to provide reimbursement for all healthcare requests received in the Marram office, prior to Christmas closing on 24th December.  If you have any requests that are ready to be sent, please do so, to ensure you are reimbursed this year.

25 November 2013

Healthcare Requests...

Please make sure you submit your application for reimbursement of your healthcare expenses, within 12 months of them being incurred.  We strictly administer the timeframe for the reimbursements to be fair to all Contributors.  We also require fully paid receipt documentation.  Writing PAID or a Paid stamp is insufficient for reimbursements to be made.

18 November 2013

Healthcare Requests...

We recommend you submit your healthcare requests every four months, to avoid the disappointment of being declined on your expenses which are bordering on the 12 month period.  Any requests received for expenses incurred more than 12 months ago will not be reimbursed.

23 August 2013


Screening programmes

September is both Cervical screening and Prostate awareness months (among others).  It is important to have regular checks to make sure you remain fit and healthy.  For more information, go to:

19 August 2013

@ Heart awareness week

 @Heart has been providing support services to children with heart conditions and their families since 1984.  Our practical and emotional support is vital for those affected, helping them cope with the day-to-day challenges of living with a childhood heart condition.

The services we provide include (but are not limited to) information, training, counselling and psychological support, specialised equipment, camps, family matching, social affiliation and financial assistance.

 5 August 2013

Glaucoma Awareness month...

If undetected, Glaucoma can lead to blindness.  Early detection and treatment can prevent this.  Marram can reimburse under the Optical benefit as well as Specialist consultations.  (Check our healthcare benefits for the maximums payable).

If you would like more information about Glaucoma, go to 

Parents Centre Week

National Parents Centre Week runs from 16-22 June and Centres around the country will be celebrating with a variety of local events, including a nationwide car restraint safety campaign.

Go to for more information.

Healthcare Benefits

There are varying healthcare benefits available for which you can request reimbursement.  Click on Health and Benefits to see a list of what you can request financial assistance for.  Remember there are maximum amounts payable on most benefits, so be sure to check these before organising treatment.

2 April 2013

National hearing week

Go to for more information.

26 March 2013

Muscular Dystrophy Appeal week

Bow tie week is the MDA's annual fundraising campaign where we build awareness of neuromuscular conditions. We use the image of a bow tie because while tying one appears to be simple, in fact it requires considerable skill, dexterity and perseverance. Many of our members are faced with just this sort of challenge when attempting everyday tasks - which most people consider to be simple and straight forward.The MDA relies on donations from the public and trusts to fund our support services, such as the Fieldworker and information services that are provided free to all of our members.

Go to for more information.

18 March 2013


Our philosophy of 'A Legacy of Care and Future of Wellbeing' means a lot to us and the way we care for our Contributors. In order to ensure our wellbing is maintained, we would like to remind you of the screening processes in place in order to identify any potential life-threatening illnesses. New Zealand's free national breast screening programme checks women for signs of early breast cancer. If found early enough, breast cancer can be treated with positive results. Regular mammograms are available for women aged between 45 and 69 to reduce their risk of dying of breast cancer. To contact BreastScreen Aoteroa in your region, phone 0800 270 200 or click on the link below to enrol.

Healthcare Grant

The Healthcare Grant was introduced on 1 December 2009 and replaced the Sickness Assistance. This was done to reflect trends in the healthcare environment and the circumstances of our contributors. We aim to optimise returns to contributors.

What does the 'Healthcare Grant' offer?

1. Where the contributor, contributor's partner or dependant is diagnosed with a terminal illness, a one-off grant of $1,000 is payable.
2. A payment of $1,000 to assist with funeral costs for a contributor or a contributor's partner or dependant.
3. Where the contributor or a member of the contributor's immediate family requires treatment that is not available in their home town,  then they would be eligible for a distance treatment grant of $500. Minimum stay in hospital is 7 days.
4. The contributor is entitled to one week's holiday home rental subject to availability while or after recovering from a long term illness. Benefits will only be considered for illness involving at least 4 calendar weeks of absence from work.  Maximum $295 per convalescent holiday and must be taken within 3 months of the illness

The maximum a contributor may be reimbursed for a Healthcare Grant is $2,795.

4 March 2013

Hearing Aid Benefit...

Hello!  Hello!  Are you there...speak up, I can't hear you!

Does this sound like you?  Are you hard of hearing?  Well hear this...Marram will contribute towards the cost of a new Hearing Aid, to a maximum of $250.00 per aid, over a two year period.  We will also reimburse $20.00 towards your hearing test under our Alternative Therapy benefit.  How good is that?

25 February 2013

Medical Council of New Zealand

Are you wondering if the Health Professional you see regularly is on the Medical Council of New Zealand?  Click here to find out  If your Health Professional is not listed here, then your expenses could be reimbursed under the Alternative Therapy benefit, rather than the General Practitioner, Specialist or Oral Surgery benefit.

18 February 2013

Is sunshine good for you?

(taken from Outlook, April 2008)

For years now we have been told to stay out of the sun, but is it doing us any good? Most scientists these days admit there is good and bad in the sun. So what is the good?

  • Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is our main source of vitamin D, important for your bones, muscles and immune system. Ten minutes of daily exposure to sunlight will supply us with all the vitamin D that we need.
  • Scientists believe sunlight and vitamin D has the ability to combat the development and spread of cancerous tumours. The principal function of this vitamin is to promote calcium absorption in the gut which may reduce the risk of several types of cancer i.e. breast, colon, ovary, bladder, womb, stomach, prostate gland.
  • Apart from the obvious positive associations with a sunny day, the sun can alter your mood chemically and even prevent depression. The onset of spring gives thousands of people relief from 'seasonal affective disorder' or SAD. This miserable condition is a suppression of serotonin experienced by many who are deprived of sunlight during the dreary winter months.
  • Sunlight stimulates the pineal gland in the brain. This produces certain chemicals called 'tryptamines' which improve our mood.

And the bad?

  • Exposure to solar and artificial UV radiation is widely recognized as a leading and preventable cause of skin cancer.
  • Exposure to high levels of sunlight makes you four times more likely to develop cataracts in your eyes.
  • Sunburn can change the distribution and function of disease-fighting white blood cells and damage our DNA.

4 February 2013


Phone 0800 611 116. 

Call Healthline if you’re:

•feeling unwell – but not sure whether you need to see a doctor
•needing some urgent advice about a family member or friend who’s sick
•on holiday and want to know where the nearest doctor or pharmacy is.

Scan costs...

Remember that Marram will reimburse 75% of scan costs.  This includes scans for:

  • MRI
  • CAT scan
  • Molemap
  • Mammogram
  • Ultrasounds

The maximum amount that can be reimbursed per condition is $1250.00, over a two year period. 

22 January 2013

Doctors visits and Prescriptions

Remember that you can request the reimbursement of these expenses.  60% of the cost can be reimbursed, provided we have received fully paid receipts.

14 January 2013

Optical Benefit...

Marram can provide a financial reimbursement to a maximum of $250 for the Optical Benefit.  This includes an eye examination as well as the purchase of glasses or contact lenses.  Online purchases can also be made within New Zealand, provided a prescription for a prior Optometrist consultation is submitted with the healthcare request.

Don't struggle to read because your eyes are not working properly.  Take the opportunity to have your eyes checked out.

7 January 2013

Surf Lifesaving...

...helping to educate to prevent drowning in New Zealand.   Each day the surf lifesaving beach patrols set out the red and yellow flags to show the safest place to swim. They train new Surf Lifeguards how to identify potential victims and potential dangers. They work with the public to prevent people getting in trouble, first and foremost.

With the Summer holidays approaching, Marram asks you and your families to always respect the water and keep to your limits.  Always wear lifejackets if you are boating. 

Be safe.

10 December 2012


On November 1st, guys register at with a clean-shaven face and then for the rest of the month, these selfless and generous men, known as Mo Bros, groom, trim and wax their way into the annals of fine moustachery. Supported by the women in their lives, Mo Sistas, Movember Mo Bros raise funds by seeking out sponsorship for their Mo growing efforts.

The funds raised in New Zealand support equally the two biggest health issues men face – prostate cancer and depression. The funds raised are directed to programmes run directly by Movember and our men’s health partners, the Cancer Society of New Zealand and the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand. Together, the three channels work together to ensure that Movember funds are supporting a broad range of innovative, world-class programmes in line with our strategic goals in the areas of awareness and education, survivorship and research.

6 November 2012

Breast Cancer awareness month...

Each year over 2,600 New Zealand women and just over 20 men are diagnosed with breast cancer. For every person who is diagnosed, other people are affected including husbands, wives, partners, children, family, and friends. Over a year, this adds up to thousands of people affected. 

1 October 2012

Prostate Cancer Awareness...

Blue September is the Prostate Cancer Foundation's national awareness campaign.  Marram is also about creating an awareness of health issues that could affect people you know.

Every year over 500 men die in New Zealand of prostate cancer.  That is more than 500 fathers, sons, brothers, grandfathers - gone! This happens because men don’t know how dangerous the disease is, they don’t talk to their doctor about it, they simply don’t do anything about it. This has to stop. Prostate cancer can be prevented if detected early enough ...

That’s why Blue September is about getting the word out about prostate cancer.  If you paint your face blue, donate money to the Prostate Cancer Foundation or even tell people, you will be directly helping to lower the death rate and reduce the suffering from this disease.

Daffodil Day 31st August...

Daffodil Day is the Cancer Society's annual flagship event and one of the most important fundraising and awareness campaigns in the country. As well as providing an opportunity to raise awareness of cancer in New Zealand, Daffodil Day is a major funding source for the Cancer Society. We are proud to be regarded as one of the country's most trusted charities and this is reflected in our fundraising practices.

20 August 2012

Hospice Awareness Week

The whole ethos of hospice and palliative care as defined by the World Health Organisation is that it "intends neither to hasten nor postpone death".  This philosophy is the cornerstone of hospice care in New Zealand.

7 May 2012

Immunisation week 23-29 April

Go to for information about the benefits of immunisation.

23 April 2012

Homeopathy awareness week...

...this week.  Homeopathy is a natural healing process concentrating on the person rather than the disease.  The remedies are mainly made from plants, animal products, minerals and (occasionally) conventional drugs or disease matter.

10 April 2012

World Autism Awareness Day

Autism is a developmental disability usually being diagnosed within the first three years of life.  It results from a neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain and affects both children and adults irrespective of gender. It is characterized by impairments in social interaction, problems with verbal and non-verbal communication and restricted, repetitive behaviour, interests and activities.

Autism can bring significant economic hardships to families, given the lack of health resources often found in developing countries.  Spare a thought for families struggling with Autism.

2 April 2012