Private insurance plays a minor role in paying for pharmaceuticals in New Zealand, despite controversy about access through the public health system. The present study examines New Zealand consumers’ perceptions of private insurance for pharmaceuticals. A self-administered questionnaire was completed by 433 consumers at thirty pharmacies. The questionnaire included 18 questions on demographics, insurance status, perceptions of private insurance for pharmaceuticals and confidence in the public health system. Forty six percent of respondents had private health insurance. Respondents were more likely to have private health insurance as household income increased, and confidence in the public health system decreased. (Over two thirds of respondents were either confident or very confident in the public health system). Nineteen percent had private health insurance for pharmaceuticals, and the likelihood was not affected by household income or confidence in the public health system. Sixty one percent believed private insurance for pharmaceuticals would increase availability and affordability of pharmaceuticals. However, just over half were willing to pay for private insurance for pharmaceuticals. Of these, over two thirds were only willing to pay $20 per year or less. New Zealand pharmacy consumers’ willingness to pay for private insurance for pharmaceuticals is very low.