A 'sharpened focus' helps HBF deliver a healthy surplus

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HBF says a "sharpened focus" on fraudulent claims, more competitive contracting with healthcare providers, product refinements and strong investment returns have helped it deliver a net surplus of $93.7 million in 2018-19.

CEO John Van Der Wielen said the result means the insurer is well-positioned to tackle the number one concern of many members.

“We must make health insurance more affordable – and our performance this year will allow us to do that,” he said.

HBF has had the lowest average premium increase of the nation’s five major health insurers over the past two years. 

“We can promise our members another very competitive rate next year,” said Mr Van Der Wielen.

The insurer said its Business Integrity division conducted a review during the year of its internal processes to ensure it only pays benefits on legitimate claims and to identify and take appropriate action in cases of fraudulent claiming.

"The division’s efforts this year resulted in $20 million in fraud and overcharging recoveries. 18 criminal prosecutions were completed during the year," it said.

“We continue to work hard to negotiate more competitive rates with the major hospital groups, which will help keep member premium increases as low as possible,” added Mr Van Der Wielen.