Aged care and health insurance drive Bupa's Asia Pacific result

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Bupa has announced the full-year financial results for its Asia Pacific business for the year ended 31 December 2021.

The company said it delivered a strong improvement in operating performance, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, driven by its health insurance and aged care businesses in Australia.

Revenue increased by 4 per cent to $10.1 billion. The company said underlying profit growth of 69 per cent to $407 million reflected the non-recurrence of the six-month deferral of the premium increase for Australian health insurance customers and reduced losses in aged care.

Hisham El-Ansary, Bupa’s Asia Pacific CEO, said, “Our performance during 2021 reflects the benefits of business transformation programs put in place in our Australian Health Insurance and Aged Care businesses to drive operational improvements, product and service innovation, as well as greater investment in digital technologies to better support our customers and residents.

“We continued to put our customers first by announcing we would return $120 million of COVID-19 related savings as a ‘cash back’ to our Australian health insurance customers, and we have just announced that we will delay our 2022 rate increase for six months until 1 October 2022, returning an additional $146 million in COVID-related savings. This is all part of our broader $464 million support package for our customers, and we continue to monitor the impact of restrictions on elective surgeries and other claims, providing additional support to our customers as required.

“To ensure Bupa is better meeting the changing needs of our customers, we increased investment in new models of care such as dialysis in the home and improved optical networks, incentivised payments for no-gap charges by doctors, enhanced digital touchpoints and product innovation through the launch of Blua, Benefit Pocket, Apple cards, AI-enabled eye tests and FLEXtras.”

Last year, Bupa’s Hong Kong business joined its Australian and New Zealand operations to form Bupa Asia Pacific. “By bringing our Hong Kong and ANZ businesses together, we can deliver greater efficiencies and share learnings across healthcare systems to the ultimate benefit of all our customers,” added Mr El-Ansary.