Investors welcome Medibank Private result

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Investors responded positively to Medibank Private's full-year 2017 result.

The company announced a 1.2 per cent increase in premium revenue to $6.244 billion and a 7.6 per cent increase in net profit after tax to $449.5 million.

The company’s share price jumped over 5 per cent in response to the results.

It paid $5.179 billion in benefits during the year, up 0.6 per cent, supporting 1.3 million hospital admissions, 500,000 surgical procedures and 23.5 million extras services.

CEO Craig Drummond said the challenge remains to get the balance right between meeting the rising cost of healthcare while ensuring the ongoing affordability of private insurance.

Mr Drummond highlighted a significant improvement following implementation of a new complaint resolution process, with the company's share of complaints to the ombudsman falling from 60.7 per cent in the September 2016 quarter to 35.6 per cent in the June 2017 quarter, and its share of disputes falling to 16.8 per cent, the lowest in four years.

The company said it expects its market share to stabilise over the next two years but for the overall market to remain flat due to further declines in the participation rate.

"Affordability for customers has been a real focus for us, with household budgets under increasing pressure," said Mr Drummond. "The challenge is to get the balance right between meeting the rising costs of healthcare in Australia and ensuring that our products remain affordable while meeting the needs of customers."

He also said the company expects the operating environment to remain supportive with a strong focus on affordability and the sector's sustainability.

The sector is currently managing an ongoing Senate inquiry, a review of the Medicare Benefits Schedule, the recently reformed Prostheses List Advisory Committee and a ministerial advisory committee on private health.