Medibank extends premium increase deferral by another month

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Medibank has reported a 12.3 per cent increase in group operating profit for the 12 months to the end of June on the back of strong growth in private health insurance membership.

The company reported a 3.8 per cent increase in premium revenue to $3.452 billion with policyholder growth of 28,100. The company paid claims of $2.9 billion.

“Today we have delivered a strong result showing that our focus on our customers and our strategy to grow as a health company is working," said CEO David Koczkar.

“Health remains the key issue that concerns people in Australia. This focus has seen a positive shift in attitudes towards private health insurance and has seen continued policyholder growth across both the Medibank and ahm brands."

Mr Koczkar said the growth in policyholders has been significantly driven by younger people who have not previously held private health insurance.

"As COVID restrictions continued to impact our customers’ ability to access some of their hospital or extras services, in December 2021 we announced the next stage of our give back program - returning around $135 million to customers by deferring premium increases for 5 months from April 2022," he said.

"And today we’re announcing we will extend the deferral by an additional month, to 1 October 2022, increasing this give back to around $163 million.

“We’ve always committed to return all permanent net claims savings due to COVID. Our total support now stands at around $463 million and we will continue to assess these permanent net claims savings and return them to our customers.

“And while we are pleased to be able to support our customers throughout the pandemic, now is the right time for governments to minimise future use of restrictions to elective surgery. These restrictions for surgeries have impacted the quality of life for our customers and increased the pressure in the health system. While some surgeries may be called elective, for our customers they are anything but. The recent easing of restrictions on some surgeries is welcome but we believe a plan is needed to avoid these restrictions for patients in the future."