Private Health Insurers Start 2021 Strong, Despite Pandemic

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The Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA) has today released data showing private health insurers (PHI) have continued to make mega-profits despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to APRA, the quarterly data shows PHI posted a profit of more than $341 million in the three months to 31 December 2020, a 205.4% increase on its previous quarterly reporting figures.

Despite these profits and despite spending over $2.4 billion a year on ‘management expenses’ – including executive bonuses, corporate perks and advertising – Australians are still being left to pay 13% more in out-of-pocket costs for their hospital treatments.

Today’s APRA data comes hot on the heels of NIB Health Funds’ parent company, NIB Holdings’ half-year interim report which revealed that their Australian residents health insurance business increased its six-month underlying operating profit to $89 million, a 42.2% jump.

MTAA is concerned insurers are prioritising profits over patients’ needs, forcing many families to seriously consider ditching their private healthcare cover.

The medical technology industry is doing its part through its Agreement with the Commonwealth which is delivering savings of $1.1 billion, despite the significant impacts of the pandemic and the suspension of elective surgery in 2020.