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APRA releases quarterly private health insurance statistics for June 2020

Tuesday 18 August 2020

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has released its quarterly private health insurance publications for the June 2020 quarter.

The publications provide industry aggregate summaries of key financial and membership statistics for the private health insurance industry. 

The impacts of COVID-19 are reflected in both the June quarter 2020 and year to June positions. The June quarter result was impacted by the health and societal measures introduced as a result of COVID-191, and the weaker investment performance caused by the initial COVID-19 driven market volatility contributed to a softer year to June result. 

The industry reported a deterioration in insurance performance during the June quarter 2020, resulting from lower premium revenue (down 1.4 per cent), higher claims (up 2.0 per cent) and higher management expenses (up 15.8 per cent). Net margin declined to -0.4 per cent in the June quarter 2020, the lowest in at least the last 12 years. This was mainly driven by:

  • an ongoing decline in membership, stagnant premium rates and premium concessions/holidays provided to policyholders due to COVID-19; and
     
  • insurers recognising a total of $1.4 billion in claims liabilities to meet the cost of procedures deferred during the quarter.

Notwithstanding the weak insurance result, a turnaround in investment income saw an improvement in overall profitability in the June quarter 2020. Net profit after tax rose from -$53.9 million in the March quarter 2020 to $159.3 million in the June quarter 2020. 

Key performance statistics for the industry in the quarter:

 

March 2020

June 2020

Change (quarterly)

Premium revenue

$6.2 billion

$6.1 billion

-1.4%

Fund benefits (claims)

$5.3 billion

$5.4 billion

2.0%

Gross margin

13.2%

10.2%

-3.0 percentage points

Net margin

4.1%

-0.4%

-4.5 percentage points

Net investment income

-$288.8 million

$239.0 million

 

Net profit after tax

-$53.9 million

$159.3 million

 

For the year ending June 2020, net margin fell to 2.8 per cent (from 4.9 per cent in the year ending June 2019), reflecting a falling membership base and claims cost growing faster than premiums. This weaker insurance performance, combined with the decline in investment income, resulted in net profit after tax falling 45.3 per cent during the year.

Key performance statistics for the industry in the year ended:

 

June 2019

June 2020

Change (annual)

Premium revenue

$24.6 billion

$24.9 billion

+1.4%

Fund benefits (claims)

$20.9 billion

$21.7 billion

+3.7 %

Gross margin

14.0%

12.0%

-2.0 percentage points

Net margin

4.9%

2.8%

-2.1 percentage points

Net investment income

$0.46 billion

$0.15 billion

-68.0%

Net profit after tax

$1.4 billion

$0.76 billion

-45.3%

Copies of the June 2020 quarterly publications are available on APRA’s website at: Quarterly private health insurance statistics.

Footnote:

1 The federal lockdown was announced on 23 March 2020 and restrictions on elective surgeries were imposed for the period 26 March to 28 April. Deferrals of procedures resulted from the restrictions are now expected to occur in the next 12 months. On 22 June, APRA provided interpretive capital and prudential reporting guidance to insurers on the treatment of liabilities for deferred claims.

 

Statistics

Media enquiries

Contact APRA Media Unit, on +61 2 9210 3636

All other enquiries

For more information contact APRA on 1300 558 849.

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) is the prudential regulator of the financial services industry. It oversees banks, credit unions, building societies, general insurance and reinsurance companies, life insurance, private health insurers, friendly societies, and most members of the superannuation industry. APRA currently supervises institutions holding $6.5 trillion in assets for Australian depositors, policyholders and superannuation fund members.