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APRA releases quarterly private health insurance statistics for September 2021

Wednesday 24 November 2021

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has released its quarterly private health insurance (PHI) publications for the September 2021 quarter.

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

In the year to 30 September 2021, industry profitability improved from the relatively low levels experienced in the preceding year, driven by stronger insurance profits and investment income.

Premium revenue grew 5.4 per cent over the year, from a combination of membership growth and premium rate increases. Claims growth remained lower than previous years due to COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns, but increased relative to the year to September 2020. It was also impacted by movements in insurers’ Deferred Claims Liabilities (DCL)1. These factors resulted in an increase in gross margins for the year and net margins returned to pre-COVID levels.

Investment earnings increased materially in the year to September 2021 compared with the previous year, due primarily to strong gains in equities investments. 

Hospital treatment membership increased by 204,848 persons during the year to 30 September 2021. However, the longer-term ageing trend in hospital membership continued, with membership in the 50+ age group increasing by 115,694 persons compared with membership among the younger population (insured persons aged 20 to 49) which increased by 47,597 persons during the year.

Key performance metrics for the industry in the year ended:

 

September 2020

September 2021

Change (annual)

Premium revenue

$24.8 bn

$26.2 bn

5.4%

Fund benefits (claims)

$22.0 bn

$21.8 bn

-0.8%

Gross margin

11.4%

16.6%

5.2pp

Net margin

2.1%

7.2%

5.1pp

Net investment income

$131.9 m

$571.0 m

332.9%

Net profit after tax

$587.4 m

$1.8 bn

212.4%

Copies of the September 2021 quarterly publications are available on APRA’s website at: Quarterly private health insurance statistics.


Footnote

 

1 Claims are benefits reported in financial statements in accordance with the relevant accounting standards, including claims incurred but not reported and claims that are processed but not yet paid which are on an accrual basis. Other benefits statistics in the Membership and Benefits, and Benefits Trends sections of this publication refer to benefits paid and reported on a cash basis. The deferred claims liability (DCL) was raised by insurers to meet the cost of procedures deferred during the pandemic.

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 $7.9 trillion in assets for Australian depositors, policyholders and superannuation fund members.