SYDNEY, AAP – Health insurers are being urged to give back money they have accumulated through the pandemic to customers, after Medibank Private pledged to do so.

An industry group says more customers should be reimbursed for their premiums, given elective surgery stopped at times to help coronavirus efforts.

Medibank Private on Tuesday said it will return about $105 million in coronavirus claims savings to ahm and Medibank customers.

On average, hospital and extras policyholders will receive about $60 and extras only policyholders will get $25.

Australian Private Hospital Association boss Michael Roff said the decision was good to see and the rest of the industry needed to do the same.

He said Medibank’s decision showed some insurers were making up excuses not to return cash to customers.

Private hospital operators expected huge demand once elective surgery resumed, however this has not happened.

Medibank said COVID-19 was unlikely to affect its full-year earnings.

Shares were higher by 0.16 per cent to $3.15 at 1356 AEST.