SYDNEY, AAP – Medibank Private policyholders will save about $30 million in premium increases after the health insurer opted to defer the payments by another month.
The deferral is to compensate policyholders unable to access hospital or extras services, such as non-elective surgery, under their health insurance during COVID-19 restrictions.
It extends Medibank’s decision in December to defer premium increases for five months to April this year, saving policy holders about $135 million.
The latest move delays those increases by another month to October, for total savings of around $163 million.
“We’ve always committed to return all permanent net claims savings due to COVID,” CEO David Koczkar said on Thursday.
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“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.”
Medibank on Thursday reported a group net profit of $220 million, down 2.7 per cent on the previous corresponding period.
Its health insurance profit was up 10.3 per cent to $280.9 million on the back of premium revenue growth of 3.8 per cent to $3.5 billion.
The number of policyholders grew by 1.5 per cent or 28,100 over the six-month period, and by a further 4,500 in January, for its Medibank and ahm products.
“Much of this growth continues to be driven by younger people and those who haven’t held private health insurance previously,” Mr Koczkar said.
“We are also now seeing sustained growth in the Medibank brand with six consecutive quarters of growth – the first time in almost nine years.”
Medibank declared an interim dividend of 6.1 cents, up from 5.8 cents in the previous first half