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Claims hit nib's bottom line

nib New Zealand says the $69 million it paid in claims in the latter six months of last year was a record.

Monday, February 18th 2019, 1:01PM

Rob Hennin

It was up 9% on the previous half.

Chief executive Rob Hennin said more members received hospital treatment or visited an ancillary provider, such as a dentist or physiotherapist. During the half year, hospital treatments lifted more than 22% and the number of members visiting an ancillary provider increased by almost 26%.

“We exist to help our members access and afford world class healthcare, so we’re pleased members are accessing medical treatment when they need it and doing so without incurring significant costs,” Hennin said.

Those claims costs pushed nib New Zealand's underlying profit down 29.7% to $10m in the half-year. Premium revenue rose 6.2% to $113m.

“Our largest claim, at over $148,000, is helping a member fight their battle with cancer, supporting chemotherapy treatment,” Hennin said.

He said the insurer was also interested in helping peple avoid getting sick in the firs tplace and as working on a range of preventative health management programmes.

“There’s no better example of this than our population health initiative with Auckland iwi, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei. This unique partnership provides free universal private health insurance as well as wellness programmes for all hapū members to help improve their health and wellbeing outcomes,” he said.

“By putting the member at the heart of everything we are not only delivering a better service experience, for example when a member makes a claim, but we’re also making it easier for people to join, with net policyholder growth for the period of 1.7%."

New Zealand chairman Tony Ryall said the business was focused as ever on aligning its commercial interests with sound corporate governance, particularly given recent public and media attention regarding corporate culture and accountability.

“Doing well as a business by doing good underpins everything we do at nib. Our success depends on doing what we say we will do for members as well as meeting community expectations. Our marvellous team thrive on making a difference for members and their community,” Ryall said.

At group level, nib announced an underlying operating profit A$114.3 million ($118.9m), an increase of 18.6% on the previous first half result.

Tags: nib

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