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It's mostly up for health insurer nib

Health insurer nib has seen an increase in many of its key metrics for the year to June 30 with increases in revenue, policyholders, claims and a strong net promoter score.

Monday, August 19th 2019, 5:18PM

Rob Hennin

The company says net policyholder growth for the 12 month period was up 7.2%; Premium revenue grew by 6.9% to $229.6 million; and claims were up 8.9%.

New Zealand chief executive Rob Hennin says the company is paying out more than $500,000 a day in claims.

Hennin described the result as "very solid". All parts of the business were performing and the result was consistent and sustainable.

While claims are up it reflected a focus on delivering more value to members, he said.

“We exist to help fund our member’s healthcare needs and while it’s great to see our members using their health cover, we’re doing more than just providing them financial protection and security," Hennin said.

nib's underwriting result was down from $27.4 million to $23.3 million due to the increasing claims expense.

While there are no official market share figures available, as health insurers won't work together on compiling data, Hennin believes nib has been growing above system growth. 

A pleasing result for the company is that its net promoter score increased from 21.1 to 34 in the past financial year. This is the highest ever result since NPS first implemented after the acquisition of the Tower health book. The first NPS, in August 2013, was -29.0.

nib has also recently celebrated the first anniversary of its population health initiative with Auckland iwi, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei. More than 3,300 of the members currently enrolled in a preventative health programme.

Hennin says other initiatives are paying off too: “We continue to make good progress in helping our members make better healthcare decisions, though initiatives like Whitecoat, which allows consumers to go online to search and compare healthcare professionals. In just the past 12 months we’ve seen more than 300,000 Kiwis visit the site which includes about 9,000 healthcare providers,” he said.

“We’re also working hard to reduce what our members pay when they do seek treatment or hospitalisation. Our recently expanded First Choice network guarantees zero out-of-pocket costs when our members are treated by an in-network provider. The network has delivered more than $1 million in claims savings in its first year of operation,” he said.

While it is early days, Hennin says the move to manage adviser distribution through nib, rather than with Fidelity Life, is being well-received in the market.

The company doesn't provide details of distribution through its direct and adviser channels, but Hennin says they are "really nicely balanced".

He says the addition of travel insurance to the Ultimate Health range has been key to that product's success.

"We are investing in products rather than taking benefits away," he says.


nib New Zealand Chairman, Tony Ryall, said there was also a bigger role for private health insurance to play in supporting the healthcare needs of all New Zealanders in the future.

“We are all faced with the same challenge – we’re living longer, which is a good thing, but the cost of keeping ourselves healthy while we age is growing rapidly.”

“It’s an inconvenient truth, but the reality is we’re simply running out of working age taxpayers to fund our nation’s more than $16 billion annual healthcare costs, with Government footing almost 80% of the bill. And with Treasury estimates showing that by 2036 there will be 2.6 working taxpayers to every retired age person, compared to 5:1 in 2011, our current funding model is just not sustainable.

“Private health insurance is part of the solution to this challenge,” he added.


Tags: health insurance nib Rob Hennin

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