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Six-month results show nib NZ earnings holding up

Premium revenue increase of 7.9% reflects “pleasing” post-Covid trend.

Monday, February 22nd 2021, 5:47PM

Rob Hennin

The company’s FY21 half year results, released today, revealed a bounce back in healthcare treatment following Covid-19 restrictions. This is reflected by a 2.8% increase in new health insurance policies over the past 12 months, says nib CEO Rob Hennin.

“Our first half results also show claims increased 7.6% as members head back to their medical professionals or seek treatment following the first wave of Covid-19 restrictions,” Hennin explains.

Claims to nib dropped significantly during the first lockdown period in New Zealand. But by September the claims began to surge again. Additionally, the pre-approval checks for elective surgery remained strong.

The claims that have experienced the largest increase post-Covid-19 lockdown were:

• neurological, up by 116%
• cardio-thoracic surgery, up by 49%
• diagnostics, up by 38%
• gynaecological, up by 365%.

Hennin says that it is positive that clients are feeling more confident and getting the necessary health treatment post-Covid.

“Recognising some healthcare treatment in FY20 was simply deferred not cancelled during Covid-19, nib set aside a provision to meet the expected claims catch-up over the course of FY21,” he says.

“As of December 31, 2020, $6.5 million of the $9.0 million provision has been released.”

nib NZ chairman Tony Ryall says that while the pandemic had increased consumer awareness about the importance of health, there was still an opportunity to grow acceptance of private health insurance in New Zealand.

“We see a real opportunity to demonstrate the role and capability of private health insurance in helping improve outcomes and mitigate potentially avoidable or unwarranted health care treatment,” said Ryall.

The overall nib Group reported total operating profit of $86.9 million (up 4.4%) and net profit after tax of $66.2 million (up 15.9%) for the six months to December 31, 2020 to the Australian Securities Exchange.

Tags: health insurance insurance nib

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