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Insights from Southern Cross AGM, and more daily news

Southern Cross CEO Nick Astwick has revealed that Southern Cross has had a successful year. In the annual general meeting Astwick mentioned that Southern Cross worked to offer benefits to members during the year. Additionally, Astwick noted that it is important for Southern Cross to continue innovating and challenging the delivery of health services to ensure long-term sustainability.

“There was a sense of achievement after a year of delivering for members and it was time to build on that momentum with even more innovations, Astwick said.

“There is no question the Society must continue to innovate. We want to challenge the way health services are provided to deliver better value and healthcare to members.

“This is the direction in which we need to go to ensure sustainability of the private health sector and to deliver the best value outcomes for our members.”

Astwick noted that Southern Cross was working alongside healthcare providers to offer members more options while ensuring that there isn’t a sharp increases in premiums.

“Astwick said the Society was actively working with healthcare providers to find new ways to deliver quality outcomes for members, while keeping premiums affordable.

“We're considering exploring a number of options where we think enhancements are possible. What’s important is treatment when you need it quickly, with the best possible health outcome.”

Chairman Greg Gent spoke of the challenges of the last financial year and acknowledged that Southern Cross has been fortunate. COVID-19 has had positive impacts, with Southern Cross Society receiving more premiums and paying out less claims which led to the $50 million give back. 

“Chairman Greg Gent told the meeting the last financial year had been a challenging one for the Society, but it was fortunate to be in a position to come through it strongly.

The impact of COVID-19 saw the Society receive more in premiums for the financial year than anticipated and pay out less in claims than expected.

The pandemic also resulted in costs associated with the necessary mobilisation of the Society’s workforce, and at the same time, a market-leading decision to give back $50 million to members in the form of premium credits, said Gent."

Key figures presented in the meeting were:

“FY20 - KEY NUMBERS AT A GLANCE:

  • For every dollar paid in premiums, the Society returned 85 cents in claims to members.
  • A surplus of $32.4 million.
  • $50 million returned to members as premium rebates due to COVID-19.
  • Membership increased to 879,198, up 8,133 on the previous year.
  • The Society comprised 62 per cent of New Zealand’s health insurance market but paid 72 per cent of all claims.
  • $443.1 million in net tangible assets, representing approximately five months of claims.
  • Standard and Poor’s A+ credit rating retained for 18th consecutive year.”

In other news

From Goodreturns: [The Wrap] Industry blindsided by PI decision

From Insurance Business Mag: Balancing compliance and speed – are insurers getting it right?

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