Medibank Private has updated its outlook for the 2021 financial year, anticipating it will see higher policy growth and lower net claims expenses than previously expected.
The health insurer joins smaller rival nib in providing a positive update.
In a presentation for the Macquarie Australia Conference on Wednesday, the insurer said it now expects to grow policyholders by between 3.5 and 4 per cent this year, up from its previous goal of ‘more than 3 per cent’.
The company is now expecting a net increase in claims of 2.5% per policyholder, down from its previous prediction of 2.6%.
The company emphasised that “any permanent net claims savings due to COVID-19 will be given back to customers through additional support in the future”.
The nature and size of the gibe back will be revealed at the full year results release in august.
That was an industry criticism about nib’s update in that it seemed to say it would keep savings from lower-than-expected claims for elective surgery (because of Covid).
Medibank Private said that despite April 1 premium increase, “customer retention is significantly better than in the prior corresponding period.”
Medibank will be transitioning from long-serving chief executive Craig Drummond to new boss David Kozckar later this year.
The shares ended up 1.3% at $3.08.