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APRA Chair Wayne Byres [right] and Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg [left]. Source: joshfrydenberg.com.au
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  • The private health insurance sector records an increase in profits for the June quarter of 2021, according to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority
  • The industry regulator flagged a 93.7 per cent increase in net profits after tax to $1.5 billion for the 12 months to the end of June 2021
  • Hospital treatment membership grew by roughly 245,000 people over the 12 months, with around 44.5 per cent of the population covered
  • APRA says the industry has committed to not profit from the pandemic, meaning some health insurers plan to return surpluses to policyholders
  • Still, APRA says the future of the industry is clouded by uncertainty from COVID-19 and a fresh round of lockdowns in many places around the country

The private health insurance sector saw a steady increase in profits across the board for the year to the end of June 2021, according to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).

The industry regulator flagged a near-doubling of industry-wide net profits after tax (NPAT) for the private health insurance market driven by stronger insurance profits and investment income for the year.

Specifically, NPAT for the industry grew by 93.7 per cent to $1.5 billion for the 12 months to the end of June 2021 compared to the same time period the year before.

This came alongside a 3.2 per cent increase in premium revenue to $25.7 billion for the 12-month period.

As for a quarterly comparison for 2021 so far, NPAT in the private health insurance industry grew by 96.9 per cent to $667.2 million in the June quarter compared to $338.8 million over the March quarter. Quarterly revenue grew by 3.3 per cent to $6.6 billion in the June quarter compared to $6.4 billion in the March quarter.

Hospital treatment membership grew by roughly 245,000 people over the 12 months to the end of June 2021, with 11.44 million Australians covered by private hospital treatment cover as of June 31. This equates to roughly 44.5 per cent of Australia’s population.

Meanwhile, around 13.95 million people, or 54.3 per cent of the population, had some form of general treatment cover as of June 31, 2021, according to APRA.

Looking ahead, APRA said the future of the industry is clouded by uncertainty from COVID-19 and a fresh round of lockdowns in many places around the country.

Still, the regulator said the industry has made a commitment to not profit from the pandemic, causing some private health insurers to announce plans to return surplus funds to policyholders.

Those who have made no such promises are monitoring the coronavirus situation in Australia and exploring options, APRA said.

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