Helsana posts outstanding result for 2019

In 2019, Helsana Insurance Company Ltd recorded an outstanding result of CHF 436 million. This comprises a very strong investment performance and a solid underwriting result. Customer growth for 2020 once again clearly exceeded the prior year and the new corporate strategy was successfully launched at the start of 2020.

05.02.2020

In 2019, Helsana Insurance Company Ltd recorded an outstanding result of CHF 436 million. This comprises a very strong investment performance and a solid underwriting result. Premium income showed a healthy increase compared to the previous year, totalling CHF 6.7 billion (2018: CHF 6.5 billion). And the net customer growth seen in the prior year was again clearly exceeded: around 120,000 customers were added for 2020 in basic insurance alone.

Historic premium situation

The premium situation in the area of basic insurance has never been so rewarding: for the first time since the introduction of the Federal Health Insurance Act, the vast majority of our insured persons benefit from premium reductions in 2020. This is because cost developments in the Swiss healthcare sector have been moderate in the recent past and inflation for net benefits per person has been significantly below the long-term average. In 2019, total inflation for Helsana's benefit costs stood at -1.1 percent.

The shift from inpatient benefits to outpatient hospital services, as well as the Federal Council’s second TARMED intervention, certainly played a role here. However, improved risk compensation, strong net customer growth and effective benefits cost management, including systematic fraud prevention, were also important factors.

Solid underwriting result

In 2019, the Helsana Group posted a solid underwriting result of CHF 97 million (2018: CHF 175 million). The combined ratio stood at 98.6 per cent (2018: 97.3 percent).

Compared to the previous year, the combined ratio in the area of basic insurance increased slightly from 97.1 percent to 98.1 percent. In the supplementary insurance business, the Helsana Group closed the year with a cost-covering result, with the combined ratio for the reporting year being 99.8 per cent (2018: 98.3 percent).

In the accident insurance business, the combined ratio rose to 98.2 percent (2018: 92.3 percent). Half of this increase can be assigned to the refinement of the management costs allocation.

Very strong investment performance

Helsana was able to benefit from the overall exceptional result posted by international capital markets in 2019. Following a slightly negative performance of -2.6 percent in the previous year, Helsana’s portfolio’s overall performance stood at +9.0 percent in 2019. The investment performance outstripped that of the benchmark by 0.8 percentage points. Success on the capital markets thereby made a substantial contribution to Helsana’s outstanding overall result. Equity again increased considerably, reaching CHF 2.8 billion at the end of 2019 (2018: CHF 2.3 billion).

Shaping the Swiss healthcare system

Helsana launched its new corporate strategy 2020+ in the new year. Going forward, Helsana will play an even greater role in shaping the Swiss healthcare system, using a range of advisory and coordination services to offer greater support to insured persons no matter what their life situation.

A new ‘Health’ business division has been created as part of the new corporate strategy. Dr Claudine Blaser Egger (49) will oversee this division as of 1 June 2020 as a new member of the Helsana Executive Board. Claudine Blaser Egger completed her PhD in Biology and Immunology at ETH Zurich and gained a Master in Business Administration from the same institution. Most recently, she worked as CEO of Argomed Ärzte AG.

Helsana Group’s income statement 2019

2019

2018

Difference

Premium income (million CHF)

6,743

6,501

+242

Profit for the period (million CHF)

436

54

+382

Combined Ratio*

98.6 %

97.3 %

+1.3 ppt

Operating cost (cost ratio)**

10.3 %

10.1 %

+0.2 ppt

Overall performance of investment portfolio

9.04%

-2.64 %

+11.68 ppt

Equity capital (million CHF)

2,755

2,321

as a percentage of premium income

40.9 %

35.7 %

Provisions (million CHF)

3,879

3,905

as a percentage of benefit costs

61.2 %

63.0 %

* Sum of benefit costs and operating cost as a percentage of premium income

** Operating cost as a percentage of premium income

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