2014 financial year: solid results in a challenging market environment

The Helsana Group is pleased to report a successful 2014 financial year. Despite the challenging market environment, the result was only slightly below the previous year's excellent performance. Our customers benefit from our proven track record and our sound cushion of reserves. Rising premiums were attenuated by drawing down reserves where possible. In 2014 Helsana redefined its strategic direction to focus even more strongly on customers. CEO Daniel H. Schmutz announced at the annual results media conference that Helsana wanted to continue to play an active role in the healthcare industry and would adopt a solution-oriented approach to finding the right quality and quantity required together with all partners in the healthcare industry and in the interests of their customers.

04.02.2015

In 2014 Helsana achieved another positive result. The Helsana Group's premiums in 2014 reached CHF 5.734 billion, which was slightly higher than the previous year's level of CHF 5.708 billion. The number of customers (for 2015: 1.870 million in total, of which 1.199 million in compulsory basic insurance) rose slightly. Earnings of CHF 138 million in 2014 were just below the previous year's figure, despite the budgeted underwriting loss (CHF -48 million) to draw down excess reserves to attenuate premium increases for its insured persons. Earnings were again supported by outstanding investment income (CHF 309 million). Benefit costs also increased further in 2014. The non-underwriting result (CHF 256 million) more than offset the deterioration in the underwriting result, as a result of which the equity capital of the Helsana Group increased further compared to the previous year (CHF 1.559 billion), despite drawing down reserves. Our customers benefit from our proven track record and our sound cushion of reserves.

Chairman of the Board of Directors Thomas D. Szucs: "2014 was a challenging year in which it was important to keep calm and remain a stable, trustworthy and reliable partner for our customers and partners. From a position of strength we want to tackle the two most important topics – costs and customers – and stand up for a healthy healthcare system of tomorrow."

Increase in benefit costs continues

Benefit costs rose further in 2014. The benefit costs of the Helsana Group totalled CHF 5.538 billion in 2014. In KVG business, particularly, the increase in medical costs was precipitated by an increase in the number of physicians, especially specialists, in outpatient practice – a development to which the temporary suspension of the moratorium on the creation of new medical practices and continued disincentives in the tariff structure contributed. Increasing benefit costs were also recorded in VVG business, most notably in the area of supplementary hospital insurance.

Sustainable premium policy

The underwriting loss corresponds to a combined ratio of 100.8% (previous year: 99.8%) and reflects Helsana's sustainable premium policy. In KVG business the combined ratio was 102.3% (2013: 103.4%). As in 2013, a conscious decision was taken to apply much lower premium increases in those companies with excess reserves than might otherwise have been required given the increase in costs. Evidence of this can be seen in the combined ratios of Helsana Insurance Company Ltd and Progrès Insurance Ltd, which exceeded the 100% mark and ended the year at 104.0% and 102.0% respectively. In VVG business, the combined ratio was higher than that of 2013 at 96.2%, reflecting the fact that benefit costs rose while premiums generally remained stable, falling sharply for Hospital Eco in particular. A combined ratio of 104.7% (2013: 98.4%) was recorded in accident insurance.

A more consistent customer focus

In 2014 Helsana re-defined its strategic direction and set itself the target of becoming one of the industry top three in terms of customer perception (measured against the "Net Promoter Score") within the next four years. In the context of this new strategic direction, the management structure will be streamlined and processes will be simplified and optimised.

CEO Daniel H. Schmutz: "We want to continue to play an active role in the healthcare system and see this as part of our responsibility. We rely on a partnership approach, but not at any price. In the interests of our customers, we will adopt a solution-oriented approach and work with all our partners in the healthcare industry to find the necessary quality and quantity." But Helsana will also be maintaining areas that have proven successful, including professional health management for prevention, early detection and rehabilitation, as well as the promotion of managed care models that guide patients through the range of medical options available, thus helping to keep costs low and premium increases down. Innovative products and partnerships will also continue to help meet customer needs and to maintain a high quality healthcare system that operates in the best interests of the patients - our insured members.

Key figures (in CHF million)

2014

2013

Premiums earned

5,734

5,708

Insurance benefits

5,538

5,415

Operating cost ratio (Helsana Group)

  • Compulsory basic insurance

10 %

5,9 %

9,5 %

5,9 %

Underwriting result

-48

12

Combined ratio (Helsana Group)

  • KVG business
  • VVG business
  • UVG business

 

100,8 %

102,3 %

96,2 %

104,7 %

 

99,8 %

103,4 %

88,2 %

98,4 %

Non-underwriting result

256

193

Earnings

138

153

Equity capital (in % of premiums)

27,2 %

25,0 %

The Helsana Group

The Helsana Group is Switzerland’s leading health and accident insurer. It offers individuals and companies a complete health and prevention service in the event of sickness and accident. With CHF 5.7 billion in earned premiums, the company is one of the leading providers in the Swiss insurance market. The Helsana Group provides basic, supplementary and accident insurance and operates throughout Switzerland, employing more than 3,000 employees. It is not listed on the stock exchange and is organised as a holding. The Helsana Group comprises Helsana, Progrès, Sansan, Avanex and maxi.ch.

The Helsana Group insures nearly 1.9 million people in Switzerland against the financial consequences of illness, accidents, maternity and old age. As part of its corporate business, which is operated exclusively under the Helsana brand, Helsana insures over 50,000 companies and associations (with over 680,000 insured persons) against the economic consequences of the incapacity to work of employees as a result of accident or illness. Services relating to occupational health management complete the package.

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