2015 financial year: A year of challenges

2015 was a challenging year for the Helsana Group. As expected, the result was slightly positive and our financial standing remains very solid. Despite the difficult market situation and benefit costs that continue to rise sharply, Helsana looks to the future with confidence. The company will continue to promote health services that are competitive, high quality and at the same time affordable for all. In 2015, Helsana laid the foundation for becoming one of the industry top three in terms of customer perception.

03.02.2016

As expected, 2015 was a challenging year for Helsana. The profit was small at CHF 16 million. The underwriting loss was offset by a good investment result.

Although the underwriting loss in basic insurance was planned, it was higher than expected because the benefit costs rose more sharply than predicted. In supplementary insurance, rising benefit costs as well as the decision to forego premium adjustments in previous years led to a modest result.

2015 was dominated by the introduction of a new structure intended to achieve the strategic target defined in 2014 of becoming one of the industry top three in terms of customer perception. This foundation has now been laid.

There was one change in accounting: For the first time, the Helsana Group accounts as at 31 December 2015 are being presented in accordance with the current accounting standards under Swiss GAAP FER. As a consequence of this change, it is not possible to directly compare the financial statements to those of previous years.

Continuing increase in benefit costs

The Helsana Group's benefit costs continued to rise in 2015 and amounted to CHF 5,876 billion. At just under CHF 6 billion (CHF 5,982 billion), premium income was also higher than in 2014.

The rise in benefit costs is a continuing trend for all cost types. After several years of lower growth, the annual cost increase is once again in line with the long-term average of more than 4%. In the KVG business, medical costs, the costs for physiotherapy and home care, and medication costs saw a significant rise. As in 2014, medical costs were higher mainly because of the increase in approved specialists. The costs for physiotherapy and home care increased in particular because of the change in volume. With the end of the cost-cutting measures initiated over the past several years, medication costs have started to rise again. In the VVG business, the supplementary hospital insurance was the main driver of cost increases.

Underwriting loss

The Helsana Group budgeted an underwriting loss for 2015. However, at CHF -137 million, the underwriting result was worse than expected. The result corresponds to a combined ratio of 102.3%.

The combined ratio for the KVG business was 103.7%. This high ratio reported by the Group is mainly explained by the fact that benefit costs rose more sharply than expected. As a result, premiums had to be increased significantly again in 2016 after a conscious decision was made to apply lower increases in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Excess reserves were used to reduce the premiums.

The combined ratio for the VVG business was just barely in positive territory at 98.9%. This is a result of increased benefit costs and the decision to forego premium adjustments. In the accident insurance business, the combined ratio was 97.2%.

Helsana is financially solid and prepared for the future

Despite the difficult market situation and costs that continue to rise sharply, Helsana looks to the future with confidence. It aims to continue to play a leading role in Swiss healthcare and to help make health services competitive, high quality and at the same time affordable for all.

Helsana re-defined its strategic focus in 2014, setting itself the target of earning the highest marks from its customers by 2018. In all that we do, we will ask how we can work on behalf of our customers.

In deciding on this new strategic direction, Helsana was able to rely on the strength, expertise and professionalism of its employees. The total number of employees has remained constant. Helsana is only at the beginning, but it has created important conditions for becoming one of the industry top three in terms of customer perception. Helsana is well equipped to continue down this path.

Key figures (in CHF m)

2015

Premiums earned

5,982

Insurance benefits

5,876

Underwriting result

-137

Combined ratio (Helsana Group)

102,3%

  • KVG business

103,7%

  • VVG business

98,9%

  • UVG business

97,2%

Profit for the period

16

Equity

1,958

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 6 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 and Avanex.

The Helsana Group insures 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 nearly 50,000 companies and associations (with 678,000 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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