Helsana impresses with 2017 annual result

Helsana looks back on a very pleasing 2017 financial year during which it posted an outstanding investment result of CHF 303.4 million; at 100.2 per cent, the combined ratio is almost balanced. Innovative market services and committed employees mean we can look to the future with confidence.


Helsana looks back on a very pleasing 2017 financial year. The Group recorded a high corporate profit of CHF 218 million thanks to a very good investment performance, while also delivering a balanced underwriting result. It also improved its premium position.

The combined ratios in the basic and supplementary insurance businesses are each in the break-even range. In the basic insurance business, the combined ratio has improved slightly relative to the prior-year level. In contrast, the combined ratio in the supplementary insurance business has worsened.

Increase in benefit costs slightly lower than in the previous year

The benefit costs of the Helsana Group increased further during 2017 and stood at CHF 6.315 billion (2016: CHF 6.101 billion) at the end of the year. Premium income increased to a comparable extent, totalling CHF 6.390 billion (2016: CHF 6.370 billion).

At almost 3 per cent, cost growth in 2017 was below prior-year levels.

The KVG business saw a significant rise in costs for outpatient hospital treatment, physiotherapy and home care as well in medication and medical costs. Nevertheless, the costs in these cost categories increased less markedly than in the previous year. The cause of the cost growth seen in the areas of physiotherapy and home care is the continuing increase in volumes. Medical costs, which in the basic insurance business already account for more than 20 per cent of costs, increased significantly and are continuing to do so. In particular, a sharp rise in medication costs for outpatient hospital treatment is being observed. There is still no prospect of a turnaround in terms of cost developments.

Balanced underwriting result

The underwriting result for 2017 fell slightly short of matching the underwriting profit of CHF 55 million posted in 2016. At 100.2 per cent (2016: 99.1 per cent), the combined ratio is almost balanced, meaning that the Group’s underwriting result stands at CHF -10 million.

The 2017 combined ratio for the KVG business was 99.6 per cent (2016: 100.4 per cent) and thus falls within the targeted range.

At 99.0 per cent (2016: 95.8 per cent), the combined ratio for the VVG business worsened further, however: premium income only just covers the benefit costs. The worsening of the situation here can be attributed to the ongoing increase in benefit costs.

Relative to the previous year, the result in the accident insurance business deteriorated significantly: the combined ratio stands at 131.3 per cent (2016: 98.6 per cent). This deterioration can be put down to a one-time effect: the expected reduction in the technical interest rate has already been taken into account.

Outstanding investment result

Helsana’s investments performed extremely positively in 2017 despite several sources of uncertainty. With an overall performance of 6.02 per cent on investments of CHF 6.3 billion, the investment success made a significant contribution to the pleasing earnings result. Helsana’s investment specialists have thus once more demonstrated their expertise; their performance in 2017 outstripped that of the benchmark by 1.77 per cent. An investment result of CHF 303.4 million was thus achieved.

Improved premium position – well prepared for the future

Thanks to Helsana’s good market and premium position in the basic insurance business, it was possible to record the acquisition of 95,000 additional customers as at 1 January 2018; the significant efforts made in the area of customer retention meant that the number of departures was limited compared to the prior year. The customer base in the area of compulsory health insurance was increased by around 30,000 (+2.5 per cent). In the supplementary insurance business, the customer base remained fairly constant despite many premium adjustments (-0.5 per cent). In the corporate business, focus was increasingly placed on improving profitability instead of growth.

The strategic objective of advancing to the industry top 3 in terms of customer perception (according to the Net Promoter Score, NPS) is and will remain a challenge. Helsana has made good progress towards achieving this goal and has reduced the gap to the top 3 considerably. Innovative market services such as the Helsana+ bonus programme and, above all, the great commitment of our employees mean we can look to the future with confidence.

Most important key figures (in CHF million)



Premiums earned



Insurance benefits



Underwriting result



Combined Ratio (Helsana Group)

100,2 %

99,1 %

  • KVG business

99,6 %

100,4 %

  • VVG business

99,0 %

95,8 %

  • UVG business

131,3 %

98,6 %

Profit/loss for the period






Helsana Group 2017 Annual Report

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