Helsana recorded a good annual result of CHF 231 million for the 2021 financial year. Premium volumes increased to CHF 7.4 billion, with further improvement to profitability in the supplementary insurance business and a reduction in operating expenses. In the first year under the leadership of new CEO Roman Sonderegger, Helsana continued its growth trajectory and consolidated its position as a leading Swiss health insurance provider. Further milestones in the reporting year included the integration of Progrès, the successful launch of a new supplementary insurance product and Helsana’s ongoing organisational development.
In 2021, the Helsana Group achieved a record premium volume of CHF 7.4 billion (2020: CHF 7.1 billion). Operating expenses improved by 0.7 percentage points to 9.3% (2020: 10.0%) and the financial year successfully closed above expectations with a good result of CHF 231 million.
Helsana is continuing its growth trajectory and has underscored its position as a leading Swiss health insurance provider. As of 1 January 2022, almost 2.2 million people put their trust in Helsana. The noticeable net growth in new customers has continued in recent years, both in the supplementary insurance business (Federal Insurance Contract Act, VVG) and in relation to the Federal Health Insurance Act (KVG), with 2022 seeing almost 55,000 new customers from the KVG area alone, on balance. Since 2017, the total number of net new customers has grown to almost 360,000 in this area.
Introducing a new supplementary insurance product proved to be a driver for growth in the supplementary insurance business. COMPLETA EXTRA has enabled Helsana to strengthen its market performance and, in doing so, provide cover for an increasing number of health-conscious customers. This is proven by the numerous policy conclusions that were recorded immediately after the product was launched. Among other things, the new range covers additional benefits for active health promotion, complementary medicine, prevention and for spectacles, contact lenses and laser vision correction.
The benefits and services offered by Progrès and Helsana have been increasingly combined over the last few years and were recently harmonised. In addition, the refined risk compensation for basic insurance has led to premiums being aligned. For this reason, 2021 was the ideal time to push ahead with integrating Progrès from 1 January 2022. This integration is the last step towards the implementation of a consistent one-brand strategy and supports the efforts made in offering stable, sustainable premiums.
With regard to the premium structure for 2022, reserves for compulsory health insurance (OKP) were reduced by an initial tranche of almost CHF 76 million, enabling an even more attractive premium structure to be offered. Over the coming years, Helsana hopes to make use of the associated reduced premiums to keep future premium development for insured persons at a low level.
In late January 2021, the Board of Directors appointed Roman Sonderegger as the new CEO of the Helsana Group. He will continue to consistently drive forward the implementation of the company’s Strategy 2020+ and position Helsana to meet the needs and expectations of its customers even more effectively.
In order to meet changing customer needs, as well as changing conditions within the sector, in 2021 Helsana realigned the two former business divisions of Marketing & Sales and Client Services & Benefits. The new Products & Services business division brought together insurance technology and services. This means that, together, Helsana’s products and services are even more customer-oriented and respondent to demand, and the value proposition is strengthened. The second new division, Client & Market, brings the customer attraction and retention activities of the Helsana Group under one roof. “This division will offer our customers an integrated, positive experience with Helsana,” explains CEO Roman Sonderegger.
In its underwriting result, the Helsana Group posted a loss for 2021 of CHF -120 million (2020: CHF +44 million), which represents a combined ratio of 101.6% (2020: 99.4%).
In comparison with the previous year, there was a marked increase in the combined ratio in the area of basic insurance (KVG) – 103.7% (2020: 99.8%). The associated underwriting loss was driven by an increase in benefit costs that exceeded expectations, a delayed effect from the coronavirus pandemic.
In the supplementary insurance business, there was further significant improvement to profitability in the reporting year, with the combined ratio now reduced to 96.0% (2020: 98.4%). The accident insurance business (UVG) also recorded a solid profit with a moderate increase in premium volumes. The combined ratio fell by a further 0.2 percentage points to 96.2% (2020: 96.4%).
In the reporting year, Helsana once again achieved an extraordinary return on capital on the financial markets. After a particularly volatile previous year, capital markets in the 2021 reporting year were noticeably more stable. Helsana posted an outstanding result of +5.24% (2020: +2.19%). As in previous years, this value is above the benchmark and emphasises a far-sighted investment strategy and outstanding implementation by Helsana’s asset managers.
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