The boss of health insurer Nib has warned that persistent coronavirus lockdowns will result in fewer health treatments across the country, making it difficult for the company to predict future profits.
Mark Fitzgibbon said Monday morning that the fund would target policyholder growth of between 2-3% in 2022 – but with membership expected to rise, it was difficult to predict exactly how many claims would be made.
“There will be fewer health treatments of all kinds as long as the blockages persist, people will continue to fear infection and social distancing will reduce the incidence of other diseases,” he said.
Nib recorded an 84% increase in net profits for fiscal 2021, reaching $ 160.5 million. The company has confirmed that it will hand over $ 15 million to eligible members as an automatic adjustment of their next bounty payments to continue supporting its base throughout the pandemic.
Profits were slightly lower than Bloomberg’s consensus estimate of $ 168 million in revenue.
Nib also recorded a fully paid final dividend of 14c, up from 4c in the same period last year. Mr. Fitzgibbon warned that like 2020, the 2021 financial result was not, however, a “normal” year for the insurer. Nib had recorded provisions last year to account for ‘catch-up’ treatments delayed by coronavirus lockdowns, but the rebound had been slower than expected.
“Although there was some catching up with deferred treatment during the year, it was less than initially expected. This is probably best explained by people’s continued fear of COVID-19 infection and ongoing blockages, ”Mr. Fitzgibbon said.
The fund has retained a provision of $ 34 million for future remedial requests. It achieved 4.2% total policyholder growth for 2021, and total premium income grew nearly 5% to $ 2.2 billion.
Conditions were much less favorable in the company’s international and travel insurance divisions, however, as travel-related revenue fell 74% for the year.