Media releases

February 17, 2006

Medibank Private cements strength in market

Medibank Private, Australia's largest and only national health fund, has been independently hailed as a strength in the private health insurance sector - not only in size, but in vision and capability.

Standard & Poor's, the international provider of credit ratings, recently cemented Medibank Private's 'A-' rating - noting "strong strategic management supported by a robust business structure, strengthening financial profile, and sound capitalisation" as the major rationale for the rating.

The health fund recorded the largest financial turnaround of its 30 year history at the end of the last financial year. On top of a record $2.3 billion paid out in benefits, Medibank Private recorded a $130.8 million surplus - an $86 million bottom line improvement, a 192 per cent increase on the previous year.

The Standard & Poor's report attributed the turnaround to, "�a better product mix, competitive pricing strategy�.improved cost efficiency through better health care purchasing and business processes."

Medibank Private, Managing Director, Mr George Savvides, commented that the health fund was very satisfied with the retained rating.

"The success of the strategic and financial management of Medibank Private is evident in our enhanced financial position, which will improve the affordability of private health insurance.

"What is really important in the Standard & Poor's assessment though is the acknowledgement of recent product development attracting younger members, improved purchasing of health care services and operating efficiency, and our ability to turn around the firm's financial profile and market competitiveness despite a heavily regulated private health insurance industry.

"Our focus has not been on a quick fix solution. The key to our turnaround has been developing a strong, sustainable business that can deliver increased customer value and reduced premium increases in the future," Mr Savvides said.


For more information contact:
Libby Woolnough - Medibank Private
PH: 03) 8622 5181 / 0411 659 060

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