Our strong result shows our focus on our customers and strategy to grow as a health company is working.
Our 2 brands are continuing to attract more customers, especially younger people and those new to private health insurance. We’ve grown policyholders by 3.3% over the last 12 months – including 28,100 policies added over the last 6-month period, and a further 4,500 in January in an extremely competitive market. We’ve now had 6 consecutive quarters of growth in the Medibank brand - the first time in almost 9 years.
People’s expectations of health are changing as COVID continues influencing our lives and our health offerings are resonating.
Doing more for our customers through COVID
In December 2021 we announced we were returning around $135 million to customers by deferring their premium increases for 5 months from April 2022 in the next stage of our give back program. And today we’re extending the deferral by an additional month to 1 October 2022, increasing this give back amount to around $163 million. Our total customer support now stands at around $463 million.
Through our joint venture with Calvary, we’ve supported more than 130,000 people through our COVID Care at Home and other services. We’ve provided more than 40,000 hours of contact tracing, and assisted Federal and State governments with welfare checks, in-home COVID testing, and mental health counselling services. We’ve also rewarded around 58,000 customers with Live Better points for getting vaccinated.
Leading customer experiences
Customer advocacy continued to increase as we worked to provide more value and better experiences. We paid $2.9 billion in claims and delivered around $17 million in out-of-pocket savings for almost 600,000 customers through our Members’ Choice Advantage Network in the last 6 months. We checked in with around 170,000 customers and delivered our lowest average premium increase in 21 years. More customers are choosing to use our digital channels and our My Medibank app is playing a greater role in supporting our customers’ health.
Supporting our customers’ health and wellbeing
Our customers trust us more than ever as their partner in health. We’ve doubled the number of customers enrolling in our preventative health programs, our Health Concierge supported around 24% of our Medibank customers who were admitted to hospital, and we expanded our short-stay hospital program with more hospitals and specialists – now, around half our customers live within 25km of a short-stay site, enabling us to double the take up by our customers of our new no-gap surgical offering for total joint replacements. Our Live Better Rewards program is on track to reach around half a million customers by full year and we’ve rewarded around 64,000 customer actions for participating in Live Better health campaigns over the past 6 months.
Amplar Health – growing our health services
Our Health Services business is changing its name to Amplar Health. Under the new name, it will increasingly focus on supporting the needs of our core Medibank and ahm customers in healthcare. From there, it will continue to draw upon our broader business capabilities to provide services to other healthcare providers and payors to support their public and private patients. We’ll share more details on Amplar Health later in the year.
Delivering for shareholders
Our shareholders will receive a fully franked interim ordinary dividend of 6.1 cents per share.
Our key financials
Strong growth in both our Health Insurance and Medibank Health businesses helped Group operating profit increase 12.3% to $286.5 million. A decrease in net investment income impacted our Group net profit after tax which was down 2.7% to $220.2 million.