Southern Cross Health Society returns record value to members

Friday, 14 September 2018 by Jo Lawrence-King

Southern Cross Health Society has today released its annual financial results, showing solid growth in membership and value for money delivered to members.

New Zealand’s largest health insurer, Southern Cross Health Society paid out $906.6 million in claims in the year ended 30 June 2018. At 74 per cent of all private health insurance claims, the business paid out significantly more than its 62 per cent market share.

In the last financial year, the Health Society received $987.8 million in premiums. For each of those dollars it returned 92 cents in claims to members. This compares to an average of 65 cents in the dollar among the remaining New Zealand health insurers, with some returning as little as 59 cents in the dollar.

“We’re proud of the outstanding value for money we offer our members,” says Southern Cross Health Society Chairman Greg Gent.

The not-for-profit Friendly Society recorded a deficit of $13.3 million, which, says Mr Gent, reflects the business’ focus on returning maximum value to its members.

“We only ever aim to make a modest surplus,” he explains. “This deficit represents 1.3% of premium income this year so in that context it’s something we’re comfortable with.”

The business retained its A+ financial rating for the 16th year in a row.

The Health Society now has more than 867,000 members. “The scale of our membership adds to our strength,” says Chief Executive Nick Astwick. “It generates a strong pool of premiums to fund the 3.4 million claims we pay each year.”

Mr Gent acknowledged Nick Astwick’s first full year as CEO. “I’d like to thank Nick for the way he is forging ahead with the changes we need to make in order to remain relevant to our members and deliver to them the best value possible,” he said.


View a video summary of the Annual Report.

See the Southern Cross Health Society Annual Report Summary by visiting: Annual Reports

Snapshot figures – FY18

For every dollar received in premiums, Southern Cross Health Society returned 92 cents in claims

  • 867,593 members – up 14,433 from last year
  • $987.8 million premium income (up 7% on the previous year)
  • $906.6 million total claims (up 9% on the previous)
  • A deficit of $13.3 million
  • 62% of the health insurance market but pay 74% of claims*
  • Investments generated $19.3 million of income, with total investments at $481.6 million by the end of the year
  • Standard and Poor’s A+ financial strength rating

In the year ended 30 June 2018, the Society paid 3.4 million claims, including:

  • 234,679 surgical procedures
  • 489,872 specialist consultations
  • 699,005 prescriptions
  • 735,152 GP visits

* Based on Health Funds Association of New Zealand data



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