Society posts $10.7m surplus on strong performance

Monday , 16 September 2019 by Susannah Walker

Southern Cross Health Society has today released its annual financial results, posting a surplus of $10.7 million for the year ended 30 June 2019.

New Zealand’s largest health insurer, Southern Cross Health Society paid out $963.7 million in claims, up six per cent on the previous year. At 73 per cent of all private health insurance claims, the business paid out significantly more than its 62 per cent market share.

Nick AstwickIn the last financial year, the Health Society received $1,080.4 million in premiums. For each of those dollars it returned 89 cents in claims to members. This compares to an average of 67 cents in the dollar among the remaining New Zealand health insurers, with some returning as little as 60 cents in the dollar.

Southern Cross is a not-for-profit Friendly Society which aims to make a modest annual surplus to deliver maximum value for its members.

Southern Cross Health Society Chairman Greg Gent says the surplus is the result of carefully balancing income from premiums with outgoing claims.

“The Society continues to deliver excellent value for members with an outstanding claims ratio compared with other health insurers. We’re always conscious of the fine balance between offering maximum value for money to our members and ensuring the affordability of premiums.”

Chief Executive Nick Astwick says the results mean the Society can continue to look to the future with confidence.

“We’ve made some decisions over the past year that have delivered a sound result. We estimate our Affiliated Provider programme has saved an impressive $56 million and expect to see those savings continue. Digital adoption is also up significantly, with logins to My Southern Cross up 151 per cent.

“We’re now turning our minds to our goal of helping Kiwis live their healthiest lives; investing further in the business to deliver continued benefits and exceptional value for members in years to come."

Southern Cross Health Society now has more than 870,000 members. It retained its Standard and Poor’s A+ financial strength rating for the 17th consecutive year.


Snapshot figures – FY19

  • For every dollar received in premiums, Southern Cross Health Society returned 89 cents in claims
  • 871,065 members – up 3,472 from last year
  • $1,080.4 million premium income (up 9% on the previous year)
  • $963.7 million total claims (up 6%)
  • A surplus of $10.7 million
  • 62% of the health insurance market but pay 73% of claims*
  • Investments generated $22.1 million of income, with total investments at $492.5 million by the end of the year
  • Standard and Poor’s A+ financial strength rating.

In the year ended 30 June 2019, the Society paid 3.2 million claims, including:

  • 251,426 surgical procedures
  • 499,263 specialist consultations
  • 659,377 prescriptions
  • 728,281 GP visits.

* Based on Health Funds Association of New Zealand data

For further information: Visit our Annual Reports page for the Annual Report Summary, Consolidated Financial Statements and a Video Summary.