The Helsana Group reports total losses of CHF 524 million for 2022. In the underwriting result, medication and considerable catch-up effects following the pandemic had an impact on basic insurance benefit costs. The negative performance of the financial markets is reflected in capital investments. Nevertheless, the equity base remains solid and solvency requirements are exceeded. In addition, it was possible to reduce the operating cost ratio substantially, curbing future premium growth.
2022 was an extremely challenging year, one shaped by war, an energy crisis, high inflation and losses on the financial markets. The Helsana Group also felt the effects of all this, with a negative investment performance of -10.8 percent for the year under review. In spite of this, the equity base remains outstandingly solid: equity of CHF 2.7 billion has been recorded for the reporting year and legal solvency requirements are still exceeded by a wide margin. Thanks to this strong financial footing, Helsana continues to hold a sustainably healthy position, even in exceptional years.
As regards the Federal Health Insurance Act (KVG), it has now become clear that basic insurance premiums that fail to cover costs result in unnecessary premium increases. These costs must be covered – there is no way around that. Helsana therefore demands that this principle be observed in every premium approval.
Back in 2021, Swiss health insurers were urged to reduce reserves for 2022 and calculate basic insurance premiums too low. In the same year, however, inflation was higher than in recent years, at around 3.5 percent. This was due to strong catch-up effects in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and ongoing increases in the cost of medication. In turn, these factors led to higher basic insurance benefit costs for Helsana compared to previous years. These effects were able to be absorbed thanks to the fluctuation reserves provided for this, generating a basic insurance underwriting result of CHF -369 million.
Our value proposition is critical
It is not the amount of the premium that counts if you fall ill, but whether the insurer can keep its promises. Our customer Ralph Knoepfel tells a powerful story about this. To save on premiums, he took his basic insurance with Helsana elsewhere. When he became ill, he found that access to vital services was difficult or even denied. He returned to Helsana – a solid and reliable healthcare partner.
People value Helsana’s proximity to customers, its accessibility and its products; they trust our dependability and service promise. That we are there for them when it counts. That is why 1.42 million customers remain loyal to us in 2023 for their basic insurance.
Expanding our services in the innovative healthcare network
At the beginning of 2022, we founded the Compassana healthcare network together with Medbase, Hirslanden, Groupe Mutuel and SWICA. We want to expand our services and actively shape the healthcare sector. At the heart of Compassana is a digital portal for the simple coordination of outpatient, inpatient and digital healthcare services. Customers can use it to organize their own healthcare around the clock. It empowers them to take responsibility for their own care by giving them access to personal health and treatment information.
A sustainably healthy equity base
Although investment performance in 2022 was an unsatisfactory -10.8 percent, the Helsana Group retains a sound equity base of CHF 2.7 billion, making it financially strong and sustainably healthy. All its companies exceed the statutory solvency requirements. Helsana will remain a reliable health partner for its policyholders: the value proposition can be fulfilled at all times and Helsana is well prepared for future extraordinary events.
A welcome result in supplementary insurance
The Helsana Group recorded premium income totalling CHF 7.6 billion in 2022, with a combined ratio of 100.7 percent.
The supplementary insurance business for individual customers remained pleasingly profitable in the reporting year. In the corporate division, profitability was restored after many years of efforts in this direction, thereby enabling the break-even point to be reached.
The combined ratio in the KVG area increased by 2.9 percentage points to 106.6 percent. The associated underwriting loss is due to higher than expected increases in benefit costs.
A disciplined approach to costs enabled operating expenses to be reduced once again, as in the previous year, reaching a figure of 8.1 percent for the reporting year. This corresponds to a substantial reduction of 1.2 percentage points, which will curb future premium growth and thereby benefit Helsana customers.
As of 1 January 2023, Helsana can count on the trust of 2.2 million customers. This is 84,000 fewer customers in mandatory health insurance (OKP) than in the previous year. Our cumulative net new customer growth in OKP has been 1.42 million over the past few years, however. This puts us undisputedly among the leading Swiss health insurers.