Into the future with great momentum
The Helsana Group achieved an excellent result of CHF 436 million in 2019, thanks to an outstanding investment performance and a solid underwriting result. The premium situation in basic insurance has also never been so rewarding, and the new Corporate Strategy 2020+ has been launched. As we move into the future, all of these factors have helped us build momentum.
The Helsana Group built significant momentum in 2019. We concluded the reporting year with an excellent result of CHF 436 million (2018: CHF 54 million). This is the product of outstanding investment performance and a solid underwriting result. The premium situation in the basic insurance business has also never been more rewarding, with the vast majority of our customers benefiting from premium reductions. Together with our outstanding service and valuable products, this meant that most of our existing customers remained loyal to us, and a large number of new customers have put their trust in us going forward. This yielded customer growth of 9.7 per cent in the basic insurance business as at 1 January 2020.
Historic premium situation
Our premium income saw another year-on-year boost, reaching CHF 6.7 billion in 2019 (2018: CHF 6.5 billion).
For the first time since the Swiss Federal Law on Health Insurance was introduced, a significant majority of Helsana customers will benefit from lower premiums in the basic insurance business in 2020. This is because costs in the Swiss healthcare system have seen only a slight increase recently, and inflation in net benefit per capita has been well below the long-term average. In 2019, overall inflation on our benefit costs amounted to –1.1 per cent.
The new hospital financing regime and the Federal Councilʼs second TARMED intervention also played a role. This is only part of the story, however. Improved risk compensation, robust customer growth and our strong commitment to the healthcare system – such as through effective benefit cost management, and our unrelenting efforts to combat fraud – all drove our success and helped the Helsana Group to outperform the market.
“It fills me with pleasure and pride that our new Corporate Strategy 2020+ was developed with the enthusiasm and passion of our employees.”
Chairman of the Board of Directors,
Prof. Thomas D. Szucs
in premium income
Solid underwriting result
The Helsana Group posted a solid underwriting result of CHF 97 million in 2019 (2018: CHF 175 million). The combined ratio stood at 98.6 per cent (2018: 97.3 per cent).
The combined ratio in the basic insurance business rose slightly from 97.1 per cent to 98.1 per cent year on year. In the supplementary insurance business, we closed the year by covering costs – the combined ratio for the year was 99.8 per cent (2018: 98.3 per cent).
In the accident insurance business, the combined ratio rose to 98.2 per cent (2018: 92.3 per cent). Half of this increase can be assigned to the refinement of the management costs allocation.
“People reward our commitment by placing their faith in us. We will justify this trust and use our momentum to move into the Top 3 of our industry for customer recommendations”.
CEO, Daniel H. Schmutz
Outstanding investment result
International capital markets put in a remarkable performance in 2019 on the whole, benefiting the Helsana Group. Following a slight fall of –2.64 per cent in the previous year, the overall performance of our investment portfolio in 2019 was +9.04 per cent. Our investment specialists once again demonstrated their expertise – their impressive performance beat the 2019 benchmark by 0.84 percentage points. Our success on the capital markets therefore contributed substantially to an excellent overall result.
Acting as advisor and coordinator, and influencing the Swiss health care system
As usual, the Helsana Group clearly exceeds the legal requirements in respect of its companiesʼ solvency. Our equity again increased substantially, to CHF 2.755 billion at the end of 2019 (2018: CHF 2.321 billion).
As at 2019, we had already recorded net growth of around 66,000 insured persons. This was a success that we once again succeeded in significantly exceeding as at 2020 with over 120,000 people who will in future now place their trust in us. This is thanks to our impressive benefits, impeccable customer service, enhanced cost management and, in particular, the significantly improved premium situation.
Having brought our new Corporate Strategy 2020+ to life, we will use it to pursue various areas of focus. These include assuming even greater responsibility for, and actively influencing, the Swiss healthcare system. And we will provide even stronger support to our customers as an advisor and coordinator no matter what their situation.
Our commitment is receiving a warm welcome and bearing ever greater fruit. In 2019, we came within touching distance of achieving our strategic objective of entering the industry top 3 in terms of customer recommendations (according to the Net Promoter Score, NPS). We are only a few points away. Key to our most recent progress is that people are aware of our commitment, and reward it by trusting in our strength and reliability. Our innovations were also central to success last year, adding value to our customersʼ day-to-day lives. Almost 200,000 users had registered for three apps – “Helsana+”, “Helsana Coach” and “Helsana Trail” – by the end of the year.
Improving health care transparency
We are committed to a healthcare system that is sustainable, of a high quality, competitive, and therefore efficient and customer-friendly. On the basis of this conviction, we will make every effort to help enhance transparency in terms of both cost-effectiveness and treatment quality and that, in turn, will lead to stable premiums. Our timely and proactive contributions to the legal and regulatory framework help to prevent over-regulation and mis-regulation, thus reinforcing our position as a competent actor and partner.
We continued to use various measures to share valuable knowledge in 2019, and to engage with health policy. For example, we released three editions of our “Point of View” magazine covering health policy. We also published the “Helsana Volume Report” in September and our annual “Drug Report” in November. Together with other communications, they were very well received in the media and politics, and our content reached an extremely wide audience.