The VHI Group says it achieved strong growth in demand for its private medical insurance offering in 2022, with 23,400 additional health insurance customers, bringing total membership to 1,177,600 at year end.
Gross earned premium for private health insurance in 2022 was €1.6 billion up from €1.589 billion in 2021 driven by this increase in members.
Total claims paid in 2022 amounted to €1.425 billion, representing an increase of 10% on 2021.The cost of meeting customers’ healthcare needs increased in the second half of the year as demand for healthcare services returned to pre-pandemic levels. There was also an increase in the costs associated with the delivery of healthcare due to increases in wage, energy and other costs, including infection control.
VHI achieved a net surplus of €34.3 million from consolidated business activities. This was lower than the previous year, when a net surplus of €65.3 million was achieved. It said this variance was due to the increase in claims volumes and costs, the reduction in market values of VHI’s investment portfolio, and increased operating costs as VHI investED in healthcare and technology.
Income from VHI’s other insurance products and services, including Vhi MultiTrip, Vhi Dental, Vhi International and Vhi Life grew substantially, amounting to €37.8 million, an increase on the €26.2 million recorded in 2021. Ireland’s emergence from Covid-19 restrictions helped drive growth, with Vhi’s MultiTrip’s insurance offering, in particular, recording a steep recovery in demand and closing out the year with over 327,000 customers.
In line with the promise to customers that VHI would return value to customers if claims were lower than anticipated, a third premium waiver was made to customers in March 2022, reflecting reduced access to healthcare and services. In total, over the course of the global pandemic, VHI returned €450 million to customers.
There were over half a million healthcare interactions with VHI Health & Wellbeing services in 2022, up 39% on the previous year. VHI continued to grow their clinical team offering, launching Vhi Midwife Support Service, Women’s Health Clinic, Positive Minds Programme, 360 Health Coaching Programme, Sports, Exercise and Musculoskeletal Clinic and Developmental Paediatric Services. It also enhanced the digital Online Health Team and grew the telehealth offering, providing a nationwide proposition.
Activity across Vhi Urgent Care centres increased with over 130,000 interactions, up 32% on the previous year. In February 2022, Vhi launched its 5,000sqm flagship Vhi 360 Health Centre in Carrickmines, significantly increasing its clinical reach. A new Radiology service the Vhi 360 Health Centre includes x-ray, MRI, Dexa and ultrasound services and facilitated diagnostic treatment for 5,730 customers in the ten months it operated in 2022. Last year also saw the opening of Vhi 360 Screening Centre and Physiotherapy Clinics in Balally, Dundrum.
Commenting on the results, Brian Walsh, Vhi Group CEO said: “At Vhi, we are committed to helping our customers live longer, stronger, healthier lives and this will be achieved by investing in the development of a unique integrated healthcare model. Our financial strength underpins our ability to deliver on this and these results show that our business continues to perform well.
“Overall in 2022 there was an increase in claims volumes, a welcome development as it means our customers are now better able to access healthcare services to meet their needs on a timely basis, following the challenges of the previous two years. Vhi exists solely to meet the healthcare needs of our customers and all premium income received is dedicated to delivering and meeting the healthcare needs of our customers and patients.”
“Costs and affordability are a constant priority for Vhi. We believe it is essential that people in Ireland can continue to purchase affordable health cover irrespective of their age, health profile or previous claims history. We will play our part in making sure that this is a reality, continuing to support people in sickness and pivoting to support people in health maintenance and preventative healthcare. We remain focused on living up to our responsibility to ensure we have a sustainable business that plays its part in the achievement of a sustainable world.”