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Southern Cross Health surplus jumps

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 14/09/2016 Edwin Mitson

Health insurer Southern Cross has increased its surplus sharply in the year ended June 30, as premium income rose much faster than claims from members.

The Auckland-based mutual posted a surplus of $35 million, up from $5.8m, with income from premiums rising to $871m from $818m, the third year in a row that premium income has risen by about 6 per cent.

In that time membership has remained steady, moving between around 810,000 and 820,000 members.

Government data shows health insurance premiums have risen by an average of 7.4 per cent on an annual basis over the past three years.

Some $749m was paid out in claims in the 2016 financial year, compared with $738m a year earlier,.

In their written report to members, chairman Greg Gent and chief executive Peter Tynan said the $35m surplus meant members, "can have confidence that we have enough money to pay future claims, even in adverse circumstances".

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