IC: Bigger payouts pushed by COVID claims slash 2021 HMO profits
MANILA, Philippines—As health maintenance organizations (HMOs) paid more benefits to clients amid the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, the industry’s bottom line shrank by over a fourth to P5.1 billion in 2021, the Insurance Commission (IC) said on Friday (March 25).
In a statement, Insurance Commissioner Dennis Funa said the amount of benefits and claims disbursed by HMOs last year climbed by 25.1 percent to P32.7 billion from P26.2 billion in 2020.
The IC earlier reported that last year’s HMO claim payouts related to COVID-19 jumped to P4.5 billion from P1.9 billion in 2020 at the onset of the pandemic.
As such, the HMO sector’s total expenses rose 6.6 percent to P48.1 billion in 2021 from P45.2 billion in 2020, Funa said.
Revenues, meanwhile, inched up by 1.9 percent to P53.3 billion last year from P52.3 billion in 2020. Funa attributed the slightly higher industrywide revenue last year to the 2.1-percent growth in membership fees to P51.6 billion from 2020’s P50.6 billion.
While HMO firms eked out a P5.1-billion net income in 2021, their combined profit last year fell 27.6 percent from P7.1 billion in 2020.
Funa had said that the bigger claims paid out by HMOs and the insurance industry as a whole reflected “sustained resilience against the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
IC data showed that the HMO sector grew its total assets by 4.2 percent to P61.7 billion in 2021 from P59.3 billion in 2020, even as invested assets declined 3.3 percent to P28.2 billion from 2020’s P29.2 billion.
Total equity rose 4.2 percent to P14.3 billion, while their liabilities also increased by 4.1 percent to P47.4 billion, Funa said.
These latest IC figures on HMO companies’ performance came from unaudited, interim financial statements submitted by 30 players to the regulator.
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