Health Insurance in Australia Industry Market Research Report Now Updated by IBISWorld

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While an ageing Australian population drives membership numbers, it also increases the amount of health insurance claims, affecting industry profitability. For this reason, industry research firm IBISWorld has updated its report on the Health Insurance industry in Australia.

IBISWorld Market Research

IBISWorld Market Research

Regulation changes have led to constrained membership numbers, slowing revenue growth.

The Health Insurance industry is an integral part of the Australian health system, providing coverage to almost 47.0% of the population. Health insurers generate revenue from the sale of health insurance policies (premium income) and the investment of premium reserves (investment income). Premium income generally accounts for more than 95.0% of revenue, though this changes from year to year. Industry revenue is forecast to grow by 3.8% over 2013-14, to reach $19.7 billion, on the back of strong growth in premium income. Over the five years through 2013-14, industry revenue is expected to grow at an annualised 6.5%.

IBISWorld Industry analyst Sebastian Chia states “the gain in premium income will be propelled by higher private health insurance prices and membership.” This has led to premium income growth of an estimated annualised 7.8% over the past five years to $19.1 billion. Investment income is also contributing to the solid performance, as local markets post strong increases despite global economic uncertainty. Healthy revenue growth will translate into a stronger bottom line for the industry. Health insurers' largest expense, benefit payments, is expected to grow as a proportion of income, as benefit costs and utilisation increase and the membership profile ages. Premium prices are expected to be announced yearly to counterbalance these increases, and the recent trend has been a constant increase of above 5.0% per annum. According to Chia, “the industry will work to limit the effect of these rising costs by minimising growth in management expenses through investment in online service platforms and other labour-saving technologies.”

IBISWorld classifies the Health Insurance industry as having a high level of market share concentration. In 2009-10, the revenue share of the top four companies reached 69.4% as BUPA acquired MBF and Medibank purchased Australian Health Management. In the past five years, smaller major players NIB, HCF and HBF have managed to gain some ground on the much larger BUPA and Medibank, while the total market share between the five major players has not changed a great deal. Consolidation is expected to occur over the next five years due to the pressures the industry faces relating to competitiveness and profitability, partly brought on by the increase in the Medicare Levy Surcharge threshold and changes in the PHI Rebate. It is expected that some of the industry's larger players will acquire struggling smaller players, resulting in a decline in the number of industry enterprises. The industry’s major players are BUPA Asia Pacific, Medibank Private, Hospitals Contribution Fund, HBF Health and NIB Holdings. For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Health Insurance report in Australia industry page.

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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

This industry includes businesses that primarily underwrite insurance policies relating to health and medical risks. Underwriting insurance policies involves assuming risks and assigning premiums. The type of insurance cover provided by businesses operating in this industry is for hospital, medical, dental, pharmaceutical and funeral expenses or costs. Businesses within this industry generate revenue not only through insurance underwriting but also by investing premiums.

Industry Performance
Executive Summary
Key External Drivers
Current Performance
Industry Outlook
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Supply Chain
Products & Services
Major Markets
International Trade
Business Locations
Competitive Landscape
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Basis of Competition
Barriers to Entry
Industry Globalisation
Major Companies
Operating Conditions
Capital Intensity
Technology & Systems
Revenue Volatility
Regulation & Policy
Industry Assistance
Key Statistics
Industry Data
Annual Change
Key Ratios

About IBISWorld Inc.
Recognised as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on every Australian industry. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in Melbourne, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organisations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit or call (03) 9655 3886.

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Gavin Smith
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