Where does a health insurance company invest

Stock exchange transactions of the health insurances - health insurances invest premium money - also with risk

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Why is? Health insurance companies not only collect billions in premiums every year. They are also millions and billions of dollars in investors. The ten major coffers have assets of almost CHF 28 billion. And the income from it adds up to several hundred million francs per year.

How much do the returns fluctuate? There are greater differences between the health insurers in terms of the returns achieved and the risk incurred, as a study by investment consultancy Ppcmetrics from 2014 to 2016 shows. There are health insurers who earn more than others from a similar proportion of high-risk investments (e.g. stocks or alternatives).

Which health insurance companies invest well, which ones less? Health insurances that achieve a very high return with very little risk make ideal investments (graphic above left). Those who have invested less well can be found at the bottom right. The successful ones: In 2016 Aquilana achieved a return of around 4 percent with almost 25 percent risky investments. CSS and Helsana were equally good. The less successful: For example, ÖKK achieved a return of almost 2 percent, similar to KPT. But ÖKK holds significantly more risky investments, namely over 30 percent. The health insurance writes:
«ÖKK has defined an investment strategy that takes risk capacity into account. The risk is broadly diversified and continuously monitored. "

What does the premium payer get out of it? For some health insurance companies, the return on capital investments is also included in the structuring of the premiums. For example, CSS - market leader in basic insurance - has been able to calculate premiums 2.5 to 3 percent lower thanks to the investment income over the past fifteen years.

How risky do health insurance companies invest in general? Health insurers can take more risk than life insurers when making investment decisions, but they are less willing to take risks than pension funds, for example. Hansruedi Scherer from Ppcmetrics explains the caution as follows: “Health insurers have a very high reputation risk. A headline 'Health insurance companies have sunk billions' would be an absolute horror for the entire industry. "

Why do health insurance companies need a return?

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A reasonable return is essential for health insurers. Between 2012 and 2016, Swiss health insurance companies made a loss in their core business in four out of five years. Newer numbers are not available. According to the analysis of the business magazine “ECO”, health insurers were only able to write in the black for the majority of these years thanks to income on the capital market.

Health insurance companies manage billions of dollars

Surname
Assets 2017 (CHF billion)
Yield 2017 (%)
Yield 2016 (%)
Helsana
6,3
6,0
3,3
CSS
4,3
4,7
3,7
Visana
3,6
2,3**
2,1**
Sanitas
2,95
3,0
1,4
Groupe Mutuel
2,9
6,2
2,2
Swica
2,7
4,4
2,6
Concordia
2,4
4,1
2,5
Assura
1,1
1,3
1,4
KPT
1,2*
7
3
ÖKK
0,5
7,6
1,9

* as of the end of 2016

** ECO calculations (without confirmation from Visana)

Sources: Annual reports, company information

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  • Comment from Rolf Mauti (Astrom)
    The KVG has caused us insured persons a great deal of harm. The premiums have multiplied and they continue to rise. The BR approves the increases every year. The coffers also earn billions with shares and the premiums continue to rise. Lower health costs at the expense of the insured. No thanks. A federal KK should have been brought into being before the KVG. That would only have been fair.
    Agree agree to the comment
  • Comment from lukas Dieterle (lucky)
    It is a mockery that the coffers create a completely legitimate billions and then want to make believe that the insured would have cheaper premiums. It is more likely that the Mia assets were amassed through excessive premiums. In insurance German this is called fluctuation reserves ...
    Agree agree to the comment
  • Comment from Leo Nauber (leo999)
    Banks, stock market traders, fund administrators, etc. also earn a golden nose from this. Every investment is made, managed, traded, booked, notarized (real estate), etc. by "professionals" for an appropriate fee.
    I am happy that my KK has enough reserves to pay the bills. But investments and trading on this scale in addition, no, my hair stands on end and I ask myself, aren't there people who simply commit theft?
    Agree agree to the comment

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