Medibank loses few customers from virus

Health insurer Medibank Private says a slightly more than 1 per cent of customers have suspended policies as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it expects them to return.

Medibank provided the figure in a trading update amid a slumping economy and widespread job losses from the restrictions on movement aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus.

Many customers have deserted private health insurance providers in recent years due to what they claim are excessive costs.

Only 44.1 per cent of Australians have hospital cover, the lowest level since 2007, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority says.

Medibank shares were worth $2.66 before trading on Wednesday.

They have lost 15.82 per cent in value since January 1, amid a wider market downturn.

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