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One-off reward scheme

16 September 2004

One-off reward scheme for long standing Southern Cross members

Southern Cross Chairman, Dr John Matthews announced today that tens of thousands of mainly older Southern Cross members are likely to receive lower health insurance premiums over the next two years.

This follows a decision by the health insurer to provide a one-off reward to around 120,000 “Founding Members” who have had continuous membership of Southern Cross since before 1983.

The discount will have effect for two years and will be rolled out to qualifying members progressively from mid 2005. Southern Cross Group Chief Executive Ian McPherson says it has been put in place to acknowledge the role of Founding Members in establishing the not-for-profit health insurer.

“The Board of Directors has chosen to recognise Southern Cross’s founding members who were its backbone in the formative years in the 1960s, 70s and early 80s. It was the commitment of those members that established the enduring foundation for Southern Cross.”

“Many of these Founding Members are now elderly, and they’ve seen health care costs rising rapidly in recent years, so it’s very satisfying that Southern Cross is in a financial position that enables us to deliver a reduction in premium in this way for some of our mature members.”

The reward will be 15% off current premiums for two years for those who have had continuous membership with Southern Cross since before 1974, 10% for those with continuous membership since between 1975 and 1978 and 5% for those with continuous membership since between 1979 and 1982.

Dr McPherson says the Founding Member reward is one outcome of the Actuarial Working Group, and other work, that followed a remit at last year’s Southern Cross AGM, proposed by the Southern Cross Members Society Inc. “This work highlighted to the Board the valuable contributions made by long-standing members.”

Members’ Society spokesman, Keith Robinson, says the reward is a positive outcome from the initiative the group took last year. “The Members’ Society had advocated recognition of ongoing loyalty but we accept that this is impractical. We’re very pleased, however, that in the course of discussions the Board has come to recognise the tremendous contribution long-standing members made in the early years of Southern Cross.”

Dr McPherson says the Founding Member reward will be introduced at about the same time as Southern Cross introduces a reward for low claiming members, from mid 2005.

ENDS

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