Health insurance company Vhi has reported higher revenues for 2021 as its membership grew for the seventh year in a row.

Vhi said its after tax results to the end of December showed a net surplus of €65.3m from consolidated business activities, up from €52.7m the previous year.

Its gross earned premium for private health insurance for the year came in at €1.589 billion, up from €1.506 billion in 2020.

Private Health Insurance membership also grew during the year hitting a total of 1,154,100 compared to 1,131,900 in 2020.

Vhi said that total claims paid in 2021 amounted to €1.295 billion, an increase of 13% on the €1.147 billion paid in 2020.

Declan Moran, Vhi Group CEO, said the Covid-19 pandemic continued to impact the healthcare environment during the year and restricted access to many healthcare facilities and services across the country.

"Despite this impact on access, demand for Vhi private health insurance remained strong, supported by innovative health and wellbeing benefits including new and enhanced digital benefits and mental health supports," Mr Moran said.

He noted that wellness programmes were received really well with strong participation from corporate employees.

The CEO of Vhi also said that as demand for, and utilisation of, digital technologies continues to grow, including online GP consultations and mindfulness and meditation apps, it has continued to adapt its technologies to improve the online experience for our customers.

"We delivered over 46,000 GP online consultations and 90% of our customers are using "Snap and Send" to submit their primary care claims through the Vhi App," he added,

Last week, Vhhi said it would reduce the cost of its premiums and announced another waiver of premiums due to the continued reduction in customer claims in 2021 as a result of Covid.

This is the third time that Vhi has returned money to customers since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic after access to healthcare services were limited over its duration and the knock on effect this had on claims.

The premium waiver will vary according to the health insurance plan that a customer has in place.

But it will range from a minimum of €75 per adult and €25 per child for those on public hospital only plans up to a maximum of €300 per adult and €100 per child for those on the plans with the highest level of cover.