Medibank (ASX:MPL) share price shrugs off further questions over profit paybacks

The health insurer’s shares hit a 52-week high today…

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The Medibank Private Ltd (ASX: MPL) share price hit a 52-week high today. This comes despite calls for the government to provide greater oversight of how health funds return COVID-19 savings to members.

At the time of writing, Medibank shares are up 0.42% from yesterday’s close, currently swapping hands at $3.56.

Let’s take a look at what may be impacting the health insurer’s shares today.

What’s happening at Medibank?

In early trading today, the Medibank share price surged to $3.74, a 52-week high, before retreating to its current level.

Investors appear to be unphased by calls for more government oversight on health insurance payouts to members. The pandemic fuelled a rise in net profits in the private health insurance sector of $1.8 billion last year.

In late December, Medibank returned $135 million in COVID-19 net claims savings to customers by holding off its premium increase for five months.

However, The Australian reported Private Hospitals Association chief executive Michael Roff questioned the transparency of how funds returned COVID-­related savings. He commented:

There needs to be some formal government monitoring of health fund balance sheets to determine how much money they’re collecting that they thought they’d pay out – and how do we actually ensure that that gets back to members.

To date, there’s been no process and it’s been less than transparent.

The Medibank share price gained 11% throughout the course of 2021, despite the uncertainty caused by the pandemic.

As my Foolish colleague Aaron reported yesterday, the company recently released its calendar for the 2022 financial year.

Medibank is expected to reveal its half-year results for FY22 on 25 February.

Share price snap shot

The Medibank share price has gained almost 20% in the past year.

Shares in Medibank are up around 6% in the past week, while they are up more than 5% in the past month.

The company has a market capitalisation of about $9.8 billion based on the current share price.

The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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