AUSTRALIA’s biggest insurer is calling on the Government to deliver $500 million to pay off Optima’s debt and help fund the project.
Optima, which is the biggest insurer in the country, said it was calling on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to guarantee it a payment for the remainder of its life as well as the $250 million it is owed by the federal government.
Optimas debt was at $1.3 billion when it was last assessed by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission in November 2015.
The insurer’s shares fell 1.3 per cent to $13.94 on Thursday after the company reported it had secured $4.3 million in loan guarantees from the federal Government and Queensland Government.
Optimates financial report was released on Thursday, revealing the Government had secured a loan guarantee of $4 million from the State Government and the Queensland Government to cover Optima losses in the next 12 months.
Optimo’s financial situation was highlighted in its latest financial report, released earlier this month, as it disclosed Optima had a $500,000 credit line in place and a $4,000 loan guarantee.
The company said it had a total debt of $2.5 billion at the end of March, which was down from $3.5 million at the beginning of the year.
Optimum said it has a loan of $1 billion, with $2 million being in the form of a loan and $1 million in cash.
“Optimums debt was assessed as being in default by the ASCIC in November and it is due to pay $250,000 to Optima in March 2019,” Optimo said in a statement.
“The company expects the $1,000 payment to be received in March 2020.
Optima intends to pay its $250m debt to Optimums creditors as soon as possible.”
Optimism at the company was low when it announced it had been awarded a $3 billion contract from the Federal Government in January, with the government providing $300 million in loans and guarantees.
In a statement, the Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison said the Government was providing Optima with the funding it needed to make the project a reality.
“It is great to see the Government providing this significant funding to Optimum to fund its operations and ensure the viability of the project,” he said.
“This is great news for Optimas employees and for the wider community.”
As a result, Optima will be able to continue to provide high-quality and affordable healthcare to the community at large.
“Optima said it also received an additional $1 for every $1 of funding received by Optimism.