AM Best pulls Accuro ratings following portfolio transfer

Transaction completed in May

AM Best pulls Accuro ratings following portfolio transfer

Life & Health

By Roxanne Libatique

Global credit rating agency AM Best has withdrawn its Financial Strength Rating of B (Fair) and Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “bb” (Fair) for Accuro Health Insurance Society Limited (Accuro).

This action follows Accuro’s exit from the insurance business. The ratings were under review with developing implications at the time of withdrawal.

Accuro transfers health insurance portfolio to UniMed

On May 31, Accuro transferred its health insurance portfolio to Union Medical Benefits Society Limited (UniMed).

Following this transaction, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) cancelled Accuro’s insurance license, ceasing its operations as an insurer.

AM Best’s standard practice involves issuing a final rating opinion alongside a rating withdrawal. However, since Accuro’s balance sheet now lacks insurance assets or liabilities, the agency could not issue a final rating opinion.

UniMed becomes New Zealand’s third-largest health insurer

With the Accuro deal, UniMed has risen to become New Zealand’s third-largest health insurer, now holding a 10% market share and serving over 140,000 members.

Commenting on the transfer, UniMed chair Peter Tynan highlighted the importance of private health insurance in New Zealand’s healthcare landscape.

“As New Zealand’s population ages, costs and the demand for health services will continue to grow. The solution is for the public and private sectors to work together in a complementary manner to meet increasing needs,” he said.

Implications of Accuro and UniMed agreement

Tynan said the integration of Accuro’s portfolio allows UniMed to enhance its service offerings to businesses and individuals nationwide.

“Bringing the Accuro and UniMed portfolios together means we can better meet member expectations and leverage our greater scale to address rising health care costs,” he said. “All our members – regardless of the health plan they hold – will enjoy uninterrupted cover and benefits, as they have done all the way through the transfer process.”

RBNZ approves transfer of Accuro to UniMed

In April, the RBNZ approved the transfer of Accuro’s health insurance portfolio to UniMed.

Accuro chair Marion Guy assured members that their health policies and benefits would remain unchanged post-merger.

“It is important for the transferring Accuro members to know they will continue to have the same policies and healthcare benefits as they do now,” she said.

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