UniMed set to become NZ's third-largest health insurer with portfolio acquisition

Insurance leaders outline agreement benefits

UniMed set to become NZ's third-largest health insurer with portfolio acquisition

Life & Health

By Roxanne Libatique

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) has approved the transfer of Accuro Health Insurance Society Ltd's insurance portfolio to Union Medical Benefits Society Ltd (UniMed).

This decision finalises the regulatory requirements necessary for the merger of these two member-owned societies. As a result of the acquisition, UniMed is poised to become the third-largest health insurer in New Zealand.

What to expect from the Accuro and UniMed agreement

Under the terms of the merger, UniMed will continue to operate both its own brand and that of Accuro, serving a total of 140,000 members, which represents about 10% of the market. The organisation, with a workforce of 100, will keep its offices in Wellington and Christchurch, ensuring service continuity.

Peter Tynan, chair of UniMed, said that the increased scale from the merger will enable the organisation to streamline operations, innovate in product and service offerings, and address the challenges of rising health service costs and a changing regulatory landscape.

“The additional scale will ensure UniMed is in the best possible position to create efficiencies, develop new services and products, and meet the challenges of increasing member expectations all at a time when the cost of health services is rising, and the regulatory environment continues to evolve,” he said.

Accuro chair Marion Guy assured the organisation's members that their existing health policies and benefits would remain intact 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.

This acquisition is consistent with UniMed's history of integrating operations smoothly, having completed at least five similar mergers since its establishment in 1979, ensuring continuity of member services throughout.

The merger proposal was approved by Accuro's membership in late 2023, adhering to the society's regulations and the requirements of the Industrial and Provident Societies Act.

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