Health Shield – the award-winning health cash plan provider – has strengthened its position in the UK health cash plan market, delivering strong organic growth for the fourth year running, confirmed in the latest market research from Laing & Buisson.
The Health Cover UK Market Report 2013 has revealed that the non-profit making Friendly Society is the fourth largest health cash plan provider, with 5.5 per cent of the market. It shows that Health Shield’s overall turnover increased by £1 million to £27 million in 2012 – strengthening its position.
According to the report, the number of health cash plans funded by companies rose strongly in 2012 by 15.4 per cent, with businesses spending £58 million on group schemes. This follows similar strong growth in 2011 (up 13.5 per cent) and 2010 (up 11.2 per cent) – more than doubling in the past six years, growing by an estimated 153 per cent between 2007 and 2012.
This compares to demand for individual health cash plans, which remained largely static, increasing by 0.1 per cent to reach a total of 2,601,000 contributors at the end of 2012. It follows consecutive annual falls in the preceding four years.
Philip Wood, executive director – sales and marketing for Health Shield, said: “The continued improvement in demand and strong scope for growth of company-paid health cash plans aligns with our marketing strategy working in the corporate sector through intermediaries.
“A key strength of health cash plans is their affordability and flexibility. As such, we believe they will continue to have wide appeal to those individuals and companies looking to cover the cost of everyday healthcare.
He continued: “In line with our five-year mission and vision, we remain on course to reach our aim of improving the health and wellbeing of as many people as possible, by developing existing products and embracing new opportunities.”
The Health Cover UK Market Report is published annually by Laing & Buisson – the provider of information and market intelligence on the independent health, community care and childcare sectors.
It stated that key factors driving very strong growth in company-paid subscribers included the widening appeal of cash plan benefits as workplace health solutions for employers coupled with the strong flexibility of cash plan cover, and increased interest in company-paid business by intermediaries.
The report follows another successful year for Health Shield. The 2012 annual results revealed that the organisation increased overall active membership by a further eight per cent. It now provides cover to in excess of 150,000 members plus their families.