Simplyhealth to invest in healthcare delivery as customers look outside the NHS for a range of non-critical services
Simplyhealth announced today, 13 May 2015, that it has agreed the sale of its private medical insurance (PMI) business and Simplyhealth Administration Services Limited (SASL), which administers its self funded business, (“PMI business”) to AXA PPP healthcare, subject to approval by the appropriate authorities.
The sale of the PMI business follows a strategic review of the Group’s activities led by Chief Executive Romana Abdin. The review has been informed by a detailed 18-month analysis of the marketplace for healthcare services, including a major customer insight project involving interviews with over 5,000 people and 250 companies.
Romana Abdin, Chief Executive, Simplyhealth said: “This is a pivotal moment in our long history. We are going to focus on everyday healthcare, where we see numerous growth opportunities in services to address the everyday things that stop our customers from making the most of life.
“Problems like back pain, toothache, eyesight difficulty, mobility and independence. This is where demand is rising inexorably. The sale of our PMI business will provide us with funds to accelerate this strategy.”
Following the sale of the PMI business, the Group will continue to provide health funding solutions through its market leading cash plan and Denplan offerings. Simplyhealth intends to grow its cash plan, dental and vet businesses, while at the same time investing in new areas of everyday health.
In recent weeks the Group has acquired Care & Mobility Limited, a mobility retail specialist in the West Midlands, adding to its independent living business and expanding its retail footprint. It has also launched a new partnership model for private dentistry, another area where customer demand is increasing.
Abdin continued: “Our customers know they are going to live longer and they want to make the most of life for as long as possible. They tell us they want access to a range of everyday healthcare services, they know the NHS won’t provide them all in future and they are prepared to pay for them. They want to be more informed and involved in their own healthcare and we will help them.
Simplyhealth is currently the UK’s 5th biggest provider of private medical insurance, which it offers to customers through private policies and corporate membership plans. The Group is also a significant provider of policies to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and is a leading provider in the administration of ‘self funded’ corporate health schemes, which allow large companies to create their own bespoke health plans for employees.
In assessing the future of its PMI business, Simplyhealth has considered carefully the prospects of a business where scale is becoming increasingly important. The Simplyhealth PMI business is a relatively small player in the market and management has concluded that its sale to AXA PPP is in the best interests of all stakeholders. AXA PPP is one of the leading PMI businesses in the UK, with a reputation for high levels of customer service and a long-term commitment to the PMI market as part of the AXA Group.
Keith Gibbs, Chief Executive of AXA PPP healthcare said: “With its well balanced, stable book of business, Simplyhealth’s PMI business will be an excellent addition to AXA PPP healthcare, and this agreement has presented a rare opportunity to acquire a complementary business in the UK. Both companies share a commitment to offering outstanding customer service, supporting their local communities and being an employer of choice.
We look forward to working with Simplyhealth and its intermediary partners to ensure a smooth transition, providing excellent service and continuing cover for all individual and business customers.
Under the terms of the agreement, nearly all of Simplyhealth’s 390 Bristol employees will transfer to AXA PPP under TUPE, in addition to a small number of employees based at other Simplyhealth locations in the UK. The PMI business will continue to operate from Simplyhealth’s Bristol premises, which AXA PPP is acquiring as part of the transaction. The financial terms of the transaction, which is subject to approval from the appropriate authorities, are not disclosed.