Member news: Benenden agrees new contractual relationship with Bupa

Thursday, 15 October 2015

ICMIF member Benenden, the UK health and wellbeing provider, has entered into a contractual relationship with Bupa, in a deal worth more than GBP 200m over the next five years.

Bupa will now administer the Benenden Personal Healthcare product on behalf of Benenden and arrange local diagnostic and treatment services for covered members.

Bupa will also become the plan provider for the Benenden Health Cash Plan products.

Overall, Benenden Personal Healthcare provides approximately GBP 65m per year in member benefits which includes payments across all services available as part of its healthcare product. The significant proportion of these services - the provision of diagnosis and treatment services - will be administered by Bupa under this deal.

Marc Bell, Chief Executive, at Benenden, said: “This relationship we’re announcing today is significant in the healthcare sector, with two of its leading players coming together. It enables us to further improve the overall service offering to our own 900,000 members.”

Diagnostic services are one of Benenden Personal Healthcare’s most requested services, where members of the not-for-profit healthcare provider can request up to GBP 1,500 to secure a prompt diagnosis for a wide range of medical conditions. Over 53,000 members requested this particular Benenden service alone in 2014, with more than GBP 22 million of benefits paid out.

Marc Bell continued: “As a mutual organization, our primary aim is always to use member funds wisely and to best benefit. Through the arrangement we now have with Bupa, Benenden is improving its value for money offering and we are able to provide our members with a greatly extended network of UK hospitals through which, they will have improved access to services closer to where they live.”

The new provider relationship offers an easier and more streamlined service to Benenden members by removing the need for them to pay upfront for diagnostic services before seeking reimbursement. Payment for the service will be between Bupa and providers.

Improved provision of treatment services for members will also be introduced from late October – Benenden members requiring treatment will continue to be directed to Benenden-approved hospitals but will do so via Bupa. This will offer members increased flexibility and wider choice, helping to improve access to surgical services.

Marc Bell added: “Because Benenden is an organization that is looking to play a greater role in the future of UK healthcare, it’s important that we look to develop relationships with other leading healthcare organizations such as Bupa. Like Benenden, Bupa has no shareholders and invests any surpluses to provide more and better healthcare services and this makes them a good fit with our own ethos as a mutual, not-for-profit organization.”

The relationship also sees the transfer of the Benenden Health Cash Plan, which provides additional cover for such things as dental and optical treatments, to Bupa. All existing cash plan products, customers and claims were transferred to Bupa in July 2015.

Simon Chrisp, General Manager, Sales and Marketing, Bupa UK, said: “The strategic relationship for the provision of local diagnostic and treatment services represents a great opportunity for both ourselves and Benenden. By administering the Benenden Personal Healthcare product, Bupa is able to give Benenden members access to the high quality healthcare they’re already used to, without them having to worry about paying for treatment out of their own pocket.”