Member news: Benenden and Sygeforsikringen “danmark” discover shared values

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

How getting to know another ICMIF member changes the way you think about your organization’s future

ICMIF member Benenden is a mutual community, providing health and wellbeing services to around 900,000 people in the United Kingdom. Benenden provides health services, mainly diagnostics and treatment, in a way that is complementary to the British National Health Service - with which it shares similar values. 

Sygeforsikringen “danmark” is a Danish mutual health insurer (and ICMIF member) that offers partial coverage of the members’ ‘out of pocket’ payment for health care services that are not fully covered by the public tax-based health system. “danmark” has approximately 2,3 million members, corresponding to an impressive 40% of the Danish population.

Because the two mutuals operate in a similar context, working alongside their respective national health services, a Benenden delegation met with “danmark” CEO, Allan Luplau, and Christine Danielsen, Compliance Officer in Copenhagen.

Getting to know one of the most efficient insurance providers in Denmark

Lawrence Christensen, Group Marketing Director at Benenden describes the value of the visit: “We met with “danmark” to find out how this mutual positions itself in its own country, with a product that is not dissimilar to ours at Benenden, including how we complement the UK public health system, complementing the public health services in a slightly different way that what we do in the UK.

“What we discovered in Denmark completely surpassed our expectations. “danmark” as a mutual is both well established in the Danish landscape and provides a very good service to its members, with exceptionally low administration costs of just 4% of expenditure. Proof of this efficiency is the high satisfaction of “danmark” members with an 82% rate of satisfaction in 2014. At Benenden, we have learnt some very meaningful lessons through the study trip to fellow ICMIF member “danmark”. Opportunities like this are a real benefit of being part of the ICMIF community and we would encourage fellow ICMIF members to learn from each other too.”

”danmark” started its activities as a mutual in 1973 and offers various types of coverage levels to Danish people. The most common product is Gruppe 5 which  cover of part of the member’s out-of-pocket expenses for dental treatment, prescription medicine, opticals, physioteraphist and reflexologist.

“danmark” uses digitalisation in every part of the process including web-based application process and “self-service” solution for members, digital communication with members and transmission of expense claims directly from healthcare providers to the company.

Allan Luplau declared “We were happy to welcome Benenden. We make an effort to constantly review how we do and see things in order to improve and maximize benefits for our members. Having Benenden visit was a fine opportunity for us to look at ourselves from outside.”

A common objective for Benenden and “danmark”: Upholding the healthcare status alongside the national health service

In both countries, Benenden and “danmark” play a crucial role based on mutual values in working alongside the national health service: with a system based on solidarity within the membership and through an organisation that is owned by members rather than shareholders.

Both mutuals work alongside national health systems where the question of future of the public funding is acute given the increase of the ageing population, rise of innovative expensive treatments and the limited funding available. This information was also confirmed by a fruitful exchange at the Danish Health Ministry.

ICMIF’s role in allowing members to meet

The meeting was kindly facilitated by ICMIF. Both Benenden and “danmark” are long-term members of the Federation.

The article above was kindly provided by Blandine Cassou-Mounat, European Affairs Manager, Benenden.