Medicash employer-paid sales rise by 56%

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Health cash plan provider Medicash has revealed a 56% rise in employer-paid policies during 2013.

The firm sold a total of 25,305 policies to business and individual policyholders in the year to 31 December 2013, up by 46% from 13,620 in 2012 and worth a total value of almost £2.7m.

This rise in overall policy sales included a 56% increase in the sale of employer-paid policies to corporates to a total of almost 50,000, meaning such policies now represent about one third of the firm's total client base.

The firm also enjoyed the best start to a new year in its 140-year history with a total of 13,125 new policies sold in the first quarter of 2014.

The majority (95%) of new policies sold in January to March inclusive were employer-paid schemes.

The number of policies sold in 2013 and in the first quarter of 2014 took the total of Medicash employer-paid and individual policyholders to in excess of 150,000.

The firm also said it has achieved one of the strongest customer retention records in the health cash plan sector with an attrition rate of 4.6%.

In its annual results for the 12 months to 31 December 2013, the firm reported an increase in earned premiums to £20.7m from £20.1m in 2012 and a rise in the value of net assets to £32.1m from £29.5m in the previous year.

The rise in earned premiums contributed to a surplus of £326,000 for the insurance operations of Medicash - a rise from a surplus of £199,000 for 2012.

Additionally, the number of contributing policyholders overall increased by 8.7% from 135,171 in 2012 to 146,901 at the end of 2013.

The business also paid out 99.4% of claims as a proportion of those received (2012: 99.1%).

Matt Allen, finance director of Medicash, said: "The Group has aligned its growth strategy to market trends by focusing its efforts on growing its employer-paid policyholder base. Despite competitive pressures, we are pleased to report the continued growth in premiums written and policyholder numbers whilst improving the claims ratio.

"While we expect the number of individual policyholders to decline due to continued pressure on household income and redundancies across the public sector, we expect the number of employer-paid policyholders to increase as the popularity of cash plans as an employee benefit increases."

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