In September 2023, the Board of Accuro put forward a proposal to Accuro Health Insurance Society Members that Accuro’s insurance portfolio be transferred to UniMed, as part of a transfer of Accuro’s operations to UniMed. As part of this transfer, the resources of both organisations would be combined within UniMed, and all Accuro members would become members of UniMed. 

Having conducted appropriate due diligence, the Accuro Board concluded that combining the two not-for-profit mutual societies will create an even more resilient and sustainable health insurance offering focused on delivering greater value and better customer health outcomes for the members of both Societies. 

As member-based Societies, we do not have to return a profit to shareholders, but we do need to ensure we are financially strong and resilient, and this has been a key driver in taking this strategic decision. Having bigger scale will allow us to remain responsive to changing market conditions and affordability challenges in the healthcare environment and provide more options to develop new products and services. 

The proposal was voted on at two Special General Meetings (SGM’s) held in October and November 2023.  The proposal was required to be agreed to by 75 percent of Accuro members involved in the votes at those two SGM’s. At the first SGM 92.8% percent of members voting supported the proposal, and 96.1% of those voting supported the proposal at the second SGM. 

Following that vote, UniMed and Accuro made an application to the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) for their approval as required by the Insurance Prudential Supervision Act 2010. This approval has now been received. As a result the two organisations are now working together to complete the transfer after which Accuro Health Insurance Society Ltd would cease operations and be wound up in accordance with the requirements of the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1908. 

What does this mean for me as a member?  

There will be very little will change from a member perspective. The Accuro and UniMed brands will continue to operate, and you will receive the exact same cover and benefits. 

Importantly, there will be no change to your product, cover and benefits as defined by your current Accuro Policy.

What will change is that, on the date of transfer, UniMed becomes the insurer and you will become a member of UniMed, rather than being a member of Accuro. Because both Societies are governed by the Industrial and Provident Societies Act, this also means very little change in practice. Our rules are similar and, most importantly, we are both mutual societies that exist for the benefit of our members. You will continue to have the opportunity to elect Directors to the Board and can have confidence that any operating surpluses will be reinvested for the benefits of members, rather than being returned to an external shareholder. 

While nothing changes for you in terms of benefits or cover, what does change is that you will now be part of a larger, more resilient health insurance society, with around 140,000 members and 100 staff. This means we will be better able to operate efficiently and effectively in the current healthcare, regulatory and economic environment, with the aim of delivering greater value and better health outcomes for members. 

Why UniMed? 

We are excited by the potential created from combining the resources of both Societies to help deliver long-term sustainable and secure benefits for members. 

  • Like Accuro, UniMed is a New Zealand-based not-for-profit mutual society returning all benefits to members. We share a vision of improving the health and wellbeing of New Zealanders and we are always looking for ways to improve member services and access to affordable healthcare.  
  • Both Accuro and UniMed enjoy high levels of member and staff loyalty, have strong relationships with advisors and intermediaries, and are both focused on retaining and strengthening those relationships. 
  • We share a similar history with both organisations having their origins in links to unions – Accuro began representing the interests of workers in health boards, and UniMed was linked to the trade union movement.  
  • We have a very similar governance model and set of rules. 
  • We have complementary capabilities, with UniMed traditionally being very strong in the mid-to-large employer market segments, and Accuro in the individual and smaller employer markets. 
  • We have both been operating in New Zealand since the 1970s and have grown to offer very similar health insurance products to both individuals and employers in a range of sectors.  
  • Importantly, UniMed is financially very strong, with significant capital reserves. As at their last balance dates UniMed held net assets of $155m, compared to $10.6m for Accuro. This is also recognised in UniMed’s “A” (Excellent) Financial Strength Rating (FSR).*  

This is not the first time that UniMed and Accuro have discussed combining, but it is the first time all the different elements have aligned so well. The challenges of being a small health insurer have always existed, but the rising cost of healthcare and increasingly complex regulatory environment that we are operating in has made the case for doing this now more compelling. 

Once the transfer is complete, members will become part of the country’s third largest medical insurer representing nearly 10 percent of the market with around 140,000 members and the scale to create a more resilient and sustainable health insurance offering, while keeping in place all of the great things that make member-based mutual societies so special. 

What happens next?

Both Accuro and UniMed are committed to making this transition as easy as possible so in most cases you won’t need to do anything.

Leading up to the date of transfer we will send you further details on the transfer process and confirmed date of the transfer. UniMed will also be contacting you on the date of the transfer. Rest assured your new policy, health insurance cover and benefits will remain exactly the same as your current Accuro policy but UniMed will now be listed as the insurer on your policy. At this point you will also become a member of UniMed.


* UniMed Financial Strength Rating: A (Excellent)

The Insurance (Prudential Supervision) Act 2010 requires all New Zealand health insurers to be given a Financial Strength Rating.
AM Best has assessed Union Medical Benefits Society Limited (UniMed) as having an A (Excellent) Financial Strength Rating.
The Rating reflects UniMed’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as very strong, as well as UniMed’s strong operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

Financial Strength Ratings Scale
For information about the Rating Scale, Category Definitions, and Rating Disclosure, see the AM Best Ratings Guide