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HCF and HBF merger talks end

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Both funds agreed "it would not be in the best interests of their members for the merger to proceed".

This week health insurers HCF and HBF announced that their potential merger, which was announced in February, would not be going ahead. The two funds decided not to proceed, as the merger would not be in the best interests of their respective members.

In regards to why the merger didn't go ahead, HCF managing director Sheena Jack said the timing was not right.

“While we share common ground with HBF as member-focused, not-for-profit health funds – the timing for the proposed merger is not right. Our focus at this time is to continue delivering strong results and we remain dedicated to delivering affordable products and greater benefits for our 1.5 million members through the execution of this strategy,” Jack said.

HBF managing director John Van Der Wielen said that its focus from the outset was ensuring that members in Western Australia would see real benefit from the merger.

“We agreed on broad principles for the proposed merger with HCF, but as discussions progressed it became apparent that pursuing the transaction would not be in the best interests of our members. HBF is very well placed to continue to ensure our long-standing commitment to members remains in place,” he said.

HBF's focus on its members is probably why it did the best out of all funds with a market share greater than 0.5% in regards to member retention, holding onto 97% of its members.

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