Secret talks for health fund merger

Two of Australia’s largest health funds are involved in merger discussions that would see a fund to rival Medibank Private.

MBF, Australia’s second largest health fund and AXA Australia Health Insurance, which incorporates HBA in Victoria and Mutual Community in South Australia, are thinking of joining forces. A merged MBF/AXA would have 29 per cent of the private health insurance market. Medibank Private currently has 32 per cent market share.

There has been no comment made by either MBF or AXA regarding the merger talks.

If the two funds do decide to merge, the ensuing entity would be a rival for Medibank Private who at the moment are used to dominating the market. We could see the new fund offering more competitive premiums.

The Australian, p1, 5/2/02