Membership can now grow beyond public sector bedrock
Benenden Healthcare Society, the mutual provider of medical cover and care, is opening its membership to any UK resident after members voted to remove the last of its membership eligibility restrictions.
At the organisation’s annual conference in Manchester today, it was decided that membership should no longer be restricted to current or former public sectors workers as well as members of credit unions, co-operatives and charities. Now, any UK resident aged 16 or over, will be able to join the society.
Benenden provides personal and corporate healthcare cover which private access to tests and treatment at the organisation’s own hospital in Kent or at one of its approved regional hospitals. Founded in 1907 by Post Office workers, the Society also provides health cash plans, over 50s plans and wellbeing services.
Ken Hesketh (pictured), chief executive at Benenden Healthcare, said he expects the move will result in an increase in membership levels from around 930,000 in 2012 to one million by 2016.
But he added: “This move for open eligibility is not only to increase membership levels.
“We are realistic in realising we must be competitive within a tough healthcare environment, but we are also passionate about the future of mutuals and co-operatives in the UK.”