We have received a lot of questions recently about the relationship between HealthCarePlus and UniMed and what’s the difference between EBS and HealthCarePlus.
The Education Benevolent Society Incorporated (“EBS”). EBS was started in 1963 to enable teachers, education sector members, and their families to access competitive insurance products to support their families’ health and provide financial protection for unforeseen events.
To this day we are still The Education Benevolent Society Incorporated (“EBS”) but we trade under a new name.
New name, same company
In 2015, HealthCarePlus became the trading name for the Educational Benevolent Society (EBS) and we made that change to better reflect the type of business we were, and prepared the business for the introduction of the wider PSA membership who were then eligible to join and benefit from our HealthCare Plans
Things needed to change
By 2016, the Insurance industry was facing ever increasing regulatory changes and costs so The Board of EBS conducted a fundamental review of the business and decided to cease being an insurer and entered a strategic partnership with UniMed to underwrite and manage all our HealthCarePlus health insurance products. It was the only way that the business could continue to support it’s members long term with first class healthcare plans and services in the face of huge rising regulatory costs of being an Insurance provider.
So, UniMed now manage and underwrite our health insurance plans and that has enabled our business to evolve and focus on delivering a broader set of services and products that will better support our Members Health and wellbeing.
We recognise that in today’s world, supporting our Member's health and wellbeing is much more than just access to affordable insurance, whilst still important, health and wellbeing is much broader and as an organisation we are evolving our services to continue meet that challenge.
Recently HealthCarePlus applied for and was granted charitable status under the purpose of “Advancement of education/Te kōkiri mātauranga”. So, as a registered Charity all surpluses are now tax exempt and the surplus is now able to provide access to an exciting new type of support by way of Charitable Education Grants to use for good.
As our business evolves so do our objectives. Back in 1963 we existed - to support our union owner’s members and their family’s health and wellbeing, by providing them with access to high quality and affordable day-to-day health insurance plans.
Today our aims have evolved:
Today our aim is very clear - it's to support all our union owner’s members and their families to improve their financial, mental and physical wellbeing.
John Seed, Chief Executive, HealthCarePlus
In fact, our Members recently said:
"I've been extremely happy with HealthCarePlus even as it's changed over the years. The transition has been smooth and hasn't ever affected my membership or claiming process."
J.C, Member since 2005, from Upper Hutt
"I have belonged since 1966 when it was EBS and have continued through the changes as I am now a part time teacher. My claims have been sympathetically dealt with."
ML, Member since 2001 from Kumeru
"I have been a member of EBS since almost the moment I started teaching in 1982. It took me a while to realise how useful it would be - so for many years, I did not collect receipts or make claims. When I finally realised what I was missing out on I started to be very careful about claiming regularly and I have recommended the system to many teachers over the years. When EBS became HealthCarePlus I expected a lot of change - but it has been very smooth and easy as a transition and claims are just as easy to make as ever."
AH, Member since 1986 from Nelson
So, what does our business model look like today?
Here is a diagram of the relationships that make up our current business. As you can see, in addition to moving the management and underwriting of our traditional insurance business to UniMed, we have a longstanding relationship with Monument to provide financial advice and have introduced a number of ‘Member-only’ services & offers from a range of trusted partners that aim to support our Member's financial, physical and mental wellbeing.
We will continue to look at new strategic partnerships with other organisations, so that we can continue to bring in more relevant services and solutions that will help our members continue to improve their financial, mental and physical wellbeing. So, look out for more services throughout the year…
Finally, who do I send my Claim form to?
The quick answer is UniMed for all our Health Insurance Plans. Their address is UniMed, PO Box 1721, Christchurch 8140, Level 3, 165 Gloucester Street, Christchurch 8011. Or if you want to email it to them its firstname.lastname@example.org
Please do not send it to the HealthCarePlus office as we will only redirect it to UniMed and that only increases the time it takes to get your money back.
Also, we have recently changed the Claim form to make that clearer too:
You can download the new form here
If you would like to make an online claim, please click on the link below and you can complete all your details and submit your claim there.