nib Health Funds

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

nib Group
Traded asASXNHF
FounderBHP Steelworks workers
Key people
Steve Crane (Chairman),
Mark Fitzgibbon (CEO and Managing Director)
ProductsHealth Insurance,
Travel insurance,
Life Insurance
Revenue$2.4 Billion
$149.3 Million
Number of employees

nib Group (nib, formerly Newcastle Industrial Benefits) is an Australian health care fund. It was established in the NSW Hunter Region in 1952 to provide health insurance for workers at the BHP Steelworks, and has since grown into a national and international operation.[1] The Commonwealth Private Health Insurance Ombudsman's report: "2017 State of the Health Funds" stated that of the larger Australian funds (funds with more than 0.5% of market share), nib held an 8.3% market share.[2]


nib was established in the NSW Hunter Region in 1952 to provide health insurance for workers at the BHP Steelworks, and has since grown into a national and international operation, expanding its operations to also provide travel insurance globally.

In 1995, NIB was involved in a landmark court case, Hope & Brown vs NIB. The court found that Hope & Brown, a homosexual couple, had been discriminated against and NIB had violated the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977.[3]


A series of meetings of eligible policyholders and company members held in Newcastle on 19 July 2007 voted in favour of demutualisation of the health fund. The Federal Court of Australia then approved the vote the following week with the demutualisation completed on 5 November 2007.[citation needed]

Later the same day (5 November 2007), nib became the first private health insurance fund to list on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). The share price opened at A$0.85.[4][5]

Diversification and Expansion[edit]

In 2010, nib set about expanding the business globally, entering into the international workers and international students market.[6][7]

To support this expansion, nib purchased IMAN International Pty Ltd, a specialist provider of health cover for temporary migrant workers in Australia for approximately $25 million.[8]

In November 2012, nib acquired the New Zealand health insurer, TOWER Medical Insurance, from Tower Insurance, for approximately NZ$102 million (A$80 million).[9] nib New Zealand is the country's second largest health insurer, providing health and medical insurance to around 160,000 New Zealanders.[10]

nib established its first whitelabelling partnership in May 2014, entering a strategic distribution alliance with Suncorp subsidiary Apia to sell private health insurance under the Apia brand.[11]

Since then nib has been developing their whitelabelling capability through partnerships with Qantas, Suncorp, and Suncorp subsidiary AAMI in Australia while in New Zealand they have partnered with AA Health and Fairfax Media New Zealand.

In September 2014, nib partnered with global medical insurer AXA PPP International in launching a global health cover pilot product in New Zealand. nib global health provides comprehensive health and medical insurance cover to New Zealanders in most countries around the world.[12] nib took health cover global for Australians living abroad in September 2016, with the launch of nib Expatriate Health Insurance Cover [13]

In July 2016, nib announced the acquisition of World Nomads Group, Australia's third-largest distributor of travel insurance, for $95 million.[14]

In October 2017, nib completed the acquisition of GU Health, Australia's only established specialist corporate group health insurer, servicing over 34,000 policyholders across more than 260 corporate clients, for $155.5 million.[15]

While in August 2019, nib acquired QBE’s travel insurance business, QBE Travel, as part of its World Nomads Group expansion. nib also announced its partnership with Tasly Holding Group, a large Chinese pharmaceutical company, which plans to sell a critical illness product in China.

In 2019, nib rebranded its Australian-based travel insurance provider, World Nomads Group, to nib Travel to support its growth plans.


Whitecoat is a free online search and comparison service that was developed and launched by nib in 2013.[16]

Whitecoat provides contact details and ratings information for more than 210,000 Australian healthcare providers across 40 different provider types, including dentists, optometrists, and physiotherapists.[citation needed] Along with providing publicly available contact details for different healthcare providers, the Whitecoat website carries ratings information regarding availability, listening skills, explanation of treatment and likelihood to recommend as well as comments from customers about their overall service experience.

In 2014, Whitecoat allowed reviews from the public for the first time. Reviews are now sourced from Whitecoat users as well as members of affiliated private health insurers who have been provided with a billable service from the provider. It hosts more than 250,000 customer reviews. While the platform now includes allied healthcare providers such as dentists, physiotherapists, and general practitioners, it is looking to expand to include medical specialists.[citation needed] The site has been likened to being the TripAdvisor of the healthcare sector.[17]

In 2016, Bupa and HBF Health Fund announced a joint venture and signed a heads of agreement to join nib as investors and participants in expanding the Whitecoat healthcare provider platform. With the participation by Bupa and HBF along with foundation investor nib, Whitecoat will increase its reach to approximately six million Australians. When fully developed, Whitecoat will allow consumers to find, book, review and pay for healthcare treatment with their chosen provider.[18]

In 2018, Whitecoat was launched in New Zealand [1], to help Kiwi consumers make more informed choices about their healthcare provider.

nib foundation[edit]

nib established nib foundation in 2008, following a $25 million donation from nib health funds, raised through the issue of new shares at the time of listing nib on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in November 2007.

nib holdings limited continue to support the charitable activity of nib foundation through the provision of unclaimed dividends from its shareholder base. In 2018 just over $1 million in unclaimed dividends payments were transferred to nib foundation Limited to further their mission of helping people and communities lives healthier lives.[citation needed]

Each year, nib foundation aims to provide up to $1.5-2 million in funding to support a range of partnerships, including their Multi-Year partners, Community partners and through their new Health Smart Grants.   Since inception, over $19 million in grant funding has been provided to aid the development and delivery of health and wellbeing initiatives. The foundation has partnered with 140 Australian charities at a local and national level.[citation needed]

Sponsorship and ambassadors[edit]

nib sponsors a number of major sporting organisations in Australia and New Zealand, including the Newcastle Knights (NRL), NSW State of Origin team (NRL), Auckland Blues (Super Rugby), Richmond Tigers (AFL and AFLW) and the Newcastle Jets (W-League).

It also partners with a range of events, organisations, initiatives and health-related programs to promote healthy and active lifestyles.

Former rugby league footballer; Paul Harragon, has been the face of nib in Australia since 1991.


  1. ^ nib Health Funds Company History
  2. ^ "2017 State of the Health Funds". Private Health Insurance Ombudsman. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  3. ^ "It's Time for a Positive Change". Newcastle Herald. 5 June 2015. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  4. ^ ASX nib holdings limited
  5. ^ "nib shares debut at healthy premium". The Age. 6 November 2007. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
  6. ^ "Overseas Students Health Cover".
  7. ^ "Overseas Visitors Health Cover".
  8. ^ "IMAN announcement" (PDF).
  9. ^ "AFR article". Archived from the original on 14 April 2017.
  10. ^ "nib NZ" (PDF).
  11. ^ "nib and Apia enter distribution alliance".
  12. ^ "International health insurance".
  13. ^ "Expat health cover".
  14. ^ "Health insurer nib buys OnePath NZ book for $22.6m". Sydney Morning Herald. Nine Entertainment Co.
  15. ^ "GU Health".
  16. ^ "new website whitecoat lets nib users compare physiotherapists dentists and chiropractors". 7 November 2013. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  17. ^ "Whitecoat". 28 July 2016.
  18. ^ "nib, Bupa and HBF to form Whitecoat joint venture". 29 July 2016.

External links[edit]