Leading cash plan provider Medicash has today announced that premium income rose £1.3m to reach £25.6m in 2017, which also saw the number of new policies sold reach over 70,000 for the first time.

In its annual results, it also announced that:

• Total policyholders increased 13.9% to 227,255 (199,409 in 2016)
• 96.6% of all claims received were paid (96.5% in 2016)
• Claims ratio (claims paid vs premiums received) decreased to 75.5% (79.5% in 2016)
• Commission paid to intermediaries increased to £806,000 (£640,000 in 2016).

Medicash finance director, Andy Roberts, said: “Health cash plans are continuing to grow in popularity among both employees and their employers and we are seeing this reflected in the growth in demand for our products. We are delighted to have experienced another year of strong growth and our seventh consecutive year of policyholder growth.”

LaingBuisson’s 2017 Health Cover UK market report revealed there had been year-on-year growth in the corporate funded cash plan market for the past five years, with more than 1 million people having such a policy paid for by their employer. Medicash now has a 14% share of this market.

Medicash completed a £4m minority investment in UK digital health provider, Now Healthcare Group, in June 2017.

Commenting on the investment, Roberts continued: “After observing the evolution of the healthcare sector, we decided that now was the right time to invest in Now Healthcare Group. Demand for virtual GP and tele-pharmacy services is growing faster than ever and Now Healthcare Group is the first and only tele-health company to have its own tele-pharmacy allowing it to process and fulfil medicines for thousands of NHS patients every month.”

Over the last 10 years Medicash has donated over £1 million to various charitable causes, with a further £102,000 committed to support such projects in 2017.

Following the success of the business in 2017, the Medicash Board took the extraordinary decision to donate the full technical account surplus from 2017 to charity. As a result, £720k was made available to Medicash’s Charitable Trust to distribute across a wide range of health and wellbeing focused charities and projects.