Aviva Health and Vitality Health are forming a joint venture company in a bid to tackle rising private healthcare costs.
The move is the latest in a long-running battle between insurers and healthcare providers including hospital groups over claims of spiralling healthcare costs and potentially anti-competitive practices.
This was highlighted by the Competition and Markets Authority's (CMA) investigation into the private healthcare market and a public spat between Bupa and BMI Healthcare.
The CMA's findings included the need for some hospitals to be sold off by providers (although this has subsequently been successfully challenged) and increased transparency in fees and quality for customers.
The Healthcare Purchasing Alliance (HPA) joint venture between Aviva and Vitality will enable the two insurers to purchase a variety of health services from UK private and independent hospitals.
The insurers said the "joint venture will enable the two insurers to secure more affordable healthcare for their customers through their combined purchasing efforts, while maintaining the quality and breadth of their individual offerings."
Tania Baker has been appointed chief executive officer of HPA. She was previously CEO of Dr Foster, a provider of healthcare analytics.
Aviva Health managing director Mark Noble said: "This new venture will improve the value Aviva customers receive from their private health cover.
"This is a significant opportunity to grow the Aviva Health business and health insurance market overall by offering affordable health insurance."
Vitality Health CEO Neville Koopowitz said: "By working strategically with the hospital groups, HPA will further strengthen our ability to innovate in the products and services that we offer our members.
"This is particularly important in light of the consolidation taking place within the private medical insurance funding market."
In July the CMA approved Axa PPP's purchase of Simplyhealth's PMI business.
The technology to improve employees’ wellbeing is already here. But it is now in employers’ hands to make sure it is used to create successful corporate wellness programmes
Here they are - the winners of the Workplace Savings and Benefits Awards 2020...
Here they are. The finalist lists for the WSB Awards 2020.
Almost all (92%) employers would consider setting up a workplace savings scheme in addition to a pension in light of recent market turmoil caused by Covid-19, Cushon finds.
There are just a few weeks left to enter this year's Workplace Savings and Benefits Awards.