The competition watchdog launched the Phase 1 investigation in August to determine whether the proposed transfer of CS Healthcare’s business and 18,500 members to Bupa would substantially lessen competition in the market. However, it concluded its investigation well ahead of the 15 October deadline paving the way for the merger of the two businesses.
Earlier in September, CS Healthcare members voted to approve the merger, which is designed to ensure the long-term sustainability of the friendly society.
In common with other small providers of healthcare benefits, CS Healthcare has been impacted by rising costs, which has pushed up premiums and lead to a reduction in customer numbers.
The two organisations said Bupa’s strong financial position and sizeable presence in the healthcare market would provide members with confidence in its sustainability and ability to deliver affordable premiums over the long-term.
The deal is expected to complete at the beginning of next year