Medibank Private retail centre for Gladstone
Australia's largest private health fund, Medibank Private, has opened a retail centre in Gladstone - bringing the total number of retail centres in Queensland to 21.
Located in the Palm Fair Shopping Centre, the retail centre - run by a staff of three - will replace the agency-based arrangement with the Wide Bay Capricorn Building Society that has been running for several years.
Following its separation from the Health Insurance Commission (HIC) back in 1998, it was no longer deemed necessary to run a retail centre dedicated to Medibank Private business.
However, with the significant growth in the health fund's membership in recent years coupled with the planned expansion of major industry in the Gladstone area - set to significantly boost the local population - opening a retail centre was seen as essential.
Says Medibank Private managing director, Mark Burrowes: "We are committed to Gladstone and feel that, given our significant growth in membership, our members would be better served by a retail centre than by an agency arrangement."
While corporate membership is a significant part of the health fund's membership in the area, establishing a retail centre in Gladstone will also encourage individuals to take out membership.
More than 30 per cent of the local population are Medibank Private members.
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