When it comes to the analyses of Scheme growth, the approach taken in the GTC survey is skewed and quite subjective. We all know that scheme growth is not as simple as mere numbers and should take a variety of factors into consideration like:
- The risk profile of the scheme, as well as the risk profile of members joining and leaving a scheme
- Reasons for leaving the scheme (factors such as labour unrest, retrenchments, personal financial factors etc.)
- The LSM of scheme members and considering whether these factors are aligned to the scheme’s target market and growth strategy
- Whether scheme members are individuals or from employer groups
- Geographic location (rural or urban) of members with research, for example, showing that semi-rural members present a better risk profile, being further removed from cost driving providers such as specialists and hospitals
- The scheme’s approach to membership growth and reasoning behind this strategy (targeted as opposed to randomised growth)
Agility, for example, works very closely with its client schemes to develop and execute specific growth strategies aimed at ensuring sustainable growth and membership levels that meet a range of criteria.
A differentiation should also be made between inorganic (mergers & acquisitions) and organic (new member acquisitions) growth and whether inorganic growth has had an overall positive or negative impact on the scheme as opposed to growth in numbers alone.