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nib expands NDIS footprint, acquires two more plan managers, further acquisitions likely

Two male adults and one female adult playing basketball on the court. One male is in a wheelchair.

nib, an ASX-listed private health insurer, announced an intention to enter the NDIS with a $158.1 million capital raise, and the purchase of its first plan manager, Maple Plan Pty Ltd, in November 2022. nib also launched nib Thrive, the brand name for nib’s NDIS business.

nib CEO and Managing Director, Mark Fitzgibbon, said nib is well on track to manage plans for 50,000 NDIS participants by FY25.

“We’re away to a solid start, consistent with our business strategy,” Mr Fitzgibbon said. “In the past few months, we have agreed to acquire three large, successful plan management businesses that have around 22,000 participants in total. Following completion of these acquisitions, nib Thrive will be one of the top three plan managers in the NDIS.

“There is a very close alignment between our NDIS role and that of private health insurance. For over 70-years we’ve effectively connected buyers and sellers of healthcare services. Our aim is to assist NDIS participants, giving them choice and control to manage their plans, and the delivery of their support services.”

nib Thrive Chief Executive, Martin Adlington, said the two latest additions to nib’s NDIS business, Peak and Connect, bring a geographic spread to nib’s NDIS footprint and great depth to the business.

“There’s an opportunity to provide NDIS participants with clearer insight into their budgets and a level of confidence in their choices,” Mr Adlington said. “These three businesses, Maple, Peak and Connect, are a very solid foundation for nib Thrive. They are excellent businesses, built with care for participants by each of their founders.”

Mr Adlington said for all three plan managers, business will continue as usual. “There will be a continuation of what has been very good service at all three,” he said. “Our guiding principle has been to maintain the already high service standards of the businesses we’ve acquired,” Mr Adlington said. “This is what we are focused on, as we bring these businesses together under nib Thrive.”

nib’s strategic entry into the NDIS plan management sector is on track to reach its target of 50,000 participants in FY25, with a focus on further growth opportunities. Mr Fitzgibbon said nib Thrive has a number of acquisitions under active consideration totalling an additional ~10,000 NDIS participants. “If successful, our total participant base will be at more than 33,000 by the end of FY23,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

About Peak Plan Management

Peak Plan Management, which is based in Ballarat, has 85 employees and around
11,000 participants. It is currently Australia’s fifth largest plan manager.

Mr Adlington said the business model provides a high level of care and attention to participants, which is a standout feature of Peak. The business, which is about four years old, was established by Dale Fitzgerald and Ross Rizzo.

“nib’s vision for the NDIS is one that is very much aligned to the principles that underpinned the establishment of Peak Plan just over four years ago,” Mr Rizzo said. “We know that the business will continue to grow with nib, and with that, the benefits and enhanced outcomes that will flow to participants and providers.”

About Connect Plan Management 

Connect Plan Management, Australia’s tenth largest plan manager, is based in Brisbane. It
has approximately 60 employees and about 4,000 participants. Connect was established about four years ago by Anthony Oostenbroek and has carved out a strong niche in the South-East Queensland market. 

“Connect’s mission has always been to provide high quality and accessible plan management services by developing strong relationships and being responsive to participant needs and their requests of us,” Mr Oostenbroek said. “In my dealings with nib,
I have found our goals are aligned. It will be exciting to see how together we can further build and enhance the experience for Connect participants,” he said.


Mr Fitzgibbon signalled further acquisitions are likely in the near term.

nib’s entry into the NDIS, following extensive scoping, is a key growth strategy into a sector that provides crucial services to more than half a million Australians.

In the last quarter, the NDIS scheme grew by 18,425 to 573,342 participants; of the new entrants, 73% were children.[1]The market is expected to grow to more than 1 million participants by FY32 with funding expected to be around $90 billion ($29 billion in FY22).[2] Plan management penetration is expected to grow from 58%[3] currently to 60-70% by
FY30.[4] The market is valued at ~$800 million currently for support coordination and ~$400m currently for plan management.[5]

[1] National Disability Insurance Agency,
Quarterly Performance Dashboard, Quarter 2, 2022-2023 (31 December 2022). 

[2] National Disability Insurance Agency,
Annual Report 2021-22.

[3] National Disability Insurance Agency, NDIS
Quarterly report to disability ministers, (31 December 2022).

[4] nib estimates.  

[5] National Disability Insurance Agency,
NDIS Quarterly reports to disability ministers (2021-22).

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