Australia-based health insurer NIB is set to purchase medical insurance business from New Zealand life insurer OnePath Life, for around $22.6m.

Once the deal concludes, NIB will offer health insurance services to around 200,000 people in New Zealand, covering about 15%of the insured population in the country.

NIB managing director Mark Fitzgibbon was quoted by The Sydney Morning Herald as saying that the purchase follows the acquisition of Tower New Zealand’s medical insurance business in 2012 and continues its strategy to increase market share in New Zealand.

"The purchase of OnePath Life NZ’s medical insurance business meets our strict investment criteria, and importantly provides us with additional scale and scope to grow and leverage our existing New Zealand operations," he added.

In November 2012, NIB acquire dTower Group’s health insurance business for $102m. Tower provides a wide range of specialized property and casualty insurance products and services to small and mid-sized businesses and individuals.

Subject to regulatory approvals from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, the deal is expected to be completed by December.

In a separate deal, NIB has entered into a five-year distribution agreement with OnePath Life parent firm ANZ New Zealand to provide its health insurance services through ANZ’s wealth advisers in the country.

NIB provides health and medical insurance to around one million residents in Australia and New Zealand.