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Reference no. SKE116
Harvard Business Publishing (2008)
18 June 2010
Cruzsalud was a medium-sized company, founded in November 2004. The company's business model was based on the concept pre-paid health care, by means of which low-income subscribers obtain a set of health services in exchange for a fixed monthly payment, with prices ranging from 9 to 40 thousand bolivars (US$ 4.00 to 18.60) per month. Once operations were under way, Cruzsalud had to face several management problems linked to expected sales and subscriber fee collection mechanisms. Moreover, Cruzsalud faced a dilemma related to its business model. The Law for Workplace Prevention, Conditions, and Environment, which was passed in July 2005, forced companies, regardless of size, to provide workplace health and safety services. In response to that mandate, and the determination shown by authorities to comply with it, business demand for health services spiraled. This opportunity, together with the difficulties faced in reaching the required volume of customers, led the shareholders to wonder whether Cruzsalud should continue to focus on the low-income sector, as managers proposed, or move towards the market for employee health plans.