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The Future’s Healthy For French Expatriates

Aetna International recently announced an exciting partnership with French health insurer, that will benefit organisations in France sending their French employees on overseas assignments. Laurent de Veyrac, Senior Director, Strategic Business Development at Aetna International played a key role in setting up the partnership. In this article he explains the cover French nationals are entitled to when abroad and where the Aetna/Humanis deal offers value.

CFE a special program run by the French government, allows French expatriates to maintain many of their social health insurance system benefits whilst abroad. By keeping contributions up to date treatment abroad, and in France, will be covered up to French social insurance limits.

The benefits available to expatriates through the CFE equate to those guaranteed by the French State System: reimbursement of medical, surgical, hospital, pharmaceutical, dental, optical and laboratory expenses. A number of pension, disability, and unemployment benefits are also available.

Overall, around 65% of medicine costs are covered, up to the social insurance limit. 80% or 100% of hospital fees are covered, depending on the type of treatment.

For French nationals the CFE offers some important healthcare benefits. That said, the benefit ceilings can be limited when compared to a typical international health insurance plan offering a US$1m+ overall limit and a wide range of covers. The cost of medical care can also vary significantly from country to country, potentially creating large out of pocket expenses for French nationals, even with the heavy state subsidy.

The CFE doesn’t cover evacuation, and there is no helpline available if the local healthcare system is a mystery and a high quality medical facility difficult to find. There are no trained counsellors to offer support when the move abroad becomes too stressful, and no safeguarding if a natural disaster or political unrest causes a personal injury risk.

For these reasons, I would argue that an employer cannot reasonably fulfil their employee duty of care obligations by relying on the CFE cover. And this is where the Aetna International partnership with Humanis comes into play.

One of the largest health insurers in France, Humanis has over 700,000 corporate clients and 10 million insured members. Aetna International is one of the largest international private medical insurance providers with over 900,000 members.

The two companies have together created a proposition for French expatriates living and working outside of France.

The Humanis/Aetna International solution will integrate and build upon the CFE’s benefits by linking seamlessly with Aetna’s worldwide medical network and compliant global product. As a result, Humanis members will have access to a wider network of medical facilities in the US and a UAE compliant solution.

For corporates, there will be a range of both CFE aligned, and non-CFE-aligned, solutions for their employees. Cover will be convenient, personalised and affordable. Members will be able to access Aetna International’s global medical provider network where direct billing is widely available, meaning lower out of pocket expenses.

A duty of care exists for organisations sending French nationals on overseas assignments to keep those employees healthy and safe. French expatriates can enjoy the exceptional and unusual benefits offered up by the CFE, but there are gaps. To close the gaps, employers need to look at one of the international health insurance market’s emerging schemes that dovetail with CFE and offer exceptional levels of global coverage at the same time.






Aetna International Is Double Award Winner At Health Insurance Awards

Leading international health benefits provider, Aetna International (, has been voted Best Group International Private Medical Insurance (IPMI) Provider for the fourth year in a row at this year's Health Insurance Awards. The company's group IPMI plan, Aetna Summit℠, was also awarded Most Innovative Product of the Year 2016.

The awards acknowledge the provider that best supports group IPMI customers around the world.  They are voted for by brokers, who have first-hand knowledge of the providers, their products and service levels and the depth of their relationships with members and clients. 

"We are delighted to have won these two prestigious awards, especially when independent broker voting has determined the winner. To be awarded best group IPMI provider for four consecutive years is a tremendous achievement," said Aetna International president and CEO, Richard di Benedetto.

"We continue to evolve and improve the way in which we support our members. Over the past year we have successfully embedded a new suite of protection and wellness benefits and strengthened our in-house service capabilities. Members are at the heart of everything we do and these awards are testament to these efforts," he concluded.

For more information about Aetna International, visit


Aetna International Enhances International Private Medical Insurance Plans With Employee Assistance Programme

As part of its ongoing commitment to total employee health and well-being, Aetna International ( announced today that its employee assistance programme will now become a standard benefit across the majority of its international healthcare plans. 

“Emotional health is a large factor in overall health,” said David Healy, general manager for Aetna International in Europe. “For expats, emotional health can become a pressing concern because of the additional challenges of working outside one’s home country. Without treatment, mental health concerns can affect job performance as well as contribute to workplace accidents, and increase staff turnover and absenteeism.”

Delivered by vendor partner, Work Place Options, Aetna International’s employee assistance programme is designed to help employees stay productive by more easily managing the demands of work, family and finances whilst on overseas assignments.

Members can access confidential counselling from behavioural health experts in over 200 countries around the world. Support areas include: improving family communication, harmony between work and home life, managing life changes, handling stress, surviving the loss of a loved one, managing anxiety and depression, [dealing with workplace?] bullying and managing workplace pressure.

The service is available 24/7, 365 days a year in multiple languages and is accessible worldwide by phone, email or the web. Aetna International members can receive up to five sessions of counselling per issue per year either online, via the telephone or in person, depending on their plan level.

David Healy, general manager, commented: “By introducing EAP as a standard service across the majority of our international healthcare plans, employers avoid the need to provide this as a separate benefit to their overseas staff.”



Aetna International Moves To New European Headquarters

Aetna International ( has relocated its European headquarters to Farnborough, Surrey, UK.  The move brings Aetna International’s UK-based broker and member servicing teams together in a single, state-of-the-art business location, together with all other functional teams. Aetna International now has approximately 200 staff working in its Farnborough office.

“Aetna International has achieved significant milestones during 2015: completing the integration of InterGlobal into the Aetna business; evolving its customer-centric service model; launching a new global product suite, and now moving to a single location,” said David Healy, General Manager for Europe at Aetna International. “These developments mean that our major servicing units will be able to work seamlessly together to provide for our brokers and members a more personal, higher-touch experience of dealing with Aetna International.”

About Aetna International

Aetna International is committed to helping create a stronger, healthier global community by delivering comprehensive health care benefits and population health solutions worldwide. One of the largest providers of international private medical insurance (iPMI), Aetna International serves more than 700,000 members worldwide, including expatriates, local nationals and business travellers. Its global benefits include medical, dental, vision and emergency assistance and, in some regions, life and disability. Aetna International also offers customized technological and health management solutions for health care systems, government entities and large employers to improve people’s health, enhance quality of care and contain costs. For more information, see



‘Cancer Is A Tale Of Two Worlds,’ Says Aetna International

In the lead up to World Cancer Day 2016 on February 4th, one of the world’s leading health benefit providers, Aetna International, has released a new whitepaper to highlight the widening gap in cancer treatment between rich and poor countries.

  • Cancer diagnosis on the rise in developing countries and predicted to continue;
  • Widening gap in cancer treatment between rich and poor countries.

Dr. Sneh Khemka, president of International Population Health Solutions at Aetna International, explains: “‘Cancer’ is often referred to as the word you never want to hear your doctor say. It’s a global issue which affects all ages and socio-economic groups with developing countries bearing a disproportionate burden.”

“Cancer is not a single disease but a wide range of conditions – some of which will be eradicated in the future thanks to early intervention, continuous research and effective treatment. Yet whether you enjoy the benefits of those efforts may well depend on where you live in the world.”

Statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO) reveal that in 2012 there were approximately 14 million new cases of cancer, 8.2 million cancer-related deaths and 32.6 million people living with cancer (within five years of diagnosis) globally. 

More than 60 percent of the 14 million new annual cases of cancer were diagnosed in Africa, Asia and Central and South America, accounting for 70 percent of the world’s cancer deaths. Cervical cancer is just one example of the disproportionate burden borne by the developing world. The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) – the founder of World Cancer Day – claims that over 85 percent of the 275,000 women who die every year from cervical cancer are from developing countries. Cervical cancer will be eradicated if there is widespread dissemination of the HPV vaccination, but today most of the developing world simply has no access to the vaccine.

Dr. Khemka explains that 70 percent of new cancer cases are forecast to occur in developing nations by 2025, yet he believes three steps could help close the widening gulf in cancer treatment between the world’s wealthiest and poorest countries. He calls for efforts in poor countries to widen screening programmes, roll-out of traditional radiotherapy machines, and wider adoption of basic health insurance, such as the Indian Government’s Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojan (RSBY).

“In the developed world, innovation in technology is creating new and more effective treatments,” Dr. Khemka said. “However, in the developing world, access to the right care at the right time is far less certain which is why I refer to cancer as ‘a tale of two worlds’. On our current course, the gap will only widen between the likelihood of surviving cancer in the richest and poorest countries of the world.”

The World Health Organization’s cancer research institute, IARC, has argued that if the $320 billion invested worldwide each year on cancer treatment and prevention was better targeted, the number of cancer deaths could be cut by half. Four out of every five of these “avoidable deaths” would be in the developing world, according to IARC.

Dr. Khemka continued: “What appears to be a bleak path could be changed with improved screening programmes and even rolling out traditional machines in the developing world. Imagine the impact of these machines across India, China, Africa, and other territories with burgeoning populations such as Brazil. Traditional radiotherapy machines cost less than $1 million – far cheaper than the $150 million for each of the 36 proton therapy machines in the US. Giving people in the developing world better access to radiotherapy would offer a greater chance of survival.” 

“Similarly, establishing basic health insurance, as the Indian Government has done with the RSBY programme, offers those living below the poverty line access to hospital care and a doctor. These sorts of schemes will change significantly the way cancer is treated around the world; it is about simple access and the financial mechanisms for people to seek care when they need it,” explained Dr Khemka.

To read more from Dr. Sneh Khemka on the future of cancer, especially in developing countries, visit here.

For more information about World Cancer Day 2016 visit


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