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Willis North America Announces 8th Annual Managed Care Organization Roundtable

  • Health Plans Confront Strategic Decisions in Advance of 2014 Health Care Reform Rollout.

Willis North America, a unit of Willis Group Holdings (NYSE: WSH), the global risk advisor, insurance and reinsurance broker, announced today the 8th Annual Willis Managed Care Organization Roundtable, September 10-11, in Chicago, IL. The Willis Managed Care Organization Roundtable brings together leading specialists from the Willis Managed Care Practice, a sub-specialty of Willis’ National Health Care Practice with risk management representatives from dozens of managed care organizations, including group health insurers, pharmaceutical benefit managers, local government-sponsored plans, Independent Provider Associations (IPAs) and Accountable Care Organizations (ACO’s) of all sizes for educational and networking opportunities.

Entitled, Managing the Fork in the Road, this platform of risk management insight is designed to help firms manage today’s complex risk and regulatory environment in the wake of health care reform and also features commentary from key insurance carrier partners and consultants. The forum will also feature a case study that introduces a unique decision-support tool, the Risk-Based Capital Financial Impact Analysis. This unique Willis offering helps organizations quantify their residual risk tolerance at a time when the challenges of capital constraints due to health care reform are colliding with new capital adequacy reporting requirements coming online in 2015.

Commenting on the event, Frank Castro, National Health Care Practice Leader, Willis North America, said, “Health plans are confronted with making strategic decisions in advance of the 2014 health care reform rollout. Plans are struggling with the loss of a clear identity and position in the marketplace, the burden of very sick Exchange enrollees coupled with low Exchange product pricing, and most importantly, being viewed as failing to bend to the health care cost curve. As a result, plan risk managers are focused more than ever on their organization’s limited risk tolerance.” “Through the Roundtable, Willis is committed to nurturing a unique peer community for health plan risk managers and insurance buyers. We are proud to offer a platform that helps connect the dots between the managed care industry’s business challenges and the value of insurance and risk management solutions that enhance managed care organizations’ risk capacity,”

Castro continued. Experts will lead a variety of educational sessions, including:

When You Come To A Fork In The Road, Take It: The Payor-Provider Blur - Ronnie Brownsworth, Piedmont Health Care; Diane Holder, UPMC Health Plan; Robert Margolis, Healthcare Partners/DaVita; Ken Weixel, Deloitte; and Frank Castro, Willis. Are Public Exchanges Riskier Than Plans Planned? – Sherry Call, WellPoint; Walter Zelman, California State University at Los Angeles; Leesa Tori, The Tori Group; and Micah Weinberg, Healthy Systems Project. Advantages and Challenges of Not-For-Profit Status - Dan Hilferty, Independence Blue Cross; Doug Smith, UT CO-OP Arches Health; Steve Ziegler, AvMed; and Jim Crotti, Willis. Translating RM-Speak Into Business Metrics - Ed Downey, Cubist Pharmaceuticals; Zakia Campbell, Willis; and Chrystina Howard, Willis.

About Willis

Willis Group Holdings plc is a leading global risk advisor, insurance and reinsurance broker. With roots dating to 1828, Willis operates today on every continent with more than 17,000 employees in over 400 offices. Willis offers its clients superior expertise, teamwork, innovation and market-leading products and professional services in risk management and transfer. Our experts rank among the world’s leading authorities on analytics, modelling and mitigation strategies at the intersection of global commerce and extreme events. Find more information at our website,, our leadership journal, Resilience, or our up-to-the-minute blog on breaking news, WillisWire.

Across geographies, industries and specialisms, Willis provides its local and multinational clients with resilience for a risky world.


Aetna Brings New iTriage Employer Technology to Mid-Sized Businesses

Aetna (NYSE: AET) and iTriage®, one of the market leaders in consumer healthcare technology, today jointly announced the launch of a customizable employer enhancement to the iTriage consumer health app. Nearly 4,000 Aetna mid-sized employer clients can now offer their employees a company-specific, enhanced version of the iTriage app.

The iTriage employer-customized app: Customizes information for consumers based on their specific health benefits plan; Helps employees understand how using an in-network health care provider can be more affordable, which can also create cost savings for employers; and Reduces administrative work for health care providers, who will benefit from informed patients who have selected the right physician, facility and level of care based on their individual needs.

“The launch of the iTriage employer-customized app solution to Aetna’s mid-sized employer clients supports our shared vision of creating a better health care experience for our customers and their employees,” said Vibha Jha, vice president and head of Key Accounts for Aetna. “For the first time, employees and their families are able to use all of the unique features of iTriage with information based on their specific benefits plan.”

Founded in 2008, iTriage’s free consumer health care app has been downloaded nearly 10 million times, with 50 million uses each year, helping connect consumers with answers to “What could be wrong?” and “Where can I go for care?” With the launch of the new customizable app, employers can also now guide their employees who are looking for care within their network.

“iTriage is using innovation to change the health care delivery landscape,” said Dr. Peter Hudson, CEO and co-founder, iTriage. “We believe consumers and their employers are uniquely positioned to sculpt the next horizon of health care, and our products are focused on accelerating that change. Working with such a large group of employers and members is a huge milestone that underscores our mission to help consumers make better health care decisions.”

Helping Employees, Employers and Providers

With millions of Americans using smartphones to access health care information, the iTriage® app educates members about health conditions and where they can be treated – about two people every second. The employer-customized version of the iTriage app then encourages employees to consider in-network, clinically appropriate, lower-cost care through information about health care costs and care alternatives. Pop-ups alert members if they’ve chosen an out-of-network health care provider. Employers can help engage their employees and their families at the time of their health care decision through the customized app.

Through increased use of in-network health care providers and reduced cases of avoidable ER visits, employers can see an overall reduction in health care costs. The employer-customized version of the iTriage app will also help health care providers by providing a platform to reach potential patients at a time of need. In certain locations, once a patient identifies a health care provider in their network, they can book an appointment conveniently through the iTriage app.

For more information, visit

About iTriage

iTriage LLC, an Aetna subsidiary headquartered in Denver, Colo., is a global healthcare technology company founded in 2008 by two emergency medicine physicians. The company’s market-leading platform and mobile/website applications offer a proprietary Symptom-to-Provider™ pathway that empowers consumers to make better health care decisions. iTriage helps people answer the two most common medical questions: “What could be wrong?” and “Where can I go for care?” Millions of consumers around the globe have downloaded the free iTriage mobile app through the iTunes App store or Android Market, or used the iTriage website at In addition, thousands of health care providers already use the iTriage platform to reach more consumers and increase patient engagement.

About Aetna

Aetna is one of the nation's leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving an estimated 44 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, and medical management capabilities, Medicaid health care management services, workers' compensation administrative services and health information technology products and services. Aetna's customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, health care providers, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, see


Cigna Launches New International Health Insurance Plans for Individuals

Cigna Launches New International Health Insurance Plans for Individuals

Cigna Launches New International Health Insurance Plans for Individuals

  • Cigna introduces new individual private medical insurance product suite which includes Silver, Gold and Platinum options;
  • Gives customers and partners the ability to create unique plans which fit around their unique healthcare needs and budgets, while still benefitting from Cigna’s industry-leading service;
  • Replaces existing Cigna Global Health Options and Advance plans Launch comes in response to customer demand for more choice and more flexible healthcare options.

Cigna, one of the world’s leading international health insurers, is excited to announce the launch of a brand new suite of international health insurance products.

The Cigna Global product suite, which is targeted to expatriates and globally mobile individuals, has been expanded to create a new three-level international health insurance plan. Customers can now benefit from a wider range of plans and customize their cover around their specific healthcare needs and budget. The new healthcare plans – which include Silver, Gold and Platinum cover levels - give customers more flexibility with modular cover options and a choice of cost share and deductible levels. The customer starts out with core International Medical Insurance, which provides cover for all inpatient, specialist and accommodation costs, as well as cover for cancer and psychiatric care. They then choose what is important to them, and add on additional module options which include Outpatient, Health & Wellbeing, Medical Evacuation and Vision & Dental options.

Phil Austin, Head of Global Individual Private Medical Insurance said: “The new plans have been developed in response to customer and broker demand for a wider range of products which span across different market segments. The new plans give us the ability to provide products which suit a greater footprint of customers, and with the added flexibility of teaming a modular approach with deductible and cost share options, it has become really easy for customers to build a plan which is matched to the their unique needs”. The plans were developed after a period of customer and market research which identified a gap in the market for an affordable, high quality, high service healthcare plan.

Austin added: “Our customers appreciated our existing high-service Global Health Options plan which performed well at the upperend of the market. We identified an acute need for additional quality, affordable plans in the middlemarket: for those individuals who are moving abroad but are paying for their plan themselves and want to contain costs but maintain high service levels. The new plans are about giving customers much more choice, so they can get all the cover they need without having to pay for cover they don’t need. After all, if you know you won’t need maternity care, why should you pay for a plan which includes it?”

Key features of the new plans:

  • Choice of Silver, Gold or Platinum options International Medical Insurance core cover as standard, covering inpatient hospital stays, specialist consultants, cancer care etc, and also maternity care on Platinum and Gold plans
  • Flexibility to build a unique plan with a range of additional optional modules, including Outpatient cover; Medical Evacuation; Health & Wellbeing; and Vision & Dental cover
  • Manage premiums with deductible and cost share options on core and Outpatient Comprehensive cancer care as standard
  • No maximum age restrictions
  • Guaranteed renewability

The plans bring a high-service proposition to the mid-market. Customers get access to service levels usually only available on higher-end plans, including:

  • Access to a team of professionals to help navigate the complexities of international health insurance 24/7/365;
  • A global network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health specialists located around the world;
  • Direct claims settlement with providers in most cases, or reimbursement within 5 days.

About Cigna Global Health Options

Cigna is a global health service company dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being and sense of security. As an operating subsidiary, Cigna Global Health Options provides global international health care plans designed for customers who want the flexibility of having easy access to high quality health care around the world.

  • International Medical Insurance;
  • International Outpatient;
  • International Health and Well-being;
  • International Vision and Dental;
  • International Medical Evacuation.

For more information on the new plans, view the Sales Brochure:

If you are a broker seeking more information, or wishing to offer the new plans, register at


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