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Globality Health Latest News

Globality Health Strengthens Network Management With Appointment Of Ronald Pritchard

Globality Health is proud to welcome the appointment of experienced senior operations manager, Ronald Pritchard, as Head of Network Management. His mission is to optimize working relationships with partners and the medical provider network, with special emphasis on operational and financial efficiency. He joined Globality...

18-05-2016 iPMI Magazine Executive Appointments Movements News

Globality Health Names Michael Kløcker As New Chief Commercial Officer

As of 1 May, Michael Kløcker is the Chief Commercial Officer of the international health insurer with a special focus on expatriates, Globality Health. His appointment completes Globality’s Board of Management, allowing interim CCO Gregor Schulte to focus on his core role as Chief Financial Officer. "I...

05-05-2016 iPMI Magazine Executive Appointments Movements News

Globality Health Continues UK Market Expansion With Appointment Of New UK Regional Sales Director

Globality Health, the international medical insurer with a special focus on expatriates is excited to announce the appointment of Mr. Gavin Royston, as UK regional sales director. With a wealth of iPMI industry experience spanning over 13 years, including 8 years at Bupa and 4 years posted...

22-06-2015 iPMI Magazine Executive Appointments Movements News

Globality Health Introduces New CEO

Munich Health, the health segment of Munich Re, has appointed Roman Beilhack as new CEO for Globality Health. The appointment is the next step in a comprehensive development program for Globality Health, the international health insurer with a special focus on expatriates within Munich Re. Beilhack...

07-11-2014 iPMI Magazine Executive Appointments Movements News

Globality Health Partners With UAE’s Leading Health Insurer Daman

By partnering with the National Health Insurance Company - Daman, Globality Health is extending its full international health insurance offering, including 24/7 emergency medical assistance and medical evacuation and repatriation services, to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The partnership with Daman allows Globality Health`s clients...

04-11-2014 iPMI Product News

Globality Health Take Lead Sponsorship Position On Maritime Labour Convention 2006 Round Table Business Forum

iPMI Magazine is proud to announce Globality Health has taken the lead sponsorship position on the upcoming Maritime Labour Convention 2006 Round Table Business Forum. Mr. Philip Wright, Chief Commercial Officer at Globality Health will take the head of the round table. The Maritime Labour Convention...

13-03-2014 RT Delegate Sponsor News

EuroAlarm Joins The Globality Health Global Network

Globality Health is strengthening its global network by partnering with leading international assistance provider, EuroAlarm, to provide full international care, including 24/7 emergency medical assistance, medical evacuation and repatriation services, to all group and individual clients. A full support service that clients can depend upon...

03-12-2013 iPMI Magazine Breaking News

iPMI Conferences 2014

Team iPMIM are currently very busy researching a health and medical insurance conference for 2014. We are now at a stage where we need your input. iPMI Conferences (http://ipmiconference.com) facilitate dialog and debate between the various sectors of the international healthcare business. Insurance companies, assistance networks...

08-11-2013 iPMI Magazine Breaking News

New Cover For The Untapped Seafarers Market From Globality Health

Globality Health responded to the need for appropriate insurance for seafarers by partnering with Crewsure (crewsure.com) to offer clients innovative insurance products. From August 20th 2013 all vessels over a certain size have to comply with a new labour convention known as the Maritime Labour...

19-08-2013 iPMI Product News

Globality Health Introduces A New International Health Insurance Plan For Individuals - Yougenio® World

Globality Health has launched its new international health insurance plan for individuals, YouGenio® World. It is replacing YouGenio® with a large number of improvements to the current plan levels Classic, Plus and Top, such as full cancer care. In twelve-months the product development team has...

16-04-2013 iPMI Product News

AOC Insurance Broker Launch Revolutionary App Featuring International Health Insurance Comparative Search Engine With E-Health Services

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AOC Insurance Broker, the leading international private medical health insurance comparator, is pleased to announce the launch of a revolutionary new mobile application featuring a comparative search engine for expatriates searching for health insurance and Healthtech services. The app has been christened AOC ExpatCare.

20/6/2017 and AOC Insurance Broker was awarded the Label finance Innovation by Finance Innovation & French Tech for its platform and a new application AOC Expat Care.

FINANCE INNOVATION is led by Mrs Christine Lagarde, Minister of the Economy and encourages the facilitation and development of innovative projects and research with high added value in the financial sector. AOC Expat Care allows users to compare insurance offers provided by the market and proposing electronic health services using IOT technology with the goal to be always more innovative and developing its services based on prevention.

Current or soon-to-be expats will be able to log-in from their smart phones and get a real-time comparative offer, depending on the country, package and medical benefits required.

This application has been designed to display real-time ascending price orders available on the market and to provide clear details on the benefits. Users will also have access to various and relevant information. And in case you may need to get specific information or expertise, you will be able to contact an AOC consultant 24/7.

The main highlight of this application and our reward program AOC The Family is to blend digital and human solutions for a tailor-made offer in the 3 following sectors with artificial intelligence & internet of things:

  • Your online health: direct access to remote consultancy, second medical expertise, tools to manage chronic and pre-existing conditions, health checks solutions etc…
  • Your online diet: proposing you diet and nutrition programs adapted to your needs.
  • Your online sports/P.E: possibilities with recording and monitoring your performances, your calories burnt during your training, to monitor your heartbeat or your sleep, among other innovative tools.

Users will be totally empowered and able to experience an extensive range of new tools and services on their connected wearables: watches, wristbands, scales, electro stimulators, cardio sensors…

These services will be available via fidelity points earned from our loyalty program “AOC The Family”. Points can be easily earned by subscribing to any of our services, including new subscriptions and contracts renewals or by simply advocating and recommending AOC Insurance Broker to your network.

With this new tool, AOC Insurance Broker is aiming at proposing unparalleled health services to individuals but also to corporates and international mobility workers thanks to an extensive panel of tailor-made programs.

AOC Insurance Broker: Get Better, Get Healthier. Website: www.aoc-insurancebroker.com

AOC Expatcare: www.aoc-expatcare.com

 

 

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UK Advisers Fear Economic Uncertainty And Market Volatility As BREXIT Looms - But Income Is Up As Firms Plan Expansion

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  • More than twice as many advisers as last year say economic uncertainty is a key concern for the coming year
  • Nearly 4 in 5 (78%) fear market volatility leading up to Brexit
  • But over 30% report annual income of over £1m, compared with 26% this time last year
  • 45% are planning to recruit in the next year,  up from 40% a year ago, and 31% in March 2013
  • Despite the challenging macro environment and concerns around political upheavals, advisers see growing opportunities in retirement planning (75%), financial reviews driven by low interest rates (51%), and increasingly through employer clients (only 24% don’t advise vs 41% last year).
  • Financial stability of platforms is a growing factor for main platform choice – one third of advisers would consider changing platforms because of concerns about financial stability, compared with 24% in May 2015.

Aviva’s new Adviser Barometer shows a doubling in the number of advisers who say that economic uncertainty is a key concern, up from 21% this time last year. The same number also cited the impact of Brexit as one of their biggest concerns, and 39% also thought the Trump victory in the US election had a worrying potential for the future of the advice industry.

However, other indicators show that the financial advice market in 2016 continues to show signs of healthy growth. Over 30% of advisers report their firms’ income is over £1m, compared with 26% at the same time last year, and the number of advisers intending to recruit additional staff in the next year is the highest since the survey began. 45% say they intend to do this, compared with 40% a year ago, and only 31% in March 2013.

Tim Orton, CEO Aviva Adviser Platform, says, “It is no surprise that the sentiment reflected in our latest Adviser Barometer reflects the general uncertainty we’ve seen since the UK vote for Brexit and the Trump victory in the US election. In both cases we are stepping away from the status quo which inevitably invites speculation as to possible outcomes. The good news is that despite all this the advice market in the UK is continuing to thrive, with increasing incomes and plans for expansion reported, and of course the FTSE is at record levels which is good news for investment returns.”

However, there has been little actual change, in adviser or client behaviour, since the June 23rd vote.

84% of advisers report no additional demand attributable to the Brexit vote, and where this has been seen it is largely from clients requiring assurance only (77%). Of the others, 30% were looking to turn cash into investments with almost equal number (27%) doing the reverse (investments into cash).

But 78% of advisers say their main concern about Brexit is potential market volatility, and a further 35% say changes in regulation concerns them.

Only 2% of advisers have reviewed their providers following the Brexit vote, with advisers saying the main reason for staying put is wanting to use firms with more stability (46%), wanting to use UK-based firms (18%), and using firms with a diversified business (16%).

Concerns about the financial advice market, whilst continuing to reflect ongoing issues such as regulatory fees and levies (a concern for 54%) and PI costs (46%), have coalesced around macro factors. Although one in four are still concerned about staying profitable, this has shown a significant lessening of importance from a year ago, where 45% cited this as a key concern.

Tim Orton commented, “The most concerning factors for advisers in the next six months are the ramifications from Brexit and Trump’s presidency, but factors which advisers can control, such as remaining profitable, have become less of a concern for them. I think this is also a reflection of the way the market has grown and strengthened since our survey began back in December 2011. “What is coming through strongly is advisers saying they are putting measures in place to make sure they are in as good a place as possible to meet whatever challenges occur in the coming year – by sticking with financially strong, secure, diversified UK-based companies.”

OPPORTUNITIES

75% of advisers see growth in the retirement market as a main area of opportunity (up from 58% a year ago), and with 51% (vs 30% in November 2015) seeing the increasing need for regular financial reviews as key, there is now a definite focus on these areas in the coming year.

In contrast, growth in protection is cited by 18% of advisers as an opportunity this year, compared with 28% last year, and attracting orphaned customers is mentioned by fewer advisers, down to 19% from 24%.

Tim Orton says, “What is striking in this year’s survey is the polarisation of opportunities within the market. A large majority of advisers now consider retirement planning to be the best opportunity they have, but it is noticeable as well that advisers said frequent financial reviews are now more important than ever, with the low-interest rate environment driving a need for regular reviews to ensure clients are making the most of their investments.”

PLATFORMS

The number of advisers considering changing their main platform is slightly up from last year, with 14% saying they are considering this. However, this level has barely changed since September 2013.

Functionality remains the main reason for advisers considering change, but is relatively less important than previously, with 59% of advisers saying this is the main reason compared with 72% a year ago. Value for money, and cost, are both cited by 48% of advisers as a key reason which shows the importance of balancing these two related factors.

Perhaps as a reflection of the general sentiment of uncertainty, ‘financial strength’ has become more important as a factor behind wanting to change a main platform provider – 33% said this in November 2016, compared with 30% in November 2015, and 24% in May of that year.

Nearly all advisers (98%) conduct due diligence at least annually, with 4% saying they do it more often than that. 13% conduct due diligence with every new client.

Tim Orton commented,“It’s encouraging for us to know that due diligence is an integral part of BAU for advisers. In line with the survey findings we are seeing an increasing number of advisers concerned about the financial stability of their platform as part of their due diligence. At Aviva we’re here to stay and committed to investing in our proposition for the future, enhancing efficiency and functionality for our advisers and their clients.”

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Tokio Marine Life Insurance Singapore And Henner Group Target Globally Mobile Employees With New Care & Health Plan

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Tokio Marine Life Insurance Singapore Ltd. (TMLS) has strengthened its partnership with Henner Group with the joint launch of a new international medical coverage solution for globally mobile employees in Singapore.

Developed in recognition of the 25 per cent increase in talent mobility levels over the last decade and the changing form of global assignments, such as short-term and project-based job postings, the new Care & Health plan aims to address the uncertainty faced in seeking medical insurance assistance in new and foreign markets. The plan will provide globally mobile employees with comprehensive medical insurance coverage when they relocate to Singapore, when they are re-assigned to other markets and while they are travelling overseas.

“Today's world is more interconnected than ever before, and employees with cross-border experience and skill sets continue to be highly sought-after. Singapore has one of the most globally mobile workforces in Asia2 , not only as a top destination for expatriate employees but also as a market where multinational corporations develop local talent for international assignments,” said Mr James Tan, Chief Executive Officer of TMLS.

"As part of our efforts to contribute to a safe, secure and sustainable global society, TMLS constantly explores meaningful propositions to meet the needs of our customers and business partners. The new Care & Health plan will support this valuable mobile workforce throughout their life journeys across the world, and we are extremely pleased to be partnering Henner to provide this exciting new offering.”

For globally mobile employees, a key consideration when selecting a medical insurance plan is portability, which provides certainty in the event of changes to their employment status or country of residence. The new Care & Health plan addresses this consideration by allowing employees covered under the plan to switch to an individual solution without an underwriting requirement, when they leave an employer or group plan after two years.

"As an international insurance solutions provider, our focus in the development of the Care & Health plan is to create a product that is a comprehensive and portable solution for the global workforce, leaving individuals free to focus on their careers, wherever these may take them. Care & Health plays an active part in Henner’s international development and we are proud to bring the Henner quality of service to Asia with this new plan, while remaining true to our fundamental ambition of being a partner for life to our clients,” said Mr Charles Robinet Duffo, Chief Executive Officer of Henner Group.

Other features offered by the plan include the choice of annual policy limits ranging from US$200,000 to US$4.5million, coverage for complementary therapies and medicines, comprehensive maternity benefits including in vitro fertilisation (IVF), and flexibility in optional dental or vision care add-ons, which includes Lasik surgery (commonly referred to as “laser”) and adult orthodontic work. The plan also offers cashless access to Henner’s well established international healthcare network for both Outpatient and Inpatient Hospitalisation and a claims processing average turnaround time of three working days or less.

First launched in Europe in late-2013, the Care & Health plan has received much praise and recognition as an innovative insurance solution for globally mobile individuals. In 2014, the Care & Health plan also earned Henner the Argus d'Or Innovation (“Golden Innovation Award”) under the Argus d'Or de l'Assurance ("The Insurance Golden Awards"), led by France's leading insurance weekly Argus de l’Assurance, in the "Personal Insurance for the General Public" category, as an innovative achievement in the insurance industry.

International Medical and health insurance news

 

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Mandatory Health Insurance For Expatriates Visiting Kuwait On Visit Visas

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The decision is one in a series of new expat related restrictions in Kuwait, and will see a bill passed by parliament that will make health insurance mandatory for those expats visiting Kuwait on a visit visa.

According to local sources some expatriates only visit Kuwait to receive medical treatments, from routine check-ups to more complex surgeries. This puts a strain on the public hospital system and means Kuwaitis have to wait to receive treatments.

Related: Kuwait To Launch New Expatriate Healthcare System

 

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Medical Costs In Asia March 2016

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The latest info graphic from Pacific Cross International, looks at medical costs around Asia.

Medical Costs In Asia March 2016

  • Thailand treatment of CARDIAC ARREST $38,906 USD
  • Malaysia treatment of BENIGN NEOPLASM OVARY $2,338 USD
  • Singapore treatment of UNS MALIGNANT NEO ESOPHAGUS $42,833 USD
  • Indonesia treatment of ACUTE MYOCARDIAL INFARCTION $22,458 USD
  • Vietnam treatment of CATARACT $4,102 USD
  • Philippines treatment of CARDIAC ARREST $74,727 USD
  • Hong Kong treatment of PATHOLOGICAL FRACTURE VERTEBRAE $90,478 USD

About Pacific Cross International

Pacific Cross International is a holding company for the Pacific Cross International group of companies. The group has provided health insurance in Asia for over 65 years. The companies operating entities are located in Hong Kong, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia. Pacific Cross International as a group provides health insurance for over 75,000+ people representing 53 nationalities living in 42 countries. In 2014 the group provided travel insurance for 2,642,514 travel days for over 200,000+ people.

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Understanding PMI And IPMI Market Size Per Country

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One of the most frequently asked questions we get asked at iPMI Magazine is what is the size of market for PMI and iPMI by country, and globally?

Before we answer that, answer the following 2 questions:

If a Frenchman living in London buys an IPMI policy from a French broker who uses an Irish insurer that is part of a German group for cover in a Gulf state where insurance has to be fronted/shared by a local insurer; Which or how many of these 5 countries do you book the premium into? Which currency do you measure it in?

If an American living in Cuba buys an IPMI policy from a Bermuda broker for a job in Trinidad and uses a UK insurer that works from a local office in the USA but pays claims from a global claims centre in Romania, how many of the 6 countries do you book premium and claims to?

It isn't so simple is it?

Coupled with the following facts breaking down the market size for PMI and IPMI is a complex if not impossible task:

Back-in-the-day Insurers would publish detailed by product or by country info but now they try to avoid it, as it is competitive gold dust.

Many country figures only cover onshore health insurance and not offshore so can mislead you when looking at the market value in countries that do not demand local cover.

Some big European and American global insurers only publish on a vague regional basis, or on types that lumps health in with life and accident covers.

In many smaller countries the offshore IPMI market is far bigger than any onshore PMI or IPMI market - and in some countries there is no domestic health insurance at all.

Few countries demand annual insurer returns by product and those that do ask for vague health, accident and protection figures. The definition of protection is so vague, it is open to interpretation. 

Currency conversion is a huge problem too - 2015 figures from various big insurers show that income and profit figures can vary by plus or minus 30% depending on what currency and what conversion rates are used.

Internet Facts

In the complex world of IPMI there is no space for "Internet Facts".

Facts from a country, insurer or trade body, are generally reliable but even "official" figures have to be watched as within Health there can be hospital cash or top-up covers and other non full PMI or IPMI figures.

Where governments demand returns on health insurance or there are official competition enquiries then there are some excellent numbers to crunch.

Understanding The PMI And IPMI Report Market

Unfortunately in 2016 there are so many sub-standard boiler plate healthcare, insurance and expatriate reports. They claim to have health insurance country figures, but when you shell out thousands of pounds of R & D budget, and look for yourself, they mix accident and health and protection together; and strangely they all seem to predict growth for the next five years of 20% a year.

We have seen reports that profile the top ten insurers' and base the country figures just on the rough claimed figures- where the top ten miss out more than half the market.

There are reports which show insurers country market share but the total always seems to add up to well over 100%!

So, how can we understand the size of the PMI and IPMI market?

International And Expatriate Healthcare And Insurance 2016 is the only reliable source of information that can be trusted to answer your question and even then there are still some gaps. But this is critical: this report deals in facts, not crystal balls.

The 2016 edition is the result of over a decade of specialist research and report writing and is the answer for insurers, brokers and corporations who struggle to break the market down.

Where there is decent data available, it is included and all data has been carefully researched, checked and verified with no outlandish or generic claims made. Past performance is not always a representation of future results.

2016 IPMI Report Facts And Features That Will Help You Size The Market:

Download the 2016 report information kit, click here.

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Test Your Knowledge Of iPMI And Health Insurance

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The iPMI business crosses physical, cultural and perceptual borders minute-by-minute and is one of the most complex areas of insurance in terms of laws and regulations. Test your knowledge now of the International PMI and international health insurance industry with our new test.

  1. Which US insurer has a Central Europe service centre, and where is it?
  2. Which US insurer had horrific losses in one South American country and what was it?
  3. Who bought the IPMI book of Best Doctors, and what did they not buy?
  4. Name two global IPMI comparison sites?
  5. Which country’s New Year present to citizens took away their free health insurance?
  6. Which country brought in compulsory health insurance for travellers, and what are the excepted classes?
  7. Which country makes it almost impossible for expats to leave the state health insurance system?
  8. In which country can local employers be excused from insuring expats in the state health insurance scheme only if they have less than 5 expat workers?
  9. Which country has street patrols that can fine people who have no health insurance?     
  10. Which insurer will launch a new five- year plan in June?

REQUEST ANSWERS, FILL IN THIS FORM ONLINE.

If you struggle to answer all or most of these questions you may need a ready reference that answers these questions plus more. Enter: International And Expatriate Healthcare And Insurance 2016, the brand new report from industry analyst Ian Youngman, ACII.

Although there are now more opportunities than ever for insurers and brokers to sell iPMI and health insurance to locals and expats, to do so successfully YOU need to understand how healthcare and health insurance works in each targeted country - PLUS what the competition is doing. 

DOWNLOAD REPORT MEDIA KIT AND CONTENTS, CLICK HERE.

Compulsory insurance, voluntary top up covers, differences between what you can sell to locals and expatriates, rules on overseas investors, compulsory local partnerships, economic sanctions, and even local politics are all things that insurers and brokers must understand - as are newer factors of controls on insurance and healthcare prices, and recent compulsory health insurance rules for travellers or students.

Competition for business is not just from global groups, as regional groups and strong national insurers also want a slice of the market.

Do you follow the crowd to the Gulf, or see more potential in Africa, Asia and South America?

The business landscape is changing fast - such as the country that brought in compulsory free insurance for citizens and then with no warning scrapped the plan and told them to buy their own cover.

The last 2 years has seen massive changes in who owns who, who is partnering with who and local healthcare/insurance offerings. Historic information is interesting, but as investment companies warn "Past performance is no guide to future success".

This is the report that looks at the now and the future.

Report author Ian Youngman says, "This report has taken longer than expected to produce due to fast changing industry events. This has meant I had to make continuous changes to make sure we are fully up to speed. I have updated the previous report, doubled the number of companies, added new sections, added 60 countries and restructured it to make it more logical."

DOWNLOAD REPORT MEDIA KIT AND CONTENTS, CLICK HERE.

 

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Hacks Tax and Expatriates

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Panama law firm announces major data hack. Resignation of Icelandic PM. Swiss police raid Uefa offices. 20 global leaders alleged to have used tax havens. British PM gives 5 different answers to questions on finance after allegations that his father paid no tax for 30 years then eventually admits he profited from father’s offshore fund. China shuts down the Internet. Laundered cash from Britain’s largest gold bullion robbery was hidden in Panama. Argentinean President is being questioned by federal authorities. Thailand's Anti-Money Laundering Office investigating 16 people, including current and former politicians and well-known business people. Australia's tax office investigating 800 individuals named in data. Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko says he has done nothing wrong. Austria's financial markets regulator says it is investigating whether two banks breached rules on money laundering after being named in the leaks. France opens a preliminary investigation into money laundering and tax fraud. Sanctions busting, arms dealing and more.

It sounds like the plots of half a dozen Nordic Noir television series, but it is all part of one scandal that took 350 reporters to reveal.

The Panama Papers includes more than 11.5 million financial and legal records from Panama law firm, Mossack Fonseca, exposing a global web that can enable crime and corruption.

The UK's Financial Conduct Authority has given banks and investment businesses only until Friday April 15th to hand over all dealings with the law firm in Panama. 

Even HMRC got a mention with much humour arising from the revelation that 600 offices of HMRC were owned and operated by a group of offshore companies that paid little or no UK tax.

What Is A Tax Haven?

Traditional tax havens are countries or regions where personal and business taxes are likely to be very low, or even non-existent. These countries often attract individuals and companies who are seeking to pay less tax than they would at home. Businesses may move their headquarters to a tax haven, or individuals choose to live there for some or all of the year, to qualify for the lower tax regime.

Tax Competition

Some countries or jurisdictions construct tax legislation with the explicit intention of becoming havens for those seeking to avoid tax in their own countries. This gives rise to tax competition between nations eager to get businesses to set up within their borders.

USA Tax Havens 

The term tax haven usually conjures up images of yachts, sea, sunshine and palm fringed, coconut white sandy beaches. But this isn't quite accurate.

President Obama likes to talk about Ugland House in the Cayman Islands that is home to around 18,000 companies, yet Delaware, which has a population of around 935,000, is home to some 945,000 companies, many of which are shell companies.

Shruti Shah, vice-president of programs and operations at Transparency International told The Guardian, “You don’t really have to go to Panama or other tax havens. They are not the only ones making it possible for corrupt officials and other criminals to launder their money. You can do it in every state in the US. In every state in the US, you can incorporate an LLC – [a limited liability company] – or another legal entity and you don’t have to disclose who the beneficiary on it is. In fact, Delaware is so synonymous with anonymous companies and ghost corporations that it was named in Transparency International’s Unmask the Corrupt campaign as one of the most symbolic cases of corruption.”

UK Tax Havens 

Without mentioning the numerous actual offshore islands like Jersey, Cayman or the BVI, closer to home The City of London, a pioneer in offshore currency trading in the 1950's still helps non-residents pay little or no tax. Changes to UK corporate tax law in 2011 allowed multinational's to pay little or no UK tax on foreign sourced income.

According to The Sunday Times January 2016, at least 6 of Britain’s 10 largest multinationals (including Shell, British American Tobacco and Lloyds Banking Group) paid no UK corporation tax in 2014.

Other companies that paid no UK corporation tax in 2014 were brewer SABMiller and AstraZeneca. BP and Glaxo Smith Kline declined to reveal how much UK corporation tax they paid but Glaxo Smith Kline did say they paid something.

Social network giant Facebook paid around £4,320 in UK corporation tax in 2014.

Few of us are paid enough to worry about which tax optimisation scheme to arrange, but for expats, advice on the best tax practices and even the best places to work is vital.

The semantics about tax evasion and avoidance by millionaires and corporations is sadly pointless. Both mean that people and companies do not contribute their fair share of the costs of schools, universities, hospitals, roads, railways, police and the other entire infrastructure that enables them to work or live in that country.

Reasons Expatriates Move Overseas

For many, especially the British, the weather can play a massive role in the reason to move overseas. Other reasons include a relaxed lifestyle, more career opportunities and apparently cost-of-living. Whilst it may be true that one may survive on $250PCM living in a mud hut in the Golden Triangle eating rice every day, to maintain similar standards as you may be use to back home, will be expensive. 

Another reason to move overseas can be to build up a nest egg, and that is why places such as Gulf States with low tax regimes are popular, particularly if the expats can avoid paying tax at home, or paying off their student loans while overseas.

But again, do not be fooled. Savings made on business rates and local taxes will be recouped elsewhere. Cost-of-living in some expat hot spots is ridiculously high and you will also pay in time due to red-tape and bureaucracy.

One recent example of the cost of expatriation is from a major EU expat hotspot. According to a source at iPMI Magazine, Government and local councils have no issue helping themselves to money from business and personal expat bank accounts. In some instances monies were owed. In other instances it was a major mistake. Other times fraud. "Money goes missing from our accounts all the time" said one expat who runs a local, not offshore, company. "Our house is in a small gated community and 3 houses share a lovely swimming pool and gardens. We have a separate bank account set up for maintenance payments to look after the up keep of the communal area. Local council will even dip into that."

Long Terms Affects

As yet no insurer has been mentioned in the Panama Papers but with so much material yet to emerge it seems inevitable. Investment arms of some global insurers will be involved in investment advice that uses tax havens plus many insurers do operate offshore.

What comes next is any ones guess but one thing is for sure, The Panama Papers are causing a massive stir that could lead to a backlash, affecting global businesses and expatriates; particularly those in locations regarded as tax havens.

The serious message to any expatriate or business based in a tax haven is to ensure your tax affairs are in good order, in case you get caught up in the knee-jerk responses from formerly asleep-at-the-wheel tax authorities.

 

 

 

 

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UNWTO Confident In Egypt’s Tourism Recovery

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UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, has expressed the Organizations’ full confidence in the recovery of tourism in Egypt during a recent visit to the country. On the occasion, Mr. Rifai met with Egypt’s President, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, in the presence of the Egyptian Minister of Tourism, Hisham Zaazou. The President reiterated his full support to the tourism sector and its utmost determination in ensuring that Egypt is a safe, attractive and leading tourism destination saying “if tourism recovers, Egypt will recover”.

Meeting with Prime Minister Sherif Ismail Mohamed, Secretary-General discussed measures to accelerate the recovery of tourism to Egypt and praised the support being given to the sector. Both representatives welcomed the actions undertaken by Egypt to promote the highest political support for the sector, regain the confidence of source markets, enhance tourism safety and security and successfully integrate the sector into risk and emergency management structures, both at national and local levels.

“Egypt has undertaken strong initiatives in terms of communications with the competent authorities and public opinion in source markets on safety and security issues, unlocking the support of airlines and tour operators, incentivising demand and engaging key players in Egypt in these concerted efforts. I trust these actions will herald results in restoring confidence and accelerating the recovery of tourism to Egypt”, said Mr. Rifai.

Mr Rifai also met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sameh Hassan Shoukry, to discuss the cooperation between the Ministries of Tourism and Foreign Affairs and UNWTO, including Egypt’s chairmanship of the UNWTO Executive Council and the forthcoming UNWTO City Tourism Summit taking place in Egypt later this year.

The future of tourism in Egypt

Opening Egypt´s Tourism 2016 Conference ‘Planning for Growth’, Mr Rifai recalled that there is a strong pent up demand for tourism to Egypt, from source markets, both within and outside the region.

“We should never forget that Egypt is one of the world’s most remarkable tourism success stories. Over the last decade, the number of visitors to Egypt practically tripled and so did the exports generated by international tourism. Egypt is, and will continue to be, despite all challenges, a leading tourism destination.” 

Tourism is a critical contributor to Egypt’s GDP, employment, foreign currency earnings and investment. Mr. Rifai called upon the international community to support Egypt’s tourism saying that “supporting the recovery of tourism to Egypt is supporting the future of Egypt and that of its people; supporting tourism to Egypt is promoting peace and stability”.

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Taxpayers Who Lost Health Insurance Due To Tax Compliance May Be Eligible For Special Enrollment Period With Federal Marketplace

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Consumers who tried but were unable to enroll in 2016 health insurance coverage through the federal marketplace and receive an Advance Premium Tax Credit (APTC) may now be able to re-apply and enroll in affordable health insurance coverage through a special enrollment period ending March 31, 2016.

H&R Block (NYSE: HRB) advises taxpayers who received APTC for 2014 to file complete and accurate 2014 returns to qualify for this special enrollment period. To ensure access to the APTC to help pay for coverage on the federal marketplace next year, taxpayers should file a complete and accurate 2015 tax return by April 18.

The federal marketplace special enrollment period will help taxpayers who were denied APTC in 2016 and dropped coverage or declined to enroll because they could not afford coverage. Taxpayers who received the APTC in 2014 and did not file a complete 2014 tax return are ineligible for the credit in 2016. Now, these taxpayers can re-apply for the APTC and enroll in 2016 coverage if:

  • they were not enrolled in health insurance coverage through the federal marketplace as of January 31, 2016,
  • they file their 2014 tax return and reconcile their 2014 APTC and
  • they attest to the marketplace that they filed a 2014 return reconciling their APTC.

"Thanks to this special enrollment period, consumers who had to cancel their 2016 health insurance because it was too expensive without the APTC can now re-apply and enroll in coverage, but only if they file their 2014 return and reconcile the APTC they received in 2014," said Mark Ciaramitaro, vice president of H&R Block taxes and health care services. "The key to getting affordable health insurance through this special enrollment period is a correctly filed tax return. Once again, we see that taxes and health insurance go hand-in-hand."

Taxes are the key to affordable health insurance now and in the future

This year is the first year when taxpayers could lose their APTC if they had failed to file a complete tax return for a previous year they received the credit. Because this is the first year consumers are facing this issue, the federal marketplace is offering a special enrollment period to help consumers understand and meet the requirement.

"Consumers not only need to file their 2014 return to qualify for this year's special enrollment period, but they also need to make sure they file a 2015 return so that they do not find themselves in the same boat next year, when the marketplace is less likely to extend a special enrollment period," said Ciaramitaro.

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