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Which Geographic Markets And Industries Represent A Core Focus For Insurers?

Which Geographic Markets And Industries Represent A Core Focus For Insurers?

We will continue to see expansion in the high-tech, medical and educational markets. We are keeping an eye on the U.S. regulatory environment, which may eshape the domestic health insurance market over the next few years. A recent study projects that because of healthcare reform, 30% of U.S. employers are going to drop group health coverage in the years following 2014 when the Affordable Care Act takes effect.

That sets the stage for the individual market to expand, and we will be there to serve the needs of individual expatriates. Geographically speaking, HTH will continue to partner and provide services in other global territories. Through our GeoBlue programs, we expect to have a significant expansion in blue cross and blue shield branded programs in other opportunistic markets.

Angelo Masciantonio CEO HTH Worldwide


Travel Advice France

Around 17,100,000 British nationals visit France every year. Most visits are trouble-free. Industrial action by public sector workers on 10 September 2013 may have a limited effect on travel to, from and within France. Check with your travel provider before you leave. There is a general threat from terrorism. The French authorities announced in January 2013 increased security around public buildings and on transport.

You should apply for a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before you travel. If you already have an EHIC, make sure it hasn’t expired. Some medical costs aren’t covered by the EHIC so you should also take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel. 


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.


Bupa Welcomes Competition Commission Putting Patients First

The Competition Commission’s provisional findings into the private healthcare market, published today, are good news for patients, says Bupa. The report says patients have been bearing the cost of a lack of competition among private hospitals, especially in London, and has set out a series of possible actions to address the market failures.

Dr Damien Marmion, managing director, Bupa Health Funding said: “This is good news for patients and private healthcare. It could be the treatment required to drive better value, better quality and greater transparency for customers. “Millions of people with health insurance rightly expect high-quality healthcare for an affordable price. By tackling the lack of competition that has damaged the sector for too long, the Commission has understood the need for strong action and has put patients first. “Bupa will continue to work with the Commission to support them in driving through these proposals for the benefit of customers.”

The Competition Commission (CC) identifies over 100 hospitals facing little local competition, the main five hospital groups owning the vast majority of these. Three of the groups are highlighted as creating between £173million and £193million of extra costs for patients each year. The CC is now looking at requiring groups to sell some hospitals and is proposing to change the way hospitals negotiate with insurers so that patients get a better deal.

The CC criticises schemes where hospital groups offer incentives, such as fee for referral, free secretarial support and free consulting rooms, for consultants to treat patients at their hospitals. It says that the schemes which encourage consultants to ‘choose facilities on grounds other than price and quality’ should be stopped, as they could cause excessive tests or consultations. The CC also calls for better information for patients on the prices charged by private hospitals and consultants, and the quality of their service. Bupa is committed to playing its part in communicating this information to its customers. The CC reports that no insurer has enough ‘buyer power’ to fully offset the market power of major hospital groups. But, by working to keep premiums down and promote competition on price and quality, insurers like Bupa are doing ‘exactly what their customers would expect’.

Dr Marmion added: “This is the most important potential reform to the UK’s private healthcare market in decades. The sector has been given a golden opportunity to halt the decline and to grow the market for the benefit of consumers – everyone must now work together to ensure that this chance is not wasted.” “We have long been campaigning for a better deal for customers. The Competition Commission has clearly recognised that structural changes are needed in the market to make this happen. “We hope that the Commission will take forward its bold proposals to drive better quality and value for money. By doing so they can help many more people afford private healthcare and the benefits it can bring.”

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