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CignaTTK Health Insurance Launches Business Operations in India

CignaTTK Health Insurance a joint venture between U.S. based global health service leader, Cigna Corporation (NYSE:CI), and Indian conglomerate TTK Group, have announced the launch of its operations in India.

Speaking at the occasion Mr. T.T. Jagannathan, Chairman of the TTK Group of Companies said, “We’re delighted to partner with Cigna. It is our commitment to provide quality products and services to our customers. TTK group upholds ‘Transparency, Trust and Knowledge’ in all aspects of our business. Through our partnership with Cigna, we now intend to deliver health insurance solutions that keep the customer at the heart of everything we do.”

Announcing the launch, Mr. Sandeep Patel, CEO and Managing Director, CignaTTK Health Insurance Company Limited said “CignaTTK’s focus is to encourage customers to stay healthy and live life to the fullest. We will do that by delivering products and services that will educate and assist customers to lead healthier lifestyles. Given the continued rise in medical costs in India, coupled with a parallel increase in lifestyle related diseases, there is an urgent need to upscale health insurance penetration in the country. We are committed to providing affordable and innovative health insurance solutions to meet our customer’s daily health challenges without compromising on quality customer service.”

Mr. Jason Sadler, President, Cigna Global Individual said, “Cigna is one of the leading health service companies in the world and operates in more than 31 countries. With more than 80 million customer relationships worldwide, we pride ourselves on our ability to provide products and services aligned with customer expectations of solutions that are easy to access, use, and deliver on their promise. We are delighted to partner with the TTK Group and look forward to bringing to Indian customers innovative health and wellness solutions.”

CignaTTK has undertaken extensive consumer research to understand the needs of Indian consumers. As a result of this research, CignaTTK has the insights needed to develop and launch innovative products and services aimed towards specific individual and family health needs, with processes that are easy to experience. The company will focus on various proactive measures to inspire, motivate and incentivize a customer to stay in good health.

“Leveraging the strengths of TTK’s strong local market expertise with Cigna’s expertise in developing innovative products and services will help CignaTTK meet the needs of consumers, who are progressively realizing the importance of health insurance.” added, Mr. Patel.


British Expats In France And Spain Lose Free Healthcare

British expatriates living in Europe having taken early retirement will lose their access to free local healthcare services, after the government decided to scrap the facility.

In the past, those living in countries such as France or Spain have found their treatment covered by the NHS, but this is about to change. From April 1st, those who are not covered through employment will have to foot the bill themselves. The move is just one of a number of cost-saving measures that the NHS is planning to roll out in order to bring its budgets back in check.

European states will no longer be reimbursed by the NHS for the medical treatment received by non-working Brits below the pensionable age. The current system works by expats filling in an S1 form, which entitles them to two and a half years worth of healthcare if they have paid national insurance for the previous three years.

Those who are already in possession of the document will be able to use it until it expires, but once it lapses it will not be renewed and expat travel insurance will be required instead.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health told the Telegraph: "No other European state offers an equivalent to the residual S1 and the reasons for the UK doing so in the past probably arise because the NHS is different to continental systems."

No figure has been released to state how much money will be saved by the move, but it is thought that the average cost per pensioner to the UK is £4,000 a year. Some 2,355 S1s were issued is the 2012/2013 year, with time left on them to run.

The Department spokesperson added: "We are continuing to work through the operational implications of the change and will make a further announcement once this work has been completed."

Expats over the age of retirement will not be affected, nor will anyone seeking emergency treatment via the European Health Insurance Card.



New Research Shows Negative Impact Of FSCS Fees On Insurance Brokers

The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) has revealed that the Financial Services Compensation Scheme’s (FSCS) fees are negatively impacting insurance brokers.

In a survey of BIBA members, 53% stated that they have either delayed or cut investment and 40% reported a reduction in expansion as a result of the fees. BIBA members have seen a fifty-fold increase in their FSCS fees during recent years, primarily due to mis-sold payment protection Insurance policies from secondary intermediaries.

Steve White, BIBA’s Chief Executive, said, “Members continue to report the unfairness of the FSCS fees particularly in light of the fact that defaults by insurance brokers are relatively uncommon and have not given rise to huge claims on the resources of the compensation scheme, unlike other sectors. This research is particularly alarming and demonstrates how restricting these fees are for members, 85% of whom have less than 10 staff. We will work with the Financial Conduct Authority on the review of its funding to find a more equitable system and we want to see a fairer separate sub-class within the FSCS for pure insurance brokers.”

David Sparkes, BIBA’s Compliance and Training Manager, said, “BIBA fully supports the concept of compensation; it is important for both customer protection and increasing confidence in the insurance sector, but the current model needs to change.”


Cigna Individual Health Plans Go Multilingual

Cigna, a leading international health insurer, is excited to announce the launch of local language sales and service capabilities for their expatriate individual health insurance product range. This move is a milestone in the company's commitment towards expanding its reach globally, particularly towards European and Latin American brokers supporting expatriates moving abroad. This coincides with the combining of forces between Cigna Global Health Options and Cigna expatplus, bringing the strength of a single individual proposition for expatriate healthcare to the broker market.

Phil Austin, Head of Global Individual Private Medical Insurance said, "Launching the Cigna Global Health Options plans in German, French, Dutch and Spanish was the natural next step in demonstrating our commitment to brokers and intermediaries, particularly in the European and Latin American markets."

Chief Operating Officer for Cigna Global Health Options, Jim Bruce, provided some background as to Cigna's decision to harmonise the individual expatriate healthcare proposition, "By combining the strengths of the existing Cigna Global Health Options and Cigna expatplus plans, we have brought a single proposition to the market. Brokers now have one truly global multilingual sales and service proposition bringing clarity and transparency to the market, and demonstrating Cigna's dedication to meeting our customers' and brokers' requirements."

A multilingual support team is now available to assist brokers, maintaining Cigna's commitment to quality service. The team, accessible by phone and email, handle international medical insurance quote requests, setting up policies on behalf of brokers, and ongoing account servicing.

Brokers and Intermediaries who are interested in working with Cigna, please click here to register.

The local language websites in German, French, Dutch and Spanish are:





Related reading: iPMI Magazine speaks with Phil Austin, Head of Global Individual Private Medical Insurance at Cigna

Related reading: Cigna Global Health Options Micro site on iPMIM


ALC Health Renews Advertising Deal With iPMI Magazine Until 2015

International Private Medical Insurance Magazine is proud to announce that ALC Health, a leading provider of international medical insurance, has renewed its advertising agreement to run all the way until January 2015.

One of the original supporters of iPMI Magazine, à la carte healthcare (ALC Health) is an award winning international medical insurer who for over 10 years has been protecting the health of private clients, companies and organisations across the globe. The company continues to grow and develop on a philosophy of ensuring that every policyholder whether as a private individual or a member of a corporate group is assured of the highest level of personal service and support.

Read more about ALC Health on the ALC Health micro site on iPMI Magazine, click here to view.


Madagascar Travel Advice Warnings News: Confirmed Reports of Armed Attacks in the National Parks of ‘Montagne d’Ambre’ and ‘Ankarana’

The FCO advise against all but essential travel to the national parks of ‘Montagne d’Ambre’ and ‘Ankarana’ in northern Madagascar. There have been confirmed reports of armed attacks, including robberies on tourists. You should exercise caution throughout Madagascar at all times and avoid crowds.

Following rioting on the island of Nosy Be on 2-3 October 2013, which resulted in the deaths of 2 Europeans and a Malagasy man, the situation is now calm. You should be particularly vigilant in the following areas of Nosy Be: Ambatoloaka, Hell-Ville, all beaches, and the road to the airport.

There has been continued political instability in Madagascar since January 2009. The situation in the centre of Antananarivo remains volatile and demonstrations at short notice are likely. The first round of Presidential Elections took place on 25 October. The second round, together with legislative elections, is scheduled for 20 December 2013. You should avoid going out at night in the centre of the capital.

In 2012 there were around 7,700 British visitors to Madagascar. Most visits are trouble free. Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel to Madagascar.


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 As part of Munich Re, EuroAlarm services the European Travel Insurance Group (ETI), uniting 18 global travel insurance specialists and handling almost 100,000 calls and 16,000 emergency cases in 2012. Globality Health’s current provider, Almeda, is supporting the seamless transition of all ongoing cases to the new partner, EuroAlarm.

Globality Health’s Chief Commercial Officer, Philip Wright, is delighted with the partnership. ‘When two members of Munich Re join forces and take advantage of the synergies within the group, it directly adds to the unique international service proposition.’

About Globality Health

Globality Health (Luxembourg) is the center of excellence for Munich Health’s Corporate Expatriates Insurance. As a member of Munich Re, Globality Health provides innovative healthcare for clients and partners all over the world through more than 3,000 experts at 26 locations. Munich Re stands for exceptional solution-based expertise, consistent risk management, financial stability and client proximity. Over 40 million clients in over 30 countries place their trust in the services and security Munich Re provides.

About EuroAlarm

EuroAlarm Assistance Prague was originally established as the assistance department of Czech travel insurance leader, Evropská Cestovní Pojišťovna. In 1996 the Prague team of assistance coordinators was formed and later in 2002 this set-up was transformed into an independent assistance company. EuroAlarm is part of Munich Re.


Aviva Significantly Enhances Its International Private Medical Insurance

Aviva has announced significant improvements to its International Solutions private medical insurance from 1st February 2014. The improvements will provide new and existing customers with enhanced standard benefits and wider geographic cover, greater flexibility, and a new tailored Gulf Solutions policy for customers based in the Gulf region.

The enhancements follow a detailed clinical review of the insurer’s international medical cover to ensure customers living or working abroad receive high quality healthcare that reflects advances in medicine and medical practice.

Simplified global regions

International Solutions has now been divided into two areas rather than six, to make mobility between countries easier for customers and provide them with wider cover around the world. Policies are now available as Worldwide, or Worldwide (excluding USA and Caribbean) cover, with pricing based on comparative risk and medical costs, rather than geographical location. For all customers, irrespective of where they are based, emergencies are covered for up to 60 days in any country in the world.

A new Gulf Solutions policy

Aviva has also expanded its provision in the Gulf, creating a new tailored Gulf Solutions policy for group customers, to provide cover for their employees based in Kuwait, Oman or Qatar, as well as to those based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Individual customers can also benefit from the new Gulf Solutions policy, if they are living or working in Oman or the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The new Gulf cover marks the second phase of Aviva’s product development for the region, building on the success of the award-winning Emirates International Solutions and the health insurer’s expertise in managing healthcare within the region’s complex legislative framework. A partnership with NAS Administration Services provides Gulf customers with a market-leading regional claims service with direct settlement capabilities.

Extensive standard benefits and Aviva’s International Cancer Pledge

For all customers, standard core benefits have been increased to make International Solutions one of the most comprehensive international policies available in the market, with an annual benefit level of £5m. Customers have the peace of mind that wherever they are, they will receive high quality treatment if they are ill or injured, as well as 24-hour medical emergency assistance and evacuation to an appropriate facility if treatment isn’t available locally.

  • Policies now carry an International Cancer Pledge to cover treatment and palliative care as recommended by specialists. In addition, cover is provided for aftercare, including money towards prostheses and wigs.
  • In and Day-patient Care is enhanced and now includes cover towards the costs of organ transplants and harvesting, and an increase in rehabilitation cover from 14 days to 25 days.
  • Out-patient Care also now includes cover for up to ten speech therapy sessions, following a referral by a specialist after a hospital admission.
  • Additional Benefits includes cover for complications of pregnancy as standard, with Maternity and Maternity Plus policy upgrades available to provide customers with cover for the more routine costs of pregnancy and childbirth, including pre and post-natal care. Home nursing benefits have also been increased as standard from 28 days to 60 days.
  • Customers will also have greater coverage on a range of Everyday Healthcare benefits that they would usually expect from their GP at home. These include up to 20 consultations with a doctor per year and higher limits for prescription medicine and vaccinations. Everyday Healthcare now includes cover towards Hormone Replacement Therapy.
  • Condition Management for acute phases of congenital conditions is also now covered as standard, alongside increased cover for the management of HIV and AIDS.
  • If treatment for any illness or accident covered is not available locally, the policy’s Evacuation & Emergency Assistance cover will arrange evacuation to the nearest facility, even if that is in another country.

Peace of mind and 24-hour assistance across the globe

All International Solutions customers get round-the-clock overseas support, 365 days a year. This includes a 24 hour medical emergency assistance helpline; a 24 hour medical advice helpline from a network of medical providers in 86 countries; and 24 hour secure online access to medical records through My Health Passport.

Full flexibility to suit individual healthcare needs and budgets

Customers can also upgrade their core cover to provide even further peace of mind with the following options:

  • Maternity or Maternity Plus cover, which includes investigations into fertility.
  • Dental or Dental Plus cover, which provides 100% reimbursement up to specified limits and a range of benefits including orthodontic treatment for children.
  • Wellbeing, to help keep customers fit and healthy with cover for routine examinations, screening, hearing and dietician tests. Co-payment has been removed so customers no longer have to pay the first 20%.

Additional Out-patient & Alternative Therapies cover

  • Repatriation & Compassionate Travel cover to help with travel and accommodation costs in the event of a family emergency.
  • Value options are also available for complete flexibility to help reduce premiums, including options for different excess levels, reducing out-patient cover or removing some core benefits like Everyday Healthcare.

The enhancements to International Solutions and the new Gulf Solutions policy come into effect on 1 February 2014 for both new and renewing customers. The policies have clearer benefit terms to give individual customers, employers and their employees complete peace of mind about the cover they choose, as well as a clear and easy claims process with no mandatory excess levels in place. Intermediary commission for new and renewal group business has also been flattened to 15%.

International Health Insurance

You may be a frequent flyer business traveler, student, leisure or medical health tourist. Perhaps you are an already established Expatriate living away from home on foreign shores. Where ever you are now, understanding International Health Insurance requirements is vital to safe, risk free Global travel. Accidents do happen and when you least expect it. Insuring you have the right type of International Health Insurance will mean, should anything untoward happen, you will not be faced with a large medical bill, or even worth, insufficient medical care. Since 2009 International Private Medical Insurance Magazine has been providing mission critical information about International Health Insurance to expatriates, individuals, groups, corporate clients, brokers and intermediaries. Select the right and most appropriate International Health Insurance plan for leisure, business, educational or health travel purposes, with the help and assistance of International Private Medical Insurance Magazines Online International Health Insurance Company and Plan Guide and Directory.

International Medical Insurance

You may be a business traveler, student studying abroad, an expatriate, leisure or medical health tourist searching to source, compare and select the best International Medical Insurance. Since 2009 International Private Medical Insurance Magazine has been providing mission critical information about International Medical Insurance to individuals, groups, corporate clients, brokers and intermediaries. It is important to fully understand International Medical Insurance requirements before you travel and insure you select the right and most appropriate health and medical insurance plan for leisure, business, educational or health travel purposes.

Expatriate Health Insurance

You may be a frequent flyer business traveler, student, leisure or medical health tourist considering the Expatriate Life. Perhaps you are already established as a Expatriate living far from home on distant shores. Where ever you are now, understanding Expatriate Health Insurance requirements is vital to safe, risk free Global travel. Accidents do happen and when you least expect it. Insuring you have the right type of

Expatriate Health Insurance will mean, should anything untoward happen, you will not be faced with a large medical bill, or even worth, insufficient medical care. Expatriates searching the internet to source, compare and select the best Expatriate Health Insurance are now covered by International Private Medical Insurance Magazines Online Expatriate Health Insurance company guide.

Get the lowdown on who's who and which Expatriate Health Insurance companies you should trust with your life. Since 2009 International Private Medical Insurance Magazine has been providing mission critical news and information about Expatriate Health Insurance to individual expatriates, expat groups, expatriate employers and Expatriate Health Insurance brokers and intermediaries.

It is important to fully understand Expatriate Health Insurance requirements before you travel and insure you select the right and most appropriate Expatriate Health Insurance plan and cover for leisure, business, educational or health travel purposes. Expatriate Health Insurance comes in all shapes and sizes so be sure to do a complete comparison of the Expatriate Health Insurance plan, costs and fine print. Make your Expatriate Health Insurance plan covers you for costs relating to repatriation, emergency evacuation, medical and non medical transport services by ground ambulance or air ambulance.


United Arab Emirates Travel Advice and Warnings: Some OTC Medicines In The UK Are Considered Controlled Substances In The UAE

Around 1 million British nationals visit the UAE every year. Most visits are trouble-free. Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel to the UAE.

Expatriates, Business Travelers and Tourists visiting the UAE, are advised to check if any medication they are prescribed, is considered a controlled substance in the UAE.

Some prescribed and over the counter medicines that are available in the UK are considered controlled substances in the UAE and can’t be brought into the country without prior permission from the UAE Ministry of Health. If you arrive in the UAE without this permission and the required documentation, the medication will not be allowed into the UAE and you may be prosecuted under UAE law.

For further information and specific queries, visit the website of the UAE Embassy in London and contact the Drug Control Department of the UAE Ministry of Health to check whether your medication is on the controlled list.


Foreign Travel Advice Eritrea: Lufthansa Flights Frankfurt to Asmara Discontinued

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel to Eritrea.

On Monday 26 October 2013 all Lufthansa flights from Frankfurt to Asmara were discontinued. There are international flights (some direct) from Asmara to Cairo (Egyptair), Sana’a (Yemenia), Khartoum (Sudan Airways). There is an airport departure tax of US$20 per passenger which can’t be paid in local currency (Nakfa), unless you hold a resident’s permit.

The FCO advise against all travel within 25km of Eritrea’s border with Ethiopia. Tensions between Eritrea and Ethiopia are high. There were serious military clashes across the Eritrean border in March and May 2012. See Local travel. The FCO advise against all travel within 25km of Eritrea’s border with Djibouti.

The FCO advise against all travel to Eritrea’s border with Sudan, including the town of Tesseney and areas north and west of Nakh’fa, Ak’ordat and Barentu.

All foreign nationals must apply in advance for a travel permit to leave Asmara. This includes diplomats, whose applications are often refused. The British Embassy is unlikely to be able to provide consular support outside the capital.

The Eritrean authorities consider all British nationals holding either Eritrean or PFDJ identity documents (including out of date documents) as Eritrean nationals. The British Embassy is unable to offer consular assistance to dual nationals in Eritrea.

Twenty-four British nationals needed consular assistance in Eritrea in the period 01 April 2012 - 31 March 2013.

There is a low threat from terrorism. All British nationals travelling to Eritrea should register with the British Embassy in Asmara on arrival.

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