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Healthcare International

UnitedHealthcare Global Launches Expatriate Insurance in the Netherlands

  • New BeHealthy proposition launch gives local businesses access to international healthcare plans;
  • Partnering with Dutch insurer ONVZ gives members local healthcare plans in the Netherlands alongside their international BeHealthy plans;
  • New market entry builds on UnitedHealthcare Global’s continued commitment to expand across Europe, following successful UK launch in 2018.

UnitedHealthcare Global is entering the Netherlands market by providing local businesses access to internationally recognised health, wellness, assistance and security programmes, through its global BeHealthy expatriate insurance plans. The launch follows the success of UnitedHealthcare Global’s entry into the European market in the United Kingdom in 2018.

To ensure that the offering is tailored to the specific needs of the local Dutch market, UnitedHealthcare Global has partnered with ONVZ, an independent Dutch insurer, to provide locally compliant plans as an integral part of its BeHealthy insurance package. UnitedHealthcare Global’s commitment to health and wellbeing aligns closely with that of ONVZ. A local team in the Netherlands and across Europe will be dedicated to providing a personalised service to ensure intermediaries, clients and members have access to the advice and local support they need.

BeHealthy, focuses on a whole-person approach to wellbeing, helping to identify health risks before they happen. The plans offer globally mobile employees a personalised digital experience that inspires and motivates healthier habits. This helps them better manage their international assignments by prioritising their mental, emotional and physical health.

UnitedHealthcare Global’s BeHealthy includes:

  • Access to UnitedHealthcare Global’s worldwide medical network of more than 1.4 million care providers
  • Comprehensive health and wellness benefits, including Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), Optum My Wellbeing app, a wellness coaching resource, Health Management Programme and preventive health screenings
  • In-house global assistance and security benefits embedded across all plan levels

“Our UnitedHealthcare Global proposition, coupled with our new local partnership of health plans through ONVZ, will provide organisations with a comprehensive offering for their expatriate populations in the Netherlands,” said Janette Hiscock, CEO of UnitedHealthcare Global Solutions, Europe. “We are delighted to be entering this key European market, following our successful launch in the UK, and I am particularly proud of our proactive wellbeing programmes embedded into all of our international healthcare plans.”

“We are very pleased with this collaboration and we are looking forward to partnering with UnitedHealthcare Global as it enters the Dutch market,” said Jean-Paul van Haarlem, Chairman of the Board at ONVZ. “UnitedHealthcare’s unparalleled global network makes this an exciting prospect for businesses and the Dutch international workforce. Our shared mission to promote health and wellbeing will be a significant benefit to both businesses and employees. Additionally, our combined expertise in national and international healthcare will be a significant advantage in helping to keep our customers healthy, particularly those placed overseas. We’re excited to be able to offer our customers the tools they need to work towards their organisation’s wellbeing goals, especially during a time when workforces are continuing to manage the challenges of the pandemic. Protecting and supporting workplace wellbeing has never been more critical, whether that’s whilst employees continue to work from home, transition back to the workplace or travel abroad.”

The Central Bank of Ireland authorised UnitedHealthcare Global a license to conduct business across the European Economic Area (EEA) countries on a freedom of services basis. The Netherlands was chosen as the next market for United Healthcare Global’s European expansion to support the high number of globally mobile families based in the Netherlands and will also give the large number of Dutch employees being sent on assignments abroad access to comprehensive health and wellbeing coverage.

 

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FBNInsurance Partners With Collinson To Launch International Health Insurance Plan

FBNInsurance, a Nigerian life insurer and a member of the SANLAM group, has partnered with Collinson to launch SmartHealth International, a market specific international health insurance product for critical medical conditions. 

Addressing the health insurance gap in the Nigerian market between domestic and international health insurance products, FBNInsurance and Collinson have collaborated on the design of SmartHealth International, which will deliver a suite of new affordable health insurance products aimed at Nigerian employers desirous of protecting and giving peace of mind to its employees and their families.

NAICOM approved, SmartHealth International, is designed to complement local healthcare cover by providing cover for treatment abroad should an employee or family member develop a critical medical condition that cannot be adequately treated in Nigeria.

FBNInsurance, a leader in Life insurance in the country, delivers products that help customers enjoy the peace of mind that comes from managing the risks of everyday life and the introduction of a health insurance proposition complements its portfolio strategy. With national presence in strategic geographical locations across the country, FBNInsurance will market SmartHealth International across Nigeria, whilst partnering with Collinson to leverage its in-house international insurance and assistance expertise to provide international access to an extensive network of Collinson certified medical providers.

Understanding the drivers for affordability, and at a time when provision for adequate healthcare and peace of mind has never been more top of mind, SmartHealth International is an affordable solution for the treatment of complex and critical care treatments. The proposition has been designed to cater for  specific critical complex medical events such as cancer and those requiring renal, orthopaedic and neurosurgery, as well as serious trauma injuries sustained in road traffic accidents. These collectively are the primary medical conditions for which Nigerians are currently leaving the country to seek medical care abroad.

Each case will be individually case managed and assessed, working closely with attending doctors in conjunction with Collinson’s expert international medical team. Depending on the level of cover purchased, eligible policyholders will be flown to South Africa, India or the UK, and even North African countries, where Arabic speaking is required.  

Speaking about the Launch, the Managing Director/CEO of FBNInsurance, Val Ojumah said “At FBNInsurance, one of our primary objectives is to help people, businesses and communities get back on their feet when the unexpected happens and it has never been more pertinent than now to offer our customers more choice and peace of mind when it comes to their healthcare. We are delighted to be launching this proposition in partnership with Collinson. Our teams have collaborated to develop a unique and affordable international healthcare solution that not only caters for critical medical conditions that cannot be adequately cared for in Nigeria, but also delivers innovation locally across health insurance product design”.

In addition, Lawrence Watts, Head of Insurance at Collinson, commented “Our health and the health of our loved ones has never been more top of mind and so Collinson is proud to be partnering with FBNInsurance to give their Nigerian clients access to optimum international healthcare whilst maintaining value for money. At a time when the demands of even the best of healthcare systems globally are under pressure, it’s vital to provide healthcare alternatives to consumers, particularly in markets where we have identified a gap between domestic and international cover.”

 

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Aetna International Announces Product Upgrades And Updates To COVID-19 Coverage

Aetna International, a leading provider of global health benefits, has announced updates to its cover for communicable diseases, including COVID-19, all aimed at supporting the physical health of its members in an ever-evolving international landscape.

The changes to its Summit plans will offer better flexibility for business clients, allowing them to tailor coverage based on local market and member needs. The updates will allow members to access a COVID-19 test if they have no symptoms. This type of testing could help businesses to mitigate the risk of transmission.

After a qualifying period, individual members with Pioneer 2500 to 5000+ plans will benefit from outpatient tests and diagnostic procedures for communicable diseases (including COVID-19) when they do not have symptoms.

Additionally, to further support members’ physical health during this challenging time, Aetna International is also adding vaccinations as a stand-alone benefit to its range of COVID-19 cover for both Summit and Pioneer plans. 

Damian Lenihan, Executive Director Europe at Aetna International said: “Our aim is to support businesses and individuals by ensuring they have access to cover that is tailored to today’s unique challenges. Countries around the world are facing a range of infection rates and restrictions and are tackling these with vastly different healthcare systems and strategies.”

“This means our cover needs to be flexible and adaptable as we all continue to navigate the new routines created by the pandemic. We want to ensure businesses and their employees have access to appropriate COVID-19 testing, whenever they need it and wherever they are.”

Recognising the ongoing impact of the pandemic, the temporary extension of COVID-19 testing coverage will continue. Up to and including 31 March 2021, Aetna International members will be covered for one test per calendar month if they are asymptomatic and classified as high-risk* – as referred by a medical practitioner and when testing takes place in an appropriate medical facility.

While reimbursements for COVID-19 testing won’t be offered as standard for all policies, plan sponsors will have the flexibility to add this cover to Summit plans, without increasing premiums for those who do not want or need this benefit (for example, in areas where free local testing is already available.

*Refer to aetnainternational.com for full details

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iPMI Magazine Speaks With Janette Hiscock, CEO of Global Solutions Europe, UnitedHealthcare Global

In this exclusive iPMI Magazine interview, Christopher Knight, CEO, iPMI Magazine, met with Janette Hiscock, CEO of Global Solutions Europe, UnitedHealthcare Global. They discussed in detail the COVID-19 global pandemic and how UnitedHealthcare Global has managed the public healthcare crisis, internally and externally. 

COVID-19 has had a huge impact on the healthcare industry. How has your organisation managed?

As a leading global healthcare company, we have been impacted like everyone else. We’ve been able to help support our employees, our customers, and communities around the world to aid the global fight against this disease. 

Since the outbreak, we’ve had to work quickly to make sure that we’re doing everything possible to continue treating patients and supporting our members. In the U.S., UnitedHealth Group has worked to develop accurate tests which aren’t as invasive as those which have been used more widely. These tests were made available to patients with a doctor’s order at hospitals, clinics and testing facilities across the U.S. We’ve also completed a *study with the Yale School of Medicine that suggests older COVID-19 patients with hypertension, who were taking angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, may have a lower risk of COVID-19 hospitalisation. A clinical trial will follow as a next step.1 The study is still under peer review.2

At UnitedHealthcare Global specifically, we have waived member cost sharing, including copayments and deductibles, for COVID-19 diagnostic testing provided this is medically necessary and is carried out at an approved location and in accordance with applicable governmental or public health advice.

This was made available on top of existing access to Virtual Visits, our telehealth solution, our Optum Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) and our unique health management programme. All these features continue to be a source of significant support for our members during this unprecedented time..

More widely, we looked to help other businesses in need across the world. For example, in the UK, our Medical Services team has been globally supplying vital PPE to protect healthcare workers across other essential businesses around the world.

Not only have we supported the scientific and clinical aspect of COVID-19 but since April we’ve committed over $60 million, via the UnitedHealth Foundation, to support homelessness, food insecurities and the health and safety of the frontline workforce. This funding has been used across the U.S. and other regions including, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, India, Ireland, Peru, the Philippines and Portugal.  It’s been a real privilege to be part of an organisation working actively to address the virus and its effects and serve the needs of our members and customers. We are fortunate that as a global organisation we’re skilled at working seamlessly across countries, time zones and home offices. As the pandemic evolves, I’m confident that we’ll continue to adapt and support our customers effectively, with a focus on compassion, relationships and performance. 

How has your role changed during the pandemic and what are your priorities for your own people?

This year has been challenging in so many ways, both personal and professional. However, it has shown me the importance of understanding our markets and the people we serve. We must offer comprehensive, yet affordable solutions to meet their changing needs. I’ve been working closely with my team to navigate our response to the changing healthcare landscape, and I am confident we have delivered a high standard of support and care throughout this time. 

A crucial aspect of my role this year has been to find the best route to minimise the impact of the pandemic on the business, both in terms of our continued growth and, more importantly, on our employees. The safety and wellbeing of our employees is my absolute priority and I have been in close communication with all our teams to ensure we support each other. We’ve also made it a top priority to reinforce the importance of taking annual leave, using the EAP and supporting flexible working. We commissioned a 12 Steps to Personal Resilience programme for all our European-based teams and encouraged them to adopt the practical hints and tips on a weekly basis.

I am very proud to lead our team in Europe and whilst I have reverted to working at home full time, this has been the only real change for me in my role: We have maintained our strong engagement with our brokers and partners, supported our clients and their members at every step, and have ensured the health, safety and wellbeing of our people are protected at all times.

The pandemic has raised lots of questions about the world of work. How do you imagine the future of the workplace?

Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, I would imagine that only a small portion of the population had experienced working from home. Some companies may have previously doubted the efficiency and productivity of working from home, preferring to keep their workforce in the office. Personally, I’ve been so impressed by the professionalism and productivity of my colleagues continuing to go above and beyond during this crisis, whilst working from home. Despite the upheaval of this year, we have remained collaborative across the organization, working with our colleagues around the globe.

It is likely that working from home will continue to be an ever-present feature of our working life for the foreseeable future. Homeworking is a new reality for all of us. This may be individual employee preference or simply continuing to ensure social/physical distancing. Whatever the reason, organisations will need to be able to foster a sense of community despite the increased physical distance between their staff. Leaders will need to trust their people and empower them to manage their working day in a way that suits them. This can be a difficult pivot to make as a leader, but I encourage any leader to make this transition sooner rather than later. It takes time to build new working patterns and nurture trust and self-management, but in my opinion, it is worth the investment.

What can organisations do to support employees working from home for long periods, and manage the eventual return to the office?

Boosting and maintaining morale will be critical for employee wellbeing during this extended period of working from home. Never has it been so important to have that virtual coffee with a colleague and to provide virtual events such as quizzes or team activities. In addition, employees should be encouraged to frame their day as if they were in the office and work within their agreed working hours. Although the traditional 9-5 ‘clock in clock out’ approach has been turned on its head, it’s key that employees maintain a balance and don’t fall into the trap of always being available. And yes, I need to take my own advice!

I encourage all employees to take frequent breaks for their physical and mental wellbeing. This is especially important as the days get shorter and its harder to get outside in the evening. Employees should also be encouraged to block an hour in their diary each day to ensure they are taking a lunch break, which will only serve to benefit their productivity for the remainder of the day. 

Depending on where you are in the world and how the pandemic changes, some companies have already started to head back to the office. Employers have a duty of care to make sure that workers feel safe. There are various ways to create a safe, clean, socially distanced environment, such as visible signs and instructions, one-way systems, and plenty of handwashing stations. Ensuring staff are aware of the measures in place to protect their wellbeing is a critical step in implementing social distancing and creating a safe working environment. Communication is key.

To help navigate our customers through these unfamiliar times, we’ve developed a new product, our ‘Return to Workplace Screening Tool.’ This is an online health screening service for clients to monitor the health and wellness of their global workforce. Using a simple online pre-deployment medical screening questionnaire, we can identify responses which may require further intervention and alert HR teams to decide whether further action is required. It has been designed to highlight COVID-19 exposure and any changes in their employees’ health and wellbeing that may have developed since last in their workplace.

We’re also pleased to offer an extension to our Global Medical Arrangement (GMA) service by now facilitating COVID-19 testing across our network of providers. All testing is conducted at vetted and approved facilities by certified and accredited healthcare professionals either through a nasal/throat swab or an antibody test. Our offering is unique in that it is managed in-house, creating a continuum of care for all our members.

Have you managed to keep building your business despite the challenges of COVID-19?

Despite the challenges we have faced from COVID-19, we’re still committed to growing our team. In April we added to our senior leadership team with the appointment of John Kaye as Market Development Director for the EMEA region. John’s hire further strengthens our commitment to this market, with his extensive experience in the international healthcare industry. We have also had new hires in sales support, policy enrolment and client management, all signs of an ever-growing business.

Looking ahead to 2021, we are very optimistic about UnitedHealthcare Global’s continued evolution across the European market. Despite the continued challenges from COVID-19, I feel positive about what lies ahead. We have exciting new plans lined up, including entering the Netherlands market, and I know that we have the people and resources to deal with whatever challenges COVID-19 has in store for us.

1 https://news.yale.edu/2020/05/27/seniors-covid-19-taking-ace-inhibitors-have-lower-hospitalization-risk

2 https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.17.20104943v1

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ROCK Insurance Group Updates Its COVID-19 Insurance Policies To Include Cover For Travel Against FCO Advice

ROCK Insurance Group has updated its policies, making it the first travel insurance brand to provide cover when travelling against FCO advice whilst simultaneously protecting consumers against COVID-related issues both pre-departure and whilst abroad.

The policies have been updated to support the travel trade by instilling consumer confidence around travelling so they can go on their holidays as planned when flight and accommodation services are still operating, knowing they are protected, even if the destination is removed from the UK Government’s travel corridors list.

The updated policies allow consumers to travel against FCO advice but only when it relates to COVID-19 – exclusion will still apply for all other reasons, e.g. natural disasters, civil unrest etc. While the updated FCO-related policy is currently only applicable to European destinations, ROCK Insurance Group is working on including other non-European countries which will be announced soon.

As well as including cover for travel against FCO advice to European countries, the benefits of the existing policies will stay the same (including cancellation as standard):

Before a trip:

  • Cover if a customer tests positive for coronavirus within 14 days before their holiday
  • Cover if they have been hospitalised within 28 days of their holiday
  • Cover if they are not allowed to board their flight as a result of a positive coronavirus test or raised temperature
  • The policy can be cancelled if the UK or the customer’s local area enters lockdown again within 14 days of purchase

During a trip:

  • Cover if they have checked in at their holiday accommodation but the property needs to close as a result of the coronavirus
  • Medical cover included if they catch coronavirus whilst abroad
  • Cover if it is medically necessary to bring the customer home
  • Cover for additional accommodation and travelling costs if they contract coronavirus whilst abroad

Antony Martin, Managing Director at ROCK Insurance Group says, “Due to the continuous updates to travel restrictions, we wanted to bring an option to market that allows travel against FCO advice as it is becoming difficult and expensive to administer all the changes and consumers need to have flexible products they can trust. While some insurance brands have launched products that allow travel against FCO advice, we are proud to be the first to provide this type of cover whilst simultaneously protecting travellers against COVID-related issues both pre-departure and during their trip. Our goal is for consumers to continue their holiday plans as normal which will be key to rebuilding the travel industry. We saw an opportunity to provide an integrated solution that would sit as part of our core offering and benefit our partners, potential new partners within the travel trade space and their customers. We are expecting an exceptionally strong conversion as it ultimately provides the customer with the protection and confidence they really need to travel.”

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iPMI Magazine Speaks With Dr. Ian Russinoff, Medical Director, Generali Global Assistance Travel Assistance & GMMI, Inc.

For the past few months, we have read and heard just about everything on the Covid-19 virus pandemic that has now impacted and remains to impact the entire world. Confinement, quarantine, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), life has organized itself around this new normal. 

In this exclusive interview Christopher Knight, CEO, iPMI Magazine, met with Dr. Ian Russinoff, Medical Director at Generali Global Assistance Travel Assistance and GMMI, Inc. to get his perspective and experience of the virus both as an ER doctor and a patient.

Tell us about your Covid-19 experience being an ER doctor?

Before my diagnosis, I had already personally witnessed both extremes of the illness. I saw many minimally symptomatic patients and a handful of critically ill. I must confess, knowing that this is a novel virus, I was concerned where I would land on the spectrum. I feared that I would be among the healthy young people to succumb to the illness. At times, I had very vivid images of the extremely ill that were losing their personal battle. Fortunately, I had a very mild case and recovered quickly. As an ER doctor with first-hand knowledge and experience that the vast majority of patients did just fine, I knew that statistically speaking the odds were in my favor.

While you are now feeling better, you were diagnosed with COVID-19 due to your exposure to the virus. Can you tell us about your patient experience?

I was fortunate in that testing for front line workers was readily available. The hospital really made us a priority and had processes in place to expedite the diagnosis. I received daily phone calls from the hospital checking on my progress and expressing their concern. I certainly felt very supported and taken care of throughout the entire illness and recovery.

The crisis being somehow behind us, what lessons have you learned?

I must say that I have a new respect for the power and influence that a microscopic illness can have on society. We have heard of swine flu, H1N1 and other viral illnesses over the years. While educating myself on these diseases, I never could have anticipated that the effects would be this dramatic. In many ways, the world has been turned upside down. It will be very interesting to see how the general public prepares for the annual flu season. In addition, it will be interesting to see how we prepare for the next novel virus. While this pandemic started as a public health crisis, it has evolved into a socioeconomic disaster.

Were there any specific complexities you were confronted with since the beginning of this pandemic both from the doctor and/or patient perspective?

I actually didn’t feel very ill when I had the virus. I had fatigue and a mild cough but no fever or shortness of breath. I contemplated whether or not I really needed the test. I definitely felt well enough to work. Ultimately, out of concern for my patients, co-workers, and my family, I decided to get tested. With regards to my family, I was already self-isolating in the guest room in the house for about 3 weeks prior to having any symptoms. Once I started to see the cases in the emergency department, my wife and I felt it was best to avoid family contact as much as possible.

Have you made any changes in your routines since you have returned back to work after recovering from the virus?

I am still taking the exact same precautions from day one. There is still so much uncertainty and unknown about this virus. Do I have effective antibodies? If so, how long will they last? Are they 100% protective? Out of constant concern for my family, patients, and colleagues, I am very attentive to maintain the strictest precautions with regards to handwashing, PPE, and general awareness of my surroundings. I maintain the same routine of getting undressed in the garage, immediately throwing my clothes in the washing machine, and heading to the shower before interacting with any family members. I believe this practice will continue indefinitely.

If you help clarify a myth about COVID-19 in any of the realms that you have experienced it as a doctor and patient, what would it be?

A few months ago, the obvious question was: Am I going to end up on a ventilator? While that is a legitimate concern for people with comorbidities like diabetes and hypertension, particularly of an older age, the vast majority of positive patients will be just fine. Again, I was very fortunate to have mild symptoms, but it is a fact that the fevers associated with Covid are very intense. Anyone that contracts the virus should be mentally prepared for 2 weeks of symptoms, but they should remain cautiously optimistic that they will recover without any complications.

Are we prepared if we were to face another wave of COVID 19 cases in the fall?

We have significant advantages if there is another wave in the fall. Testing processes are much improved. Recovered patients have antibodies to donate. Medications like Remdesivir have shown promise. We are aware that some of the initial treatments do not show a significant benefit. The disease course has become somewhat more predictable. Knowledge is power, and in the infancy of Covid-19, there was clearly a knowledge deficit. There is also strength in numbers. Simply by seeing and personally knowing so many recovered people, we will be much more confident for the rematch.

We previously referred to this situation as a crisis – and looking at global and/or local events – how do we manage the storms ahead from here?

This is a great question. In retrospect, would we (federal and local government) make a lot of the same decisions? While I do not believe we will get a clear answer to that question, we might be able to infer if, God forbid, another pandemic occurs. The long term socioeconomic, medical, and psychological effects remain to be seen. Did the fact that this is an election year contribute to certain decisions? Are some of the far-fetched conspiracy theories not too far-fetched after all? I believe the long-term lessons are still evolving, and it is still too premature to assume how we may manage the storms ahead.

About GMMI, Inc. & Generali Global Assistance Travel Assistance

GMMI and Generali Global Assistance are part of the Europ Assistance – Generali Group and headquartered in South Florida, USA.

  • GMMI is a leading ISO 9001:2015 & ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certified provider of medical cost containment, travel assistance and medical risk management solutions designed to set the industry standard for quality customer service, medical management, and competent claims administration worldwide. By applying leading technologies and a consultative approach, we work efficiently and effectively to deliver high value-added services that provide our Clients with global solutions for managing medical cases, providing travel assistance and containing medical costs since 1992.

  • The travel assistance unit of Generali Global Assistance (GGA) has been focused on the care of travelers since 1963. Our North America office provides 24-hour global value-added travel assistance solutions to leisure and business travelers on behalf of their insurers and employers. With a local presence in 200 countries and territories worldwide and 35 assistance centers staffed with multilingual assistance coordinators and case managers as well as medical and security staff, Generali Global Assistance is here to help you obtain the care and attention you need in case of an emergency while traveling.

About Dr. Ian Russinoff

Dr. Ian Russinoff is an attending physician and the Vice Chairman of the Emergency Department at the Cleveland Clinic Florida. In addition to his duties in the hospital, Dr. Russinoff is the Assistant Medical Director of the Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO), helping to oversee the medical protocols of the largest EMS agency in the county. He has been practicing emergency medicine for almost twenty years, including medical school at SUNY Downstate and residency at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City. Dr. Russinoff enjoys being a leader in the field of Emergency Medicine and EMS. He has been tireless in his efforts to improve the practice every step along the way. His dedication and passion are obvious to his patients, the nurses and the paramedics. Dr. Russinoff leads by example, knowing that is the only way to implement positive change. Dr. Russinoff is the Medical Director for GMMI, Inc. & Generali Global Assistance Travel Assistance.

 

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Aetna International Provides Discount On Group Health Cover For New And Existing SME Customers, As Part Of COVID-19 Support Measures

Aetna International has announced that SME employer plan sponsors in Europe, Middle East and Africa renewing their Summit group health insurance policies from 1 May 2020, to on or before 1 July 2020, will receive one month of free health cover, as part of Aetna's ongoing efforts to alleviate financial and other pressures its customers are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The offer also applies to new Summit SME group customers in the next three months, meaning any business taking out a new policy on or before 1 July 2020 will benefit from one month of free cover.

Additionally, all SME employers renewing or taking out a new Summit group policy can discuss options for more flexible billing cycles.

The discount on health cover builds upon previously announced financial support for Aetna International members, including full reimbursement for COVID-19 diagnostic testing (as referred by a medical physician) and the waiver of deductibles for inpatient hospital admissions related to COVID-19.

"In these unprecedented times, we are keen to support our clients and members in any way we can, including financially," said David Healy, CEO - EMEA, Aetna International. "We understand the added pressure and anxiety people and businesses are facing around the world and want to make health care as accessible and affordable as possible during this difficult time. We also want to ensure we are taking steps to assist the business community, which is why we have extended this support to new as well as existing SME customers."

RELATED: iPMI Magazine Speaks With David Healy, CEO EMEA, Aetna International

Other measures designed to support members' physical and mental health during the COVID-19 outbreak have been implemented by the global health benefits provider in recent weeks. These include free access to Aetna International's virtual health service, vHealth, for a limited time for all members, as well as free access to myStrength – a highly interactive, personalised app that helps address depression, anxiety, stress, and more.

Members also benefit from 24-hour access to clinical counsellors via Aetna International's Employee Assistance Programme and can access WorldAware (red24) to stay informed of any significant travel, safety, or security-related incidents.

Members should continue to follow the guidance issued by their local health authority and contact their local health care provider or a vHealth doctor if they have any concerns. 

 

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Integra Global Launches New IPMI Inpatient Plan Range – InCare

Integra Global, a leading provider of international health insurance, today launches two new health plans to the IPMI market. 

The new plans are available for individuals and groups.
 
The InCare plan range has been designed specifically for the needs of both individuals and companies wanting a health plan with rich inpatient benefits, useful services for global mobility, and market-leading value. 
 
InCare plans include comprehensive hospitalisation and rehabilitation benefits, along with 24/7 emergency medical assistance, life cover and mental health benefits. The InCare Premier plan offers a higher overall policy limit, private room cover and increased limits for Accidental Death and Dismemberment. 
 
In addition, InCare plans include a number of helpful expat services, including a Life Aware Programme for daily life challenges, 24/7 emergency medical assistance and evacuation, and access to a mobile app and claims portal. InCare policies, like all Integra Global health plans, do not exclude natural disasters or pandemics, such as coronavirus (COVID-19).
 
InCare policies are underwritten by MGEN; part of the largest mutual health group in France VYV Group, which has a turnover of €9 billion, 35,500 employees and an AM BEST Financial Strength Rating of A (excellent). Medical Administrators International (MAI) is the global claims administrator for InCare health plans and will manage all pre-authorisations, direct billing and claims management services.
 
Integra Global has been successfully partnered with MGEN and MAI since the launch of their comprehensive Worldwide health plans in 2018. MAI and Integra Global have together consistently achieved claims processing times within 5-7 working days over the last two years, offering first-class customer service to members.  
 
Integra Global's emergency medical and security assistance provider, Northcott Global Solutions (NGS), will serve InCare plan members across the globe, managing all medical emergencies, evacuations and issues of civil unrest or natural disaster. 
 
Philip Catterton, Managing Director at Integra Global Group, commented, "Inpatient treatment is by far the most expensive aspect of healthcare, but also the most important. It's essential that anyone living abroad, or any company employing overseas staff, has a health plan that safeguards them in the event of an emergency or serious illness. 
 
"Our InCare plan range is perfect for individuals who want protection against high-cost inpatient care or expensive treatment, but don't want to pay for a comprehensive health plan.
 
"We've also seen a growing demand among price-conscious companies for a plan that will protect their staff to a high standard, without paying for benefits that are outside their requirements or budget. 
 
"Our InCare plans are here for anyone wanting high-quality inpatient cover, fantastic services, and exceptional customer support."
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Collinson Launches New International Healthcare Solution To Further Extend Its International Insurance Reach

Collinson has launched an all-new international healthcare plan, Collinson SmartHealth™ International, in Nairobi, Kenya. The solution is delivered in partnership with Kenbright, one of Kenya’s leading medical insurance providers.

Lawrence Watts, Head of Insurance at Collinson, said, “We are delighted to partner with Kenbright to launch this new health solution to the market.  With healthcare infrastructure under pressure, especially within critical care, providing healthcare alternatives to consumers is vital. The research we carried out highlighted a strong consumer demand for international solutions; 41% surveyed stating that they would travel abroad for medical treatment if required.

“This launch, in partnership with Kenbright, means that companies in Kenya can give employees and their families access to the best possible overseas treatment through our in-house medical expertise and worldwide network of partners.”

Collinson envisages offering the plan in other countries in the region by partnering with local insurers, as well as building in its wider travel, assistance and insurance products and loyalty solutions to create a truly differentiated and holistic health plan within the comfort of a concierge travel experience.

Ezekiel Macharia, CEO at Kenbright, added, "We are thrilled to be launching this proposition in partnership with Collinson. Our team has worked hard to create an international healthcare solution that not only offers Collinson’s international insurance and assistance capabilities but will also harness local technology in Kenya, allowing our customers access to a robust network solution."

SmartHealth International will deliver a suite of new affordable health insurance products aimed at Kenyan companies, which want to protect and give peace of mind to employees and their families. Administered by Kenbright Healthcare Administrators Limited, Collinson will be harnessing its in-house insurance and assistance expertise to provide regional and international access to an extensive network of medical providers.

Designed by healthcare experts, SmartHealth International enables employees and their families to flexibly access international medical advice, treatment and support across the globe, whenever it is needed, through Collinson’s global network of health providers and in-house 24/7/365 medical assistance capability. Each case will be individually managed and assessed by Collinson’s expert medical team. The plans can include wellness, optical, dental and medical second opinion and traveller support services and can be tailored to individual company requirements and budgets.

Collinson believes that there is a significant opportunity to enhance the way international healthcare propositions are delivered. By utilising the expertise across Collinson’s loyalty and benefits capability, companies in Kenya can now offer their employees access to the best medical treatment available at home and globally. This also includes additional benefits such as digital doctor services, international medical second opinion and traveller support services accessing the Collinson global lounge network and security and medical advice when travelling.

In fact, recent third-party research commissioned by Collinson revealed that the vast majority (88%) of consumers in Kenya found the proposition to be attractive, with preventative and wellbeing and digital doctor services being rated attractive by 82% of the respondents.

 

For further information, please visit https://www.collinsongroup.com/en-meai/protect/international-healthcare

 

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International Health Insurance Premiums Are on the Rise in 97 Countries

A global study of 100 countries conducted by insurance brokerage Pacific Prime found that 97 countries witnessed increases in average international health insurance premiums for both individuals and families.

Of the 100 countries, the average international health insurance premiums for individuals ranged from USD $8,887 in the US to USD $2,728 in Thailand. Meanwhile, the average international health insurance premiums for families ranged from USD $26,883 in the US to USD $10,842 in Thailand.

The following are the key findings of Pacific Prime’s Cost of International Health Insurance For Individuals and Families - 2019 report:

Top of the list: The US remains the country with the most expensive health insurance premiums. This is largely a result of the country’s notoriously high cost of healthcare.

Region with the most expensive premiums: The Americas remain the most dominant region in the top 20 most expensive countries list. The region was able to pack up to 15 countries into the list, which includes 29 countries due to many having the same average premium.

Region with the highest premium inflation rate: African countries saw some of the highest inflation rates in the world. As many as 21 countries in Africa witnessed inflation rates that are 15% or higher, resulting from various macro trends such as the rise of the middle-class and technological advancements.

China’s overall premiums are getting cheaper: China’s premiums are going through a correction phase after years of increase. In 2019, a number of prominent insurers in China did not increase their premiums, with some even lowering them, making it one of the few countries experiencing a year-on-year decrease in average health insurance premiums.

Big jumps in premium rankings: Canada saw average health insurance premiums inflate by 7% for individuals and 5% for families, surpassing Hong Kong as the country with the second most costly country for international health plans. Singapore has also jumped from 9th to 4th position with an inflation rate of 9% for both individuals and families.

Download a complimentary copy of Pacific Prime’s Cost of International Health Insurance for Individuals and Families - 2019 for further details of the survey findings, as well as in-depth regional premium analyses: https://www.pacificprime.com/cost-of-health-insurance-2019

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