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Will Bupa And DNI Now Compete In Several Countries Where Generali And Generali Employee Benefits Are Both In Business, Or Just The Middle East, Or Just The UAE?

In this article, Ian Youngman, leading insurance analyst and author of the leading iPMI market report, “International Health Insurance 2021" talks about the DNI takeover of the Global Choice international medical insurance portfolio of Generali Global Health.

A few weeks ago Generali and Bupa announced a deal on IPMI.

Generali Employee Benefits (GEB) and Bupa Global announced a strategic partnership to offer “best-in-class” international private medical insurance and global employee benefits solutions to their new and existing corporate customers.

RELATED: Generali Employee Benefits And Bupa Global Announce Strategic Partnership To Offer International Private Medical Insurance

GEB customers will have access to Bupa Global’s quality, expertise, and comprehensive health and wellbeing offering, when and where they need it, across 190+ countries. Bupa Global customers will also have the ability to access global health and benefits solutions provided by GEB’s worldwide network.

What is easy to miss here is that it only refers to corporate business.

So what happens to the individual business of Generali Global Health?

The implication is that Generali Global Health would cease trading and leave the IPMI market.

I expect details to be explained on December 15th, 2021 when Generali will hold a virtual Investor Day to present its new strategic plan.

One part of the future was leaked – but it leaves gaps in knowledge.

Dubai National Insurance & Reinsurance (DNI), one of the leading insurance companies in the UAE, has partnered with Munich Re to take over some of the Global Choice medical portfolio of Generali Global Health.

Munich Re took over the reinsurance of Global Choice in July 2021.

DNI and Munich Re will maintain the existing policy benefits and terms and conditions of Global Choice.

Abdulla Al Nuaimi, CEO of DNI said, "We are delighted to officially announce the takeover of the GGH portfolio in collaboration with Munich Re. This exciting new collaboration affirms our commitment to continuously provide the same level of benefits and enhanced quality services to our clients and existing policyholders. We are dedicated to working with and strengthening our relationship with our partners to ensure seamless integration, giving customers peace of mind that they will not only continue to enjoy the benefits of GGH but take advantage of the combined expertise that DNI and Munich Re have to offer on the international medical front.”

Dr Frank Mayer, CEO, Munich Re comments, "DNI has been a trusted partner, and we are eager to work together and continue to expand our portfolio of services in the coming years. We believe that, together, we are in the best position to cultivate an even stronger and more comprehensive ecosystem that will allow us to serve our customers and partners better."

To ensure seamless operations following the takeover, DNI has continued working with Munich Re subsidiary MedNet as the third-party administrator owing to their familiarity with the scheme. The process will continue under the new partnership with Munich Re. The international network direct billing facilities previously through GGH will now be offered through the MedNet Global Network.

Although MedNet has a global network, DNI is limited to the Gulf and most of that is in the UAE.

Will Bupa and DNI now be competing in several countries where Generali and Generali Employee Benefits are both in business, or just the Middle East or just the UAE?

What will happen to the rest of the Generali Global Health portfolio?

Comment

There is a trend for even leading global insurers to decide to stop competing in PMI and IPMI in selected countries.

There is also a trend for insurers to work in partnership with local groups and TPAs.

Regional groups see gaps.

What is interesting is to look at the plans of Oman Insurance to offer PMI/IPMI in six more countries from 2022 in association with four named and two yet unknown local insurers.

Looking at other recent deals, there is a move for insurers in Africa and The Gulf to offer PMI and IPMI across borders in association with others from the region.

While this may or may not have anything to do with Afghanistan it is very clear that American and European insurers are going to have to compete with strong local rivals.

My tip for 2022 is watch for more country exits by USA and European insurers.

But it is not all one way traffic, with Zurich quietly entering in some countries and the expected IPMI launch from HDI Global - ironically bringing us full circle as they have been recruiting from Generali Global Health.

READ THE LATEST REPORT ON IPMI: International Health Insurance (IPMI) 2021

 

 

 

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Expatriate Group Adds Free Upgrades To Corporate iPMI Plans For All New And Existing Policyholders

Expatriate Group commit to upgrade their corporate iPMI policies for all new, and existing policyholders, for free, from New Year’s Day 2022.

They will restructure their group iPMI policy cover following conversations with their corporate and broker partners.
Their feedback clarified the requirement for policies that better suited the needs of businesses seeking to meet the challenges of greater corporate responsibility to their staff and their work environments – both physically and mentally.

From 1st January 2022 all group policies will include, as standard: an Employee Assistance Programme; Business Travel insurance; and Income Replacement cover, integrated into all international healthcare policies.

“From the feedback, it was clear that HR managers want simpler and more cost-effective solutions for managing employee protection” said Amanda Giscos, Head of Business Development.

She also added “COVID-19 often led HR managers to remain with existing providers, even if there were better products on the market, to give employees the feeling of an element of security through consistency. However, with the world easing back to work, the ability to attract and retain staff is vital. Businesses who put employee wellbeing at the heart of their culture and support the transition to the new normal, and beyond, will thrive”.

“We have now reinvented our corporate policies to better meet these needs in a simple, single HR solution” said Lee Gerry, Expatriate Group Director.

“Now, if an employee is travelling on business, they’re covered; if they need immediate access to counselling, they’re covered; if they can no longer work because of their health, they’re covered. These benefits are now core to our comprehensive group iPMI policies.

“What’s more,” Gerry said “following strong underwriting results in 2019 and 2020, the improvement in benefits hasn’t resulted in any change in premium”.

“International HR managers are seeking more from their partners” Gerry continued, “Enabling employee services and risk management to be centralised under a single contract, will streamline administration, and make both time and cost savings.

There’s also the added benefit of claims being handled under the same online platform, which’ll make life easier for the employee too!”

Expatriate Group’s new corporate iPMI policies will be available from 1st January 2022. Existing customers will have the new benefits automatically added to their group policy at renewal.

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Generali Employee Benefits And Bupa Global Announce Strategic Partnership To Offer International Private Medical Insurance

Generali Employee Benefits (GEB) and Bupa Global announce a strategic partnership to offer “best-in-class” international private medical insurance (IPMI) and global employee benefits solutions to their new and existing corporate customers.

GEB customers will have access to Bupa Global’s quality, expertise, and comprehensive health and wellbeing offering, when and where they need it, across 190+ countries. Bupa Global customers will also have the ability to access global health and benefits solutions provided by GEB’s worldwide network.

The benefits of the partnership include access to in-house healthcare experts 24/7, the ability to access a second medical opinion, a team of multilingual advisors, enhanced mental health benefits, and the ability to include these plans within international employee benefits arrangements.

This agreement builds upon GEB’s existing partnership with Bupa in the UK and reinforces GEB’s commitment to continue to provide customer-focused solutions. The partnership aligns with Bupa Global’s long-term strategy to drive growth and further strengthen its leadership position in the IPMI market, by expanding its capability to more customers globally.

Paolo Ribotta, CEO - Generali Employee Benefits, stated, “We are proud to join forces with BUPA and have the possibility to offer our clients and prospects one of the leading and world-class providers of health insurance and wellness solutions for internationally mobile employees. This is another testament to our strategy to continue to strengthen our network and ecosystem of partnerships and the result of a broader strategic plan that translates our ambition of being Lifetime Partners to our customers. Health & Wellbeing markets will continue to grow and the proposition of companies towards their employees goes in the direction of interpreting wellbeing increasingly in a broader sense. We are focusing on bringing to Internationally Mobile Employees all solutions to their needs, and having the right partners to support us on this path is key.”

Sheldon Kenton, CEO for Bupa Global, said, “Now more than ever, people are prioritising their health and wellbeing. Our own research from the Bupa Global Wellbeing Index showed that over the past year, nearly half (48%) of senior leaders spent more time focusing on their physical and mental health. We are pleased to enter this agreement with Generali Employee Benefits, which aligns to our strategy to accelerate growth in IPMI and give more customers access to premium healthcare, where and when they need it.”

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iPMI Magazine Speaks with Antony Brown MBE, Head of Africa, Aetna International

In this exclusive iPMI Magazine interview, Christopher Knight, CEO, iPMI Magazine, met with Antony Brown MBE, Head of Africa at Aetna International. They discussed in detail the international private medical insurance market in Africa, and the Sanlam Pan Africa and Aetna International Global Health Plan.

Please introduce yourself and background in the international private medical insurance (IPMI) market:

After 10 years with Her Majesty’s UK Foreign Office, I started the African subsidiary of InterGlobal Private Medical Insurance in 2008, as a member of the Executive Management team, and with overall responsibility for the Africa region as Regional General Manager, I later accepted the role of Head of Business in Africa for Aetna International following the acquisition of Interglobal by Aetna.

I have traveled extensively across the continent and I have a thorough understanding of the key insurance services required in local markets. I am also very well-versed in the regulatory requirements needed by insurers looking to operate stand-alone insurance businesses or partner with local insurance entities, in the region.

Sanlam Pan Africa and Aetna International have joined forces to deliver Africa’s “most comprehensive health care solution”. Can you walk us through the features and benefits of the new IPMI plan for Africa?

This offering has been created in partnership with Sanlam Pan Africa to address the healthcare needs of both local and expatriate nationals, on an international basis, across all market segments in 20 countries in Africa. Global Health offers a broad range of benefits, an extensive direct billing medical network and an enhanced member experience with local in-country service. The Global Health Plan reflects the needs and concerns of our clients and members across Africa, by giving them access to quality health care in a cost-effective way.

Through this partnership, we bring together the Africa-specific experience of Sanlam Pan Africa with the global expertise of Aetna International to deliver Africa’s most comprehensive and locally compliant health care solution with broad international access.

The Global Health proposition provides four plan levels — Value, Essential, Plus and Premium — with coverage ranging from US$100,000 to US$5,000,000. Depending on the tiers, the plans offer a host of health and well-being benefits, including cancer care, inpatient psychiatric treatment or psychotherapy, HIV or AIDS, terminal care, dental, optical and emergency treatment outside the area of cover.

With pre-authorised inpatient care across all of Africa and outpatient direct billing across the 20 Africa markets, Global Health offers members access to one of the widest medical networks locally and globally, as well as a 24/7 multilingual call centre for emergency and evacuation immediate assistance.

Who is the target market for the Global Health plan and why?

The Global Health Plan addresses the needs of the local market in 20 countries across Africa, for all employee levels: administrative, management and executive. Depending on the choice of cover, it offers access to health care in the country of residence but also abroad, for cases where medical expertise is not available locally or where the member is travelling. 

Geographically speaking, which countries does the new Global Health Plan cover?

Global Health is sold in 20 countries across the continent including Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville*, Gabon, Guinea Conakry*, Ivory Coast, Mali, Madagascar, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Togo, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia and Tanzania. Members in these countries can choose one of four variants of area coverage:

Area 1: Worldwide Inc. US

Area 2: Worldwide Excl. US

Area 3: Europe Inc. Africa, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Lebanon & Bangladesh

Area 4: Africa, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Lebanon & Bangladesh

* Subject to OFAC regulations

Regarding access to healthcare across Africa, and the medical network, what are the options?

Members have access to an extensive direct billing medical network across the continent and beyond with more than 8,000 directly contracted providers in Africa and over 1.3 million health care professionals globally.

Emergency and non-emergency evacuation remain a critical feature of any IPMI plan. What options are available?

All four variants of the plan — Value, Essential, Plus and Premium — offer medical evacuation and in-patient cover as standard, but the coverage limits vary depending on the plan tier. For members under the Platinum plan, the cover is 100% of the medical evacuation costs.

What currency and billing options are available for insureds seeking access to healthcare under the Global Health plan?

Whether it is choice of medical provider or level of benefits, flexibility is a key value proposition of the plan and the same is true for billing.

For plan sponsors, premiums can be invoiced centrally in USD, or in the local currency of each respective country, subject to local laws and regulations.  

For members, Global Health offers outpatient treatment from within the available network on a direct billing basis in each of the 20 countries — the medical provider invoices us, as the insurer, directly without the need for the member to pay at the point of service. Inpatient treatment is required to be pre-authorised beforehand, and arrangements will be made by us, as the insurer, for the medical provider to bill us directly without the member having to pay. 

Can you please give us some more background on Sanlam Pan Africa?

Sanlam Pan Africa is the Sanlam Group’s business cluster that manages financial services in the emerging markets in Africa (excluding South Africa). Africa is a fundamental component of the Sanlam Group’s vision, which is the strategic mission of Sanlam Pan Africa — to build a leading pan-African financial services group.

Founded in 1918 as a life insurance company, Sanlam has become the largest non-banking financial services group in Africa, through its global diversification strategy and an unmatched

Pan-African footprint in more than 30 countries. Over the years, Sanlam has established itself as a financial services leader in the emerging markets in Africa and Asia.

What opportunities exist in the African market for international private medical insurance? Africa is a challenging geography – what issues on the ground, are expats and travelers facing when it comes to accessing high quality healthcare?

Africa is certainly challenging; its sheer size and diversity means that it is impossible to make broad generalisations on healthcare across the continent. Each country has its own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to accessing healthcare in any situation. For example, while coverage of healthcare can be patchy in rural areas, the quality of service in urban areas is certainly improving and often the challenge can be in arranging and funding care. In this respect, many parts of Africa are leading the way technologically when it comes to seamlessly booking appointments and minimising the use of cash, and Kenya is a great example of this.  We expect this capability to expand and, as the use of technology becomes a norm, insurance companies and medical providers will have to be ready with digital offerings, like telehealth services, to meet the demands of their members. 

The diversity of the countries in terms of language, currencies, cultures, and service expectation is also a challenge. We believe we have managed to address these aspects by making our plans as locally relevant as possible — the plans offer cover to local nationals, all documentation is available in the primary language of the country, we offer local invoicing and currency payment options, access to primary care on a direct billing basis, and local in-country representation. 

In 5 years’ time how will the international private medical insurance market look in Africa?

In recent years we have seen employers across Africa pivot from traditional offshore international medical insurance providers to local ones. However, few local providers have the capacity to offer international cover, which in Africa, where certain forms of treatment are not always available locally, is essential. Combining the expertise and capabilities of Aetna and Sanlam not only solves for such issues but offers access to a world-class comprehensive healthcare service. 

Furthermore, as a result of the global pandemic, we are seeing employers across the globe re-think their strategies when it comes to sending their staff on expat assignments, meaning that we expect a pivot towards more local hiring. Africa is no exception, particularly as the local workforce becomes more skilled and self-sufficient. What this means is potentially less demand for the traditional, high-cost fully international plans, which are the norm today, and an uptick in demand for plans that are more focused on regional cover, with comprehensive yet affordable benefits. This is exactly where we position Global Health; fit for today’s market and yet future-proofed for the changes ahead.

 

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easyJet Partners With Collinson To Provide Passengers With COVID-19 Cover

Collinson has announced it is renewing its partnership with easyJet until at least April 2024, providing travellers with a range of relevant and dynamic insurance options, including dedicated COVID-19 cover for all domestic travel.

The enhanced product, available to include during easyJet’s booking process, will mean customers diagnosed with COVID-19 ahead of a trip are covered for any necessary refunds or rearrangements, as well as being covered for any required medical care if diagnosed with the virus whilst abroad. In the event customers are unable to return home due to being diagnosed with COVID, the policy will also cover them for additional accommodation as well as the cost of returning them home safely.

Today’s announcement is the latest initiative from Collinson, which has launched a long line of new products and propositions designed to get the world travelling safely again in the wake of the pandemic. By providing insurance which travellers know will cover them for COVID as well as other illnesses abroad, the new product from Collinson and easyJet will help reignite consumer confidence in travel, giving much-needed reassurance that future bookings are protected from COVID when travelling.

“We know Brits are chomping at the bit to get out and see the world again when they can,” said Greg Lawson, Head of Travel Insurance at Collinson. “However, some passengers are understandably wary of what will happen to them or their bookings if they catch COVID just before or during their trip. We want to give people peace of mind to encourage them to plan those holidays they’ve been dreaming of for over a year now. When the Government gives the green light to travel again, choosing to fly with an airline – like easyJet – that provides extra COVID-19 insurance is a great option.”

Within the partnership, Collinson will underwrite and service the full range of dynamic and tailored products. These products are filtered to be relevant to the booking profile with business travel routes, for instance, being offered a gadget insurance upgrade while a ski resort destination would be offered a Winter Sport upgrade.

“We are pleased to partner with Collinson Insurance and develop a new travel insurance product for customers which offers COVID-19 travel insurance as standard,” said Sophie Dekkers, easyJet’s UK Chief Commercial Officer.

“The need for travel insurance is greater than ever before, so we know it will help bolster consumer confidence to book and travel, giving holidaymakers a much-needed reassurance for future bookings and possible COVID-19 related disruptions. We have also launched our enhanced Protection Promise meaning our customers can book with greater confidence knowing that if they are unable to travel, or their plans change, so can their flights. 

“As we are looking forward to ramping up our flying programme as soon as it is safe to do so, we can now give our customers added peace of mind that they can book their much-needed holidays knowing they are fully protected should they test positive before they travel, while on holiday or if they have to cancel their trip altogether.”

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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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AXA Global Healthcare Launches Mind Health Service

AXA Global Healthcare is expanding its health and wellbeing offer by introducing its new Mind Health service, which provides quick, convenient access to a fully qualified psychologist for members in need of mental health support.

Regardless of where in the world they are based, members can use the Mind Health service to seek advice on a variety of concerns, from missing friends to problems at work or home, or facing a difficult life challenge. During a pilot in 2020, the service supported members in many ways, from coping with distressing life events, managing emotions such as low mood, anxiety and anger, and handling the impact of physical health conditions on both the body and mind. These are all challenges that the psychologists are fully trained to address. 

A key feature of the service, available to all individual and small business members and their dependents, is that it can be accessed through the Virtual Doctor from AXA service, already familiar to members. After initially discussing their health concern with a doctor, any members who may need psychological support will be referred to the Mind Health team and a consultation with a psychologist will be arranged at a time that suits them. By integrating the Mind Health service with Virtual Doctor from AXA in this way, AXA Global Healthcare wants to make it as easy as possible for members to access expert help with their health – both physical and mental.

Andy Edwards Global Head of International Healthcare, AXA Global Healthcare, commented: “Something that we’re passionate about at AXA – and particularly hopeful that the Mind Health service will help our members to get to the heart of – is the link between mental and physical health. During last year’s pilot period, we saw a number of referrals for mental health support after members had initially called about a physical symptom. By providing the service through our Virtual Doctor service, we hope to help our members adopt a more holistic approach to their health, therefore taking the best possible care of themselves both physically and mentally.”

With the Mind Health service being well-received during this pilot period, its launch has been brought forward in order to provide support for those who are struggling with the ongoing impact of COVID-19. Last year, a major piece of AXA research*, in which 578 expats were surveyed, found that two-in-five (39%) feel as though their mental health has deteriorated as a result of the pandemic, with more than a quarter (28%) going so far as to say that they have never faced a situation that had been worse for their mental wellbeing.

Andy Edwards commented: “While the Mind Health service wasn’t developed specifically to provide mental health support during the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re acutely aware that, for many organisations, this is currently top of the agenda. The potential that this service has to help people right now is very clear to us, and following an encouraging pilot, we are pleased to be able to offer it earlier than originally planned. We hope that our members find it delivers the help they need, while we continue to invest in further proactive health and wellbeing services for use in the future.”

Virtual Doctor from AXA is provided by Teladoc Health (which includes consumer brand Advance Medical) delivers, enables, and empowers virtual care services that span every state in a person's health journey – from wellness and prevention to acute care to complex healthcare needs. They also provide the Second Medical Opinion service. Teladoc Health provides healthcare services in over 175 countries, and has over 7,000 doctors within their network. As a result, Virtual Doctor from AXA’s GPs are available 24-hours per day, psychologists are available Monday to Friday, between 09:00 and 17:30 (excluding Bank Holidays).

Carlos Nueno, President at Teladoc Health International, commented: “The stress of the pandemic has led to a dramatic increase in people seeking mental health services. Virtual care is their avenue to receive this support at the right time, which we have seen has a significantly positive impact on their lives. Having the Mind Health service available to them, AXA members now have the comfort and convenience of accessing the virtual care support they need, whether that be for their physical or mental wellbeing.”

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Aetna International Introduces New Mental Health Benefits To Its Core iPMI Offering

Aetna International, a leading provider of global health benefits, has today announced new updates to its Summit and Pioneer plans that will enhance the mental health and well-being support available to its global members.

The updates are part of the company’s wider commitment to addressing the growing mental health challenges associated with the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and are designed to provide members with an easy, accessible way to look after their mental well-being on a day-to-day basis.

The expanded range of mental health and well-being benefits are designed to support members on their health journey, from discovery and growth to mental health treatment and support. They are applicable to Summit plans, a flexible IPMI solution created for businesses, as well as Pioneer plans, IPMI designed for individuals and their families.

The new updates include access to Aetna Mind: a holistic approach to supporting members with evidence-based tools and support, from an award winning conversational chatbot app (Wysa) to Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) counsellors as well as clinical support via vHealth Doctors where eligible. EAP telephony and face-to-face counselling is now also included across all Summit plan levels and for Individual members as a new Member Assistance Programme (MAP). Additionally, co-pays no longer apply to psychiatric treatment and inpatient psychiatric treatment will now be included in both Summit and Pioneer 1750 plans as a standard benefit.

Damian Lenihan, Executive Director Europe at Aetna International said, “Our aim is to support businesses and individuals by ensuring they have access to the mental health support they need during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. These updates reflect our commitment to ensuring that mental health is valued and prioritised in the same way as physical health for both corporate and individual members.”

“In 2021 we want to focus on the challenges of mental health. Throughout the year our ‘Building better mental health together’ programme will focus on just that; how we can tackle the mental health challenges we all face, both internally with our employees as well as externally with our customers and members. We want to ensure everyone has access to the care and help they need wherever they are on their journey, which is why we are tailoring our products to help meet the short- and long-term mental health needs of our members.”

The updated offering continues to include benefits such as:

  • Free access to Wysa, a mental well-being app that provides anonymous chat support, self-guided exercises and in app coaching – now including Covid anxiety modules, an enhanced therapist led coaching programme and access to over 13s for adolescent mental well-being support
  • Access to Aetna International’s Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)
  • Access to vHealth: Eligible members will have access to a doctor via phone or video link as part of Aetna’s virtual health platform for consultation, diagnosis and onward referral
  • Free access to myStrength, an interactive and personalised app that helps address stress, anxiety, chronic pain and more
  • Access to Health Hub for further well-being support, member offers on Mind and Body self-care solutions, expert content and links to Aetna International’s Care and Response Excellence (CARE) team for 24/7 health and well-being clinical support

Aetna International is committed to helping create a stronger, healthier global community by delivering comprehensive health care benefits and population health solutions worldwide. One of the largest providers of international private medical insurance, Aetna International serves almost 900,000 members worldwide, including expatriates, local nationals and business travelers. Its global benefits include medical, dental, vision and emergency assistance and, in some regions, life and disability. Aetna International also offers customised technological and health management solutions for health care systems, government entities and large employers to improve people’s health, enhance quality of care and contain costs. Aetna International is a subsidiary of Aetna, a CVS Health company, which serves an estimated 34 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care.

For more information, see www.aetnainternational.com or LinkedIn.

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APRIL International Care Announces Enhancements To MyHEALTH Hong Kong Private International Health Insurance Policy Range

APRIL International Care has announced significant improvements to its MyHEALTH Hong Kong private international health insurance policy range, in particular to its “Elite” module. The changes took effect from the start of December.

The annual limit for the Elite module for in-hospital care has been increased from US $3.0 million to $4.5 million and a near doubling of check-up and vaccination cover has been added, giving a total benefit now of US $2,000, all with no change to policy premiums. In addition, new adult and child health benefits have been added and are now fully covered for Elite policyholders.

Another innovative introduction is adult and child preventative health screenings, which are particularly relevant in the current climate, tapping into the view that early diagnosis is increasingly important for many healthcare issues. April is now one of a very small number of insurers to add mammography, pap smear tests and prostate screening as part of its standard hospital and surgery benefit. These important enhancements come on top of April’s existing medical check-up and vaccinations package.

Lastly, in a move designed to address the rising importance of mental health care, for Extensive and Elite policyholders, April has now enhanced and increased cover for mental health support.

Commenting on the introducing of the new enhancements, Regional Head of Business Development Alistair Dickman said, “April International Care has a reputation for anticipating changing market needs and constantly improving the range of benefits available to policyholders. This year’s changes continue that trend. Our Elite policy now offers a blend of premium benefits and competitive pricing, which we believe makes APRIL International Care a very attractive choice.  For many conditions now, early diagnosis brings genuine benefits and faster recovery times. Our enhanced benefits open up that possibility, bringing peace of mind to clients.”

APRIL International Care are specialists in designing and delivering flexible international private health insurance solutions for individuals, families and companies.

For more information, contact APRIL International Care, or visit www.april-international.com.

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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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