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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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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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Now Health International Launches New Digital IPMI Product To Cater For The Next Generation Of Expatriate

Now Health International Group, has announced the launch of a new mid-tier, completely digital product that is designed to cater for a new generation of expatriates and upper-affluent local nationals.

The company has launched its new SimpleCare plans in response to the growing number of digitally savvy millennials and younger executives moving abroad for work, who still demand the protection of international health insurance but at a more affordable price point to the traditional corporate executive expat. Now Health International also believes the plans will appeal to the growing base of upper-affluent local nationals in the emerging markets in which it operates.

To cater to this new generation of expats SimpleCare has been developed to be a completely digital proposition, with members only able to access their plan documents and make claims via a paper free, seamless online customer experience. This environmentally conscious product leverages Now Health International’s award winning digital tools including its smartphone App and secure online portfolio, as well as new mobile pass membership cards which can be downloaded into members’ smartphone wallets.

The new product offers core protection for all major health incidents including hospitalisation, surgery, cancer treatment, and evacuation and repatriation, which are often the main concern of younger expats. Customers can then choose to add low or medium levels of coverage for out-patient treatment, including physiotherapy, dental and medication if desired.

Designed for the more cost conscious consumer, the SimpleCare product offers multiple options to help customers further reduce their premium. This includes eight different levels of annual deductible for all types of treatment (in, day and out-patient) as well as risk management tools such as a co-insurance and per visit excess. Default regional geographical restrictions of coverage are also available for members located in certain countries of residence, providing a more affordable option for those that want to access top quality medical facilities but do not need worldwide coverage.

The product will be launched in key markets first, including Europe, Africa, Hong Kong and Singapore, and then be rolled out to other markets in Asia and the Middle East in the coming months.

Martin Garcia, Executive Chairman commented, “SimpleCare is designed to meet the needs of a new generation of expat - the growing numbers of younger people moving abroad, 2 most of which end up on local employment contracts. We set out to create an international health insurance solution which caters to these cost conscious, digitally literate expats while still providing them with access to world class medical facilities and the high standard of service that Now Health International is known for”.

Zahir Sharif, Managing Director for Now Health International added, “The clue is the name; SimpleCare is meant to be simple to understand and use – offering the vital health protection that our customers desire, with easy to use digital tools, access to the best quality private medical providers, and all with an affordable price tag. We understand that many expats and companies looking for executive health plans want more comprehensive, worldwide coverage, and our benefit rich WorldCare plans will continue to cater for those needs. However, we are confident our innovative new product will enable us to reach out to the growing base of younger expats globally, as we continue to consolidate our position as the leading IPMI provider worldwide”.

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AXA Strengthens International Healthcare Proposition For Growing Businesses

AXA's global healthcare specialists have enhanced their core proposition for businesses covering 75-150 employees based overseas by introducing tailored international health plans and a profit share arrangement. The proposition complements the existing international offering for businesses, sitting in-between AXA's off-the-shelf provision, covering one or more employee, and the bespoke solution for those insuring more than 150 employees.

The new offering provides businesses sending 75-150 employees abroad enhanced flexibility, making it easier for firms to meet the needs of their increasingly global workforce.

Groups can tailor their scheme to suit specific employee needs, with the option of raising and lowering allowances on key benefits, the choice of mixing levels of cover and the opportunity to spread the employee population across two of AXA's most popular healthcare plans – the International Health Plan and the Islands Health Plan. Businesses will therefore have more flexibility in the level of cover they can choose for their employees.

Key features of the proposition include:

  • Transparency – an annual management information dashboard allows businesses to identify what employees are claiming for most and which benefits they are using, informing decision making in advance of renewal.
  • Protection – with specific stop loss cover, future premiums are guarded from the impact of high individual claims over £35,000/€44,500/$56,000.
  • Sustainability – through AXA's profit share arrangement, clients will receive money back upon renewal if their total claims are less than 65 per cent of their annual premium.
  • Flexibility of benefits – clients can tailor key benefits and allowances to suit their employees' needs, while controlling costs for the business.
  • Simplicity – easy online scheme management with AXA's Corporate Services Online tool.

Kevin Melton, Director of Sales and Marketing for AXA's global healthcare business, commented, "Providing growing businesses with flexibility and the opportunity to scale their cover up and down is key in providing a sustainable product that clients will reap value from. The changes we have made to this proposition will help provide those businesses covering 75-150 employees with more transparency, less risk and the opportunity to reclaim value from unused premiums. We also recognise that a few significant claims can make a big difference to renewal premiums and that's why we've implemented the stop loss cover for claims of over £35,000/€44,500/$56,000. All of these developments will support our customers in purchasing employee healthcare at a sustainable price."

The tailored proposition also offers businesses the chance to claim back a proportion of unused premiums. After the first two years, if claims are less than 65 per cent of the premium, AXA will pay back a credit of 50 per cent of the difference when the business renews. For businesses following their wellbeing strategy, this presents the opportunity to realise the dual benefits of employee health and wellbeing, coupled with reduced premiums.

Additional benefits also include access to a 24/7 customer service, an online member portal for claims and queries, a second medical opinion service, 24/7 medical telephone helpline and medical evacuation and repatriation as standard.

Melton concluded, "Today's increasingly global workforce needs flexible, comprehensive cover that can support them in the case of any eventuality. Our new tailored proposition provides this, for both the employees and their employer. Businesses can track usage, which in turn can help provide insight of what their employees require, and employees are able to benefit from comprehensive cover, which can support their health and wellbeing."

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