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Healthcare International

Global Excel Achieves SOC 1 & 2 Type I Certification

Global Excel Management Inc., a leader in Healthcare Risk Management, today announced that it is now officially SOC 1 & 2 Type I compliant across the organization.

The SOC 1 Type I report provides organizations with assurance that internal and connected external reporting controls are properly designed and in place. The SOC 2 Type I report examines a consistent set of parameters around third party IT services,
including Privacy, Confidentiality, Processing Integrity, Availability and Security.

“Healthcare data is highly sensitive and personal by nature and protecting that information for our clients and their members has always been a top priority for Global Excel. Achieving SOC 1 & 2 Type I certification reinforces our continuous commitment to data security and confidentiality. This type of stringent, independent auditing provides detailed assurances about the controls and safeguards that we have in place, as well as ensuring that any third-party vendors or partners meet our security standards” said Paul Anderson, Director, Information Security & Compliance at Global Excel.

The Global Excel SOC 2 Type I report is available to clients upon request.

Global Excel is a full-service cost containment, claims management and medical assistance company offering a complete range of services to international, Canadian and U.S. domestic clients.
With over 365 corporate clients located in more than 90 countries around the world, Global Excel manages approximately 360,000 inpatient, outpatient and non-medical cases and files per year and processes over $1.9 billion in claims annually.

For more information please visit www.globalexcel.com

 

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APRIL Group Health & Personal Protection Division Report 2.4% Increase In Sales For 2015

APRIL Group Health & Personal Protection division reported a 2.4% increase in sales based on reported data, broken down into a 1.7% decrease in brokerage commissions and a 9.3% rise in premiums.

The increase in insurance premiums was driven by the development of individual (seniors and self-employed), group and expatriate Health & Personal Protection portfolios. It also reflects new partnerships in group health insurance portfolios linked to the French National Interbranch Agreement (ANI) and an adjustment to the reinsurance structure.

The decrease in brokerage commissions mainly resulted from the contraction of our individual employee health insurance portfolios in light of the new regulation on compulsory group private health insurance, which became effective on 1 January 2016. This decrease was partly offset by the excellent performance of loan insurance. Individual health insurance for seniors and the self-employed continued to perform well. Group private health insurance sales began later than scheduled, but registered a sharp increase towards the end of the year.

The division posted a current EBIT margin down 2.4 percentage points to 15.3%, due to the decrease in individual health insurance revenues, the investments made in group health insurance (process scale-up, bespoke solutions meeting new regulations and the hiring of new staff in order to maintain quality of service) and intense competition in the health insurance sector throughout the year. The group does not anticipate any changes of these parameters in 2016.

The division posted an EBIT of €73.5m.

Overall Performance

APRIL achieved a satisfactory overall performance in a changing environment. The group consolidated its market positioning by keeping up an aggressive sales strategy: positive sales momentum were recorded in increasingly regulated and competitive markets, impacted in particular by the extension of group private health insurance in France.

“2015 was a year of true commitment and structuring for us. Defining our key growth levers around a strengthened management team has allowed us to make a clear assessment and set priorities for our actions and investments, which will have a major influence on the group in the coming years. Our capacity for innovation and the quality of our policy and claims handling, which are more than ever fully focused on serving our customers, should enable us to mitigate the expected decline in our current EBIT for 2016. We are confident in the strength of our group to renew with profit growth as the markets in which we operate gradually stabilise” commented APRIL Chairman and CEO Bruno Rousset.

 

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Punter Southall Health & Protection Launches Expatriate Benefit Solutions

Punter Southall Health & Protection, one of the largest health and protection advisers in the UK, has launched Expatriate Benefit Solutions, a unique service to support employers with expatriate staff.

The new service is especially relevant for employers with small numbers of expatriates looking to expand and diversify their business overseas and is provided in association with Healix International, Morneau Shepell, and Bupa Global.

Commenting on the launch, Teresa Wighton, Head of International Healthcare Consulting, Punter Southall Health & Protection, says: “A successful international assignment needs careful consideration, planning and substantial resources. The average cost of an assignment can be significant and failure can therefore not only be costly, but also result in reputational damage for the company and the loss of valuable employees. Our new service helps reduce these risks and provides employers with the valuable support services that can help employees and their families settle into a new environment.”

The service comprises three inter-related components - pre-assignment screening, a cultural training and expatriate employee assistance programme, and international medical insurance.

Pre-assignment screening is provided by Healix International, using a simple online health questionnaire which is completed for all family members and assessed by a medical team. This is then used to determine if employees or their dependants have any underlying health issues or conditions to enable the right support to be put in place before an assignment starts.

Jon Atkins, Director of Business Development, Healix International, says “Many of the illnesses and health related problems suffered by business travellers and expatriates while overseas are both predictable and preventable. With the experience we have gained through the 12 million medical screenings we carry out each year, we are able to provide a comprehensive and cost effective online solution for assessing the health risks facing employees and their dependants.”

The cultural training and expatriate employee assistance programme is provided by Morneau Shepell and is aimed at helping employees settle into a new work environment and help their families adapt to their new lives. It comprises:

  • A three-hour cultural training programme where employees learn skills and knowledge to live and work effectively within a different culture, and families learn how to communicate around feelings regarding the international assignment.
  • A unique employee assistance programme (EAP) tailored specifically to support the needs and challenges facing expatriates. The service is 24/7 and provides access to 250 expatriate counsellors in over 70 countries, who all have personal expatriate experience.

Richard Albert, Vice President, Global Business Development at Morneau Shepell, says: “We are a leading and experienced expatriate EAP provider that has the unique understanding of the psychosocial impact of international relocation on diagnosis and treatment of problems. This clinical understanding enables us to effectively address expatriate problems and the spill over of these into the workplace. We also take a dual mandate, not only to provide short-term solution-focused counselling support, but also to sustain expatriates while on assignment.”

Bupa Global is providing the international medical insurance for this new service.  Ian Abbott, Head of Intermediary Distribution UK, Bupa Global, says: “Punter Southall Health & Protection partnered with Bupa Global to develop international medical insurance plans that fit the needs of expatriates wherever they are in the world. The products are available exclusively to clients of Punter Southall Health & Protection and are designed to give the ultimate assurance and peace of mind when sending employees and their families overseas. They provide cost effective, benefit rich cover, supported by a range of on-line services and 24/7 helpline advice and support.”

 

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International Travel Risk Security Advice, Warnings, News And Intelligence

Kenya Travel Advice: Heightened Personal Security During The Christmas Holiday Season

The Kenyan authorities have advised heightened personal security during the Christmas holiday season; on 21 December 2015, the Kenyan Ministry of Interior and Co-ordination of National Government issued a public watch notice urging citizens to play a role in counter terrorism and prevention of criminal activities by being vigilant and reporting any suspicious activity, items and people. 117,000 British residents visited Kenya in 2014. International Private Medical Insurance For Kenya Take out comprehensive international private medical insurance before you travel to Kenya, to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad or emergency repatriation and evacuation. Be sure to read…Written on Wednesday, 23 December 2015 15:32 in iPMI Magazine Travel Warnings and Intelligence


Turkey Travel Warning: Reports Of An Explosion At Sabiha Gokcen Airport

Reports of an explosion at Sabiha Gokcen airport in Istanbul at around 2am on 23 December 2015; the circumstances of the incident are currently under investigation; the airport remains open. Over 2,500,000 British nationals visit Turkey every year. Visas British nationals need a visa to travel to Turkey, except for cruise ship passengers with ‘British Citizen’ passports who arrive at sea ports for tourist visits to the port city or nearby cities, provided that the visit doesn’t exceed 72 hours. If you’re visiting Turkey as a tourist or on business, get an e-Visa online before you travel. Only use the…Written on Wednesday, 23 December 2015 12:03 in iPMI Magazine Travel Warnings and Intelligence


Tunisia Travel Warning: State Of Emergency Has Been Extended For 2 Months

State of emergency has been extended for 2 months from 24 December until 21 February 2016. Further attacks remain highly likely, including against foreigners. Security forces are on a high state of alert in Tunis and other locations. You should be especially vigilant and avoid crowded places over the holiday period, including around Mouled (24 December), Christmas and New Year. If you choose to travel to or remain in Tunisia then you should check that your insurance policy provides adequate cover. You should be especially vigilant and follow the advice of the Tunisian security authorities. There are no direct flights…Written on Wednesday, 23 December 2015 11:08 in iPMI Magazine Travel Warnings and Intelligence


USA Travel Advice: Changes To Visa Waiver Programme (VWP)

18 December 2015 and the US Congress passed a Bill updating the requirements for the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP). Under the new rules, with effect from 1 April 2016, all travellers wishing to enter the US under the VWP will need to hold a passport with an integrated chip. Around 3.8 million British nationals visit the United States every year. Most visits are trouble free. Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel. The US Visa Waiver Programme (VWP) allows most British Citizen passport holders to visit the US for up to 90 days without a visa, but…Written on Tuesday, 22 December 2015 11:05 in iPMI Magazine Travel Warnings and Intelligence


Brazil Travel Warning: Cases Of Zika Virus Reported

Cases of Zika virus have been reported in a number of states; you should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel to Brazil. Foreign nationals are entitled to emergency medical treatment in Brazilian public hospitals. Public hospitals in Brazil, especially in major cities, tend to be crowded. Private hospitals will not accept you unless you can present evidence of sufficient funds or insurance. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation. If you need emergency…Written on Monday, 14 December 2015 15:20 in iPMI Magazine Travel Warnings and Intelligence


Philippines Travel Warning: Typhoon Melor (Nona)

Typhoon Melor (Nona) forecast to bring hazardous sea and weather conditions to parts of the country from 14 December 2015. Around 20 typhoons hit the Philippines each year. Most typhoons occur from June to December. There may be flooding and landslides. You should monitor the progress of approaching storms and follow the advice of the local authorities, including any evacuation orders. Typhoon Melor (Nona) is forecast to bring hazardous sea and weather conditions to parts of the country, in particular northern Visayas and southern Luzon, from 14 December. Around 133,665 British nationals visited the Philippines in 2014. Take out comprehensive…Written on Monday, 14 December 2015 12:26 in iPMI Magazine Travel Warnings and Intelligence


Lebanon Travel Security Warning: Explosions In Southern Suburb Area Beirut

12 November 2015 and there were explosions in the southern suburb area of Beirut. Reports indicate that many people have been killed and injured. iPMIM advises against all travel to the southern suburbs of Beirut. Avoid this area and monitor local media for updates. On 10 January 2015, 9 people were killed and over 30 wounded in a suicide bomb attack in the Jebel Mohsen area of Tripoli. On 28 January 2015, there was an attack on the Israeli military in the Shebaa Farms area with reports of cross-border shelling near the towns of Majidiyeh, Kfarshouba, Abbasiye and Wazzani. A…Written on Friday, 13 November 2015 14:00 in iPMI Magazine Travel Warnings and Intelligence

iPMIM Advises Against All But Essential Travel By Air To Or From Sharm El Sheikh Airport

Over 900,000 British nationals visit Egypt every year. Most visits are trouble-free. 31 October 2015, a flight from Sharm el Sheikh to St Petersburg crashed in North Sinai. Egyptian and Russian authorities are conducting an investigation. There is a significant possibility that the crash was caused by an explosive device. As a precautionary measure, we are now advising against all but essential travel by air to or from Sharm el Sheikh. UK carriers will not take passengers directly to Sharm el Sheikh airport. FCO are working with the Egyptian authorities and air carriers to put special security measures in place…Written on Thursday, 05 November 2015 07:39 in iPMI Magazine Travel Warnings and Intelligence
Philippines Travel Advice: Security Ramped Up For APEC Summit

The Philippines hosts the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) summit in Manila on 16 to 20 November. There will be a heightened security presence across the city including at Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Scheduled road closures and security checkpoints will cause delays in travel across the city and many schools, government offices and businesses will be closed. If you are flying to or from Manila during this period check with your airline, as flight delays, diversions and cancellations may occur. Around 133,665 British nationals visited the Philippines in 2014. Most visits are trouble-free. Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance…Written on Monday, 02 November 2015 14:14 in iPMI Magazine Travel Warnings and Intelligence

Egypt Travel Advice

31 October 2015, a flight from Sharm el Sheikh to St Petersburg crashed in North Sinai; Egyptian and Russian authorities are conducting an investigation. Over 900,000 British nationals visit Egypt every year. Most visits are trouble-free. Parliamentary elections are scheduled to take place from 18 October to 23 November. There may be rallies around the country in the run up to the elections. You should avoid all rallies and demonstrations. On election days tight controls will be in place around polling stations with access restricted to voters and officially accredited observers. In previous elections British nationals have been arrested close…Written on Monday, 02 November 2015 11:20 in iPMI Magazine Travel Warnings and Intelligence


UK FCO: Concerns About Quality Of Medical Treatment In Holiday Resorts In Egypt

The South Sinai Hospital in Sharm el Sheikh is currently under investigation by the Egyptian Ministry of Health; there are alternative state and private hospitals in Sharm el Sheikh. You can find a list of most commonly used hospitals in Egypt on the British Embassy website. In an emergency dial 123 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your travel company and your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment. There are reports of some hotel doctors overcharging for treatment and medicines. Examine your bill closely and challenge excessive charges. Pharmacies outside…Written on Monday, 05 October 2015 11:21 in iPMI Magazine Travel Warnings and Intelligence


Tajikistan Travel Warning: Armed Clashes Involving Security Forces Resulting In A Number Of Deaths Reported Close To Dushanbe International Airport

4 September, armed clashes involving security forces resulting in a number of deaths were reported close to Dushanbe International Airport. Tajik authorities are investigating and there is an increased security presence in the area. Given the possibility of further incidents, you should take extra care and monitor the local media. Tourism, health and transport infrastructure is poor and travel requires careful planning. Avoid off-road areas immediately adjoining the Afghan, Uzbek and Kyrgyz borders, which may be mined. Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance including evacuation by air ambulance before you travel.Written on Friday, 04 September 2015 10:56 in iPMI Magazine Travel Warnings and Intelligence


International Trains From Budapest Have Been Suspended Until Further Notice

International trains from Budapest Keleti train station have been suspended until further notice due to disruption. Monitor the local media, and check with your carrier and the Hungarian Railways (MÁV) website for further information. Since the end of August 2015 there has been considerable disruption to rail and road transport from Budapest to the Austrian border. This is due to police and border enforcement action as a result of significant numbers of people seeking to transit through Hungary. Around 400,000 British nationals visit Hungary each year. Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.Written on Friday, 04 September 2015 10:53 in iPMI Magazine Travel Warnings and Intelligence


India Travel Warning: Flood Warnings For Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Assam And West Bengal

A flood warning has been issued to Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Assam and West Bengal due to the possibility of heavy rainfall in the foothills of the Himalayas over the next few days. The rainfall will also lead to swelling of rivers Kosi, Gandak and Ghaghara, tributaries of Ganga and all tributaries of Brahmaputra. You should monitor local and international weather updates from the Indian Meteorological Department and follow the advice of local authorities and your travel company. Over 800,000 British nationals visit India every year. Before you travel to India, take out comprehensive medical and travel insurance and read the…Written on Wednesday, 19 August 2015 06:20 in iPMI Magazine Travel Warnings and Intelligence

SOURCE

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Accessing Medical Care Abroad: More Expatriates Look Locally

Cigna Global Health Benefits® (NYSE: CI) and the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) recently surveyed more than 2,700 expatriates working in 156 countries to better understand how they and their families experience, perceive and value various elements of assignment terms and programs.

While many surveys tell the global mobility story from the perspective of the employer, this survey is unique because it gathers candid feedback from the globally mobile themselves—information employers are rarely able to gather on their own.

Expat profile

Among people who work outside of their home country, three things are true: they are male (81%), middle-aged and have a family. Beyond that, all bets are off.

The globally mobile are growing older; Gen X is entering its peak earning years and Baby Boomers are remaining in the workforce longer than did previous generations. According to the survey results, many expats are leaving their families at home for various reasons. Today, many assignment locations are in emerging markets or a remote location, which is one reason expats might leave their families at home. In recent years, there has also been a dramatic increase in business and technology-related assignments with shorter durations; generally between six and 12 months. Thirty-eight percent of respondents reported that they did not bring their children with them during assignment.

Although most expats still hail from the U.S., their numbers are down by 10% from just two years ago (and down 24% from the 2001 survey). Globalization is likely a factor with more companies having operations across the globe with access to qualified local talent. The U.S. tax regulations may also be a reason for the decline, making expatriation of U.S. nationals more expensive than expatriates from other countries.

Accessing medical care abroad: more expats look locally

The proportion of expats accessing medical care on assignment stayed consistent from 2013 at 79%. Seventy-five percent of expats said they access local providers for routine medical care.

Gender appears to play a role in which type and where expats and their families access care during assignment. While the rate at which men accessed care stayed about the same (78% this year versus 77% in 2013), the share of women accessing care rose five percentage points to 83%. Even though a larger percentage of women are accessing care while abroad, they are slightly less likely than men to seek care locally. However, more women (47%) said they were much more likely to seek treatment locally for serious medical care than they did in 2013 (38%).

Mobility benefits packages: Flexibility and customization

Greater flexibility in plan design was a common theme when employees were asked what employers might change or add to their global mobility assignment packages to make them more useful.

“Similar to what we saw in the 2013 results, a one-size-fits-all approach to mobility program services can lead to potential dissatisfaction, or worse, an unexpected end to a global assignment,” said Leah Cotterill, vice president, North America Client Management, Cigna Global Health Benefits. “Global mobility directors have to be cognizant of striking a balance between the needs of the business and those of the expats and their families. While the trend toward managing costs through benefits reduction might save companies money in the shorter term, the approach may not lead to longer term satisfaction, loyalty, trust or success.”

Support and communication

Results from this year’s survey indicate that certain gaps – whether real or perceived - still exist between the resources employers say they provide to expats in comparison to what employees say they need.

Communications – before, during and after assignment – are critical to expats and the success of their assignment. Survey responses indicate that employers shouldn’t be worried about over-communicating.

  • 38% of respondents received only one communication prior to departure and nearly a third received two to three.
  • More than 75% received information about their global mobility program benefits during assignment. Of this group, one in four received messages on a quarterly basis.
  • Email and phone calls with HR/global mobility representatives were the top two forms of communication with 90% and 70%, respectively.

Overall, the support employers have traditionally made available aligns with what expatriates say is needed. More than three-quarters of respondents said their employer provides help with moving household goods; setting up utilities and other settling-in needs, as well as help with finding doctors and getting vaccinations. Yet, globally mobile employees say they need more, particularly related to local culture and lifestyle.

Only 20% of information sent to expats before assignment covered local lifestyle resources such as grocery stores, child care, etc. “Prepare employees better for the cultural shock they will experience, particularly for newcomers,” said one respondent.

The use of digital communications, particularly social media, increased dramatically since the 2013 survey. More than twice as many expatriates chose Facebook this year than they did in 2013, which reflects the increasing use of social media as a human resources portal by employers.

There also appears to be a dramatic change in the perceived usefulness of digital resources. Nearly twice as many expatriates in 2015 said their employer intranet is an effective communication tool. Interestingly enough, almost half (44%) said that they either didn’t know or their employer didn’t offer online access to information concerning their mobility benefits program.

“Globally mobile employees and their families want reliable and consistent communication from employers from preparing them for assignments before they depart and ensuring they feel appropriately supported and connected while away,” commented Cotterill. “While many employers are making strides in this area, more can be done to better facilitate communication concerning global mobility program features and services for employees and their families.”

“As businesses continue to expand and compete in today’s global marketplace, the importance of global mobility has never been greater,” said Bill Sheridan, NFTC Vice President of International Human Resources. “This year’s survey results not only reflect this, but also reveal key insights into how global mobility and the expectations of expats have changed since 2013 – insights that should influence how employers meet the needs of their expats going forward.”

Expatriation: A lifestyle choice, not just an economic obligation.

This year’s results demonstrate that global mobility is no longer just an economic obligation, but is instead a lifestyle choice evolving into a career unto itself. The spirit of adventure, the potential to hone one’s qualifications and the appeal of living abroad remained the greatest influences on the decision to accept a first assignment.

One key difference to note is the proportion of expats who indicated they went abroad because they wanted to versus feeling they had to—down by 12.5% since the 2013 survey. Additionally, the number of expats who have been on five or more international assignments increased sharply to 25% from 18% in 2013. This may indicate that global mobility is becoming an occupation in its own right.

Repatriation: Just as difficult as expatriation.

Slightly more than half (54%) of expats who responded to the survey say their employer has a formal repatriation program – and yet most employers report they offer one. In fact, many respondents expressed that repatriation is effectively as difficult as expatriation.

Expats find a return home can result in culture shock. Changes in finances and taxes for the household were a big concern, as was finding new employment. “My family and I will probably need as much (if not more) help repatriating than we have needed on assignment,” said a respondent.

Many expats recommended beginning repatriation arrangements at least three months before departure. Commenting on a return home after assignment, one respondent said, “I’d like to see a repatriation program in which we are given news of the return home at least three months prior to the move so we can prepare.”

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OUT NOW: International Private Medical Insurance Companies and Providers V1.3 - Adds NEW Wellaway Advertising Campaign

Version 1.3 of the International Private Medical Insurance Provider Directory is out now.

Medical insurance underwriters and providers are represented and International Private Medical Insurance Magazine would like to take this opportunity to say a warm thank you to all of the guide sponsors including ALC Health, Antaé, Cigna Global iPMI, Expatriate Group, GeoBlue, Globality Health, Healthcare International, Integra Global and Wellaway.

GET LISTED

List your company in the iPMI Magazine iPMI company guide. Working hand-in-hand with your own company micro website on iPMIM, this guide can land-your-brand on the desk of an eclectic worldwide readership.

 

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OUT NOW: International Private Medical Insurance Companies and Providers V1.2

Version 1.2 of the International Private Medical Insurance Provider Directory is out now with the addition of Antaé, a leading employee benefits firm based in Switzerland.

Based in Lausanne in Switzerland, Antaé is specialised in advice, design and distribution of international mobility solutions: private medical insurance, travel health insurance, assistance and security, protection, kidnap and ransom, pension. Our clients are international corporate businesses and organisations, NGOs, international private schools and international students in Switzerland. Antaé is FINMA registered – N° 28246

Medical insurance underwriters and providers are represented and International Private Medical Insurance Magazine would like to take this opportunity to say a warm thank you to all of the guide sponsors including ALC Health, Antaé, Cigna Global iPMI, Expatriate Group, GeoBlue, Globality Health, Healthcare International, Integra Global and Wellaway.

GET LISTED

List your company in the iPMI Magazine iPMI company guide. Working hand-in-hand with your own company micro website on iPMIM, this guide can land-your-brand on the desk of an eclectic worldwide readership.

 

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OUT NOW: International Private Medical Insurance Companies and Providers V1.1

Underwriters and providers are represented and Team iPMIM would like to take this opportunity to say a warm thank you to all of the guide sponsors including ALC Health, Cigna Global iPMI, Expatriate Group, GeoBlue, Globality Health, Healthcare International, Integra Global and Wellaway.

GET LISTED

List your company in the iPMI Magazine iPMI company guide. Working hand-in-hand with your own company micro website on iPMIM, this guide can land-your-brand on the desk of an eclectic worldwide readership.

iPOLICY Magazine Issue 004 June 2015 Powered By International Private Medical Insurance Magazine (iPMIM) from iPMI Magazine on Vimeo.

CONNECT

To get in touch with and contact International Private Medical Insurance Magazine (iPMIM) simply send us an email. You can write to the team on: ipmiATipmimagazine.com and we will get back in touch right away. (replace AT with @)

The new directory is also featured in our Medical Broker and Intermediary report, iPolicy.

Issue 4 is out now and can be found at: https://ipolicymagazine.com/read-ipolicy/item/274-ipolicy-issue-4

iPolicy Issue 4 kicks off with an executive interview with the new Managing Director @ Cigna Global iPMI.

About the iPMI Company Directory

Delivering pertinent company information to worldwide insurance brokers, intermediaries and agents the International Private Medical Insurance Magazine iPMI Provider Network Directory is the definitive global resource featuring international medical insurance underwriters and providers.

Identify, select and source the most appropriate insurance partners that may assist you expand your product portfolio range and coverage. Designed by iPMI providers for iPMI brokers, the directory works hand-in-hand with iPMI Magazine company micro web sites. Follow the interactive links throughout the directory for more company intelligence and content.

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The Financial Shock Of A Sudden Disability Or Critical Illness

A sudden critical illness or disability can have serious financial consequences for the individuals and families affected. However, most Europeans do not have the financial protection in place to deal with such a shock. According to Swiss Re's European Insurance Report 2015, people in the 13 countries surveyed for the report would currently struggle to secure 40% income replacement in case of disability. Together with the witnessed trend of the welfare state's gradual withdrawal of benefits, this is set to drop further. Already today, this amounts to a total shortfall in required disability insurance of around EUR 750 billion.

The European Insurance Report 2015 is based on a survey of 13,000 people across 13 countries in Europe and the Middle East. It looks into attitudes towards what life and health insurance products people have in place, where the gaps are in their protection and focuses on possible solutions to help with the financial consequences of unexpected health shocks, especially for sudden disability or serious illness.

Collectively, the total level of underinsurance in the countries surveyed is currently around EUR 750 billion. Assuming that people would need a 60% replacement income if unable to work because of illness or injury, the report finds that at current levels replacement income would barely cover 40% for most people. 

"Although people in the survey were aware of the potential shock that a sudden disability or illness could have for them financially, there are still many people without enough protection and who are reliant on state welfare," says Bruce Hodkinson, Swiss Re's European Head of Life and Health Reinsurance. "However, states are reducing their welfare systems as ageing populations and increasing medical costs put pressure on their budgets. The insurance industry has the task to enable the shift from state provision to individual responsibility."

The European Insurance Report 2015 also investigates the economic and demographic factors that are weighing on a protection system which is highly dependent on the state welfare. Ageing populations, lower fertility rates and expanding medical costs are adding to the challenge of maintaining the current protection systems. They also add to the need for individuals to take on more private responsibility for their health care provision, or face massive reductions in the level of service they can expect.

In order for re/insurers to step up their efforts to cover the financial risks in the European health protection market, there is a greater need for understanding  how, when and why people decide to take on private cover. The report has several in-depth analyses around consumer issues such as how consumers perceive their vulnerability to illness and how to better address relevant products for people's life stages.

Jean-Jacques Henchoz, Swiss Re's Chief Executive Officer Reinsurance EMEA says: "It's not enough to understand the economic arguments for providing health protection. People don't buy on a one-size-fits-all basis throughout their lives but will want different levels of cover and have different concerns as they move through their lives. Our job as the re/insurers is to ensure that we are meeting their needs."

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CMS Proposes Rule To Strengthen Managed Care For Medicaid And CHIP Enrollees

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed to modernize Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) managed care regulations to update the programs’ rules and strengthen the delivery of quality care for beneficiaries.  This proposed rule is the first major update to Medicaid and CHIP managed care regulations in more than a decade.

It would improve beneficiary communications and access, provide new program integrity tools, support state efforts to deliver higher quality care in a cost-effective way, and better align Medicaid and CHIP managed care rules and practices with other sources of health insurance coverage.  Overall, this proposed rule supports the agency’s mission of better care, smarter spending, and healthier people.

“A lot has changed in terms of best practices and the delivery of important health services in the managed care field over the last decade. This proposal will better align regulations and best practices to other health insurance programs, including the private market and Medicare Advantage plans, to strengthen federal and state efforts at providing quality, coordinated care to millions of Americans with Medicaid or CHIP insurance coverage,” said Andy Slavitt, Acting Administrator of CMS.

Since CMS last issued managed care regulations in 2002 and 2003, the health care delivery landscape has changed and grown substantially.  States have expanded managed care to several new populations including seniors and persons with disabilities. The growth of managed care in the Marketplace and Medicare Advantage further highlights the importance of policy alignment when appropriate across programs in order to ease the transition for consumers whose circumstances change during the year.

CMS proposes to modernize Medicaid managed care regulations in the following ways:

  • Supporting states’ efforts to encourage delivery system reform initiatives within managed care programs that aim to improve health care outcomes and beneficiary experience while controlling costs; and
  • Strengthening the quality of care provided to beneficiaries by strengthening transparency and measurement, establishing a quality rating system, and broadening state quality strategies and consumer and stakeholder engagement;
  • Improving consumer experience in the areas of enrollment, communications, care coordination, and the availability and accessibility of covered services;
  • Implementing best practices identified in existing managed long term services and supports programs;
  • Aligning Medicaid managed care policies to a much greater extent with those of Medicare Advantage and the private market;
  • Strengthening the fiscal and programmatic integrity of Medicaid managed care programs and rate setting;
  • Aligning the CHIP managed care regulations with many of the proposed revisions to the Medicaid managed care rules strengthen quality and access in CHIP managed care programs.  

The proposed rule is available at https://www.federalregister.gov/public-inspection and can be viewed athttps://www.federalregister.gov starting June 1. The deadline to submit comments is July 27, 2015.

For more information, visit http://medicaid.gov/medicaid-chip-program-information/by-topics/delivery-systems/managed-care/managed-care-site.html  

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