Menu
iPMI Magazine Is Proudly Sponsored By:
For a healthier journey.
iPMI Magazine

iPMI Magazine

International Private Medical Insurance Magazine (iPMIM) is the ultimate Health and Medical Insurance Digital Media serving expatriate, corporate, health and travel insurance markets. Due to the nomadic nature of the international healthcare industry iPMI Magazine is an internet based news service, for worldwide healthcare professionals, who need to understand the impacts of healthcare and insurance policy, regulatory, and legislative developments. Combined with in depth health insurance industry analysis, best-in-class health insurance industry data, and exclusive, C-Suite Executive health insurance interviews and round tables, iPMI Magazine bridges an information gap between healthcare payor, provider and patient. Written by the health and medical insurance industry, for the health and medical insurance industry, iPMIM is supported and designed by leading international medical insurance companies and service providers.

Website URL: http://ipmimagazine.com

Generali Delivers The First Ventilators To Hospitals In Lombardy

The intensive care units at hospitals in Lombardy today received the first lung ventilators imported from Germany through a humanitarian operation by Hope Onlus, achieved thanks to the donation made by Generali through the Extraordinary International Fund for the Covid-19 Emergency, set up by the Group with a budget of up to € 100 million.

The lung ventilators were transported from the Dixon factory in Dusseldorf, Germany, to Milan through a humanitarian operation organised by Hope Onlus, a non-profit organisation specialising in health and education projects that operates in Italy and the Middle East. The collaboration between for-profit, non-profit and public organisations has made it possible to have priority delivery from industries unable to deliver orders for lung ventilators from all over the world.

The scientific support of Fondazione Buzzi and the direct coordination between Hope Onlus and the Head of the Crisis Unit Prof. Antonio Pesenti, Head of the Intensive Care Unit at the Milan General Hospital (Policlinico di Milano), have made a 100% controlled supply chain possible, from production to patient service. Today, 8 lung ventilators have already been installed in intensive care units in record time in the hospitals in Crema, Brescia and the Buzzi hospital in Milan. Another 12 are on their way.

In recent days, Generali has donated 500 protective suits to healthcare facilities in Lombardy.

Last week Generali Deutschland, in collaboration with Air Dolomiti-Lufthansa, helped the Italian diplomacy in Germany to transport 2,500 pieces of protective equipment donated by a group of Chinese businesspeople.

The Group thanks the Embassy of Italy in Berlin for the intense and effective collaboration.

Elena Fazzini, Chairman of the Hope Foundation, commented, “We are delighted that Assicurazioni Generali, which has always been committed to protecting people, has promptly responded to the urgent appeal from hospitals, donating 20 lung ventilators for the same number of intensive care units, which are desperately needed at this time. We would also like to thank the Italian Ambassador in Germany, Luigi Mattiolo, who has supported all the humanitarian efforts and who has made himself available to continue to help us so that other medical equipment can soon reach hospitals.”

On 13 March 2020, Generali launched the Extraordinary International Fund of up to € 100 million to the fight against the Covid-19 emergency on a global level.

The Fund, whose activities will be aimed mainly at Italy, but also other countries where Generali operates, provides for immediate assistance in this quickly evolving crisis and, in the medium term, aims to support economic recovery efforts in the countries affected.

Integra Global Launches New IPMI Inpatient Plan Range – InCare

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

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

Global Excel Announces COVID-19 Version of StandbyMD

Global Excel Management Inc., an industry leader in Healthcare Risk Management Solutions, today announces that it has released a COVID-19 version of its StandbyMD directional care platform to help direct those with coronavirus concerns to the appropriate care and help alleviate the overburdened healthcare systems and assistance centers everywhere.

We believe that this tool should help alleviate stress from the current local COVID-19 support lines as well as provide comfort to those not feeling well in these trying times, including assisting people in gaining access to telemedicine consults or ensuring that those needing to be tested are getting through to the emergency lines which have been put in place.

StandbyMD is a directional care tool used by health insurance and assistance organizations around the world to ensure patients receive the right care by analyzing a patient's demographics, symptoms and location. Using AI technology the symptoms are matched real-time with a service stack that includes telemedicine, visiting physicians, direction to urgent care or outpatient clinics, and of course immediate direction to the nearest emergency room.

With the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, Global Excel is committed to helping and has developed a solution to help individuals in assessing their current condition and then provide a recommended course of action. Global Excel’s, StandbyMD COVID-19 triage tool is unique in that its outcomes are based on the particular patient's age, possible COVID-19 symptoms and location. The user is instantly presented with a recommended course of action, including links to telemedicine consultations.

“With clients located around the world, our system is designed to be adaptable to different governmental healthcare systems, regional healthcare infrastructures, languages and service delivery platforms. Many of our clients ask us to provide the full solution set – the APIs necessary to enhance an existing assistance app, a desktop version which can be used by a call centre, and of course the ability to actually take the assistance calls through our four fully-integrated call centers in North America. For any doctors interested in participating in the program Global Excel would be happy to facilitate access to our telemedicine platform.” added Steve McClung, Senior Vice-President, Innovation and Technology at Global Excel.

Managing International Medical Risks During A Global Pandemic

The iPMI Magazine network consists of a wide range of leading international medical payors and service providers, on call, 24/7 to assist you manage worldwide medical risks during a global pandemic.

The international medical network covers all sectors of the global medical insurance business, and you can use the directory to source new partners and service providers. Simply use the the contact details within the network directory to connect. 

Industry Network Sectors: IPMI, Assistance, Air Ambulance, Cost Containment And Claims Management, Funeral Directors, Ground Ambulance, Healthcare Insurance Management and Pharmacy Benefits Management.

    Enter full screen click the small rectangle above ↑

 

Current Network Partners:

Click a company name below to visit their micro web site on iPMIM and learn more or download the  network directory using the above link. 

PAYORS AND PROVIDERS IN FOCUS:

IPMI

ASSISTANCE

AIR AMBULANCE

COST CONTAINMENT AND CLAIMS MANAGEMENT

FUNERAL DIRECTORS

HEALTHCARE INSURANCE MANAGEMENT

PHARMACY BENEFITS MANAGEMENT

 To add your business to the network please write to David Bond, CIO, iPMIM on ipmi[at]ipmimagazine.com

Passenger Revenues Could Plummet $252 Billion Below 2019’s Figure

Owing to the severity of travel restrictions and the expected global recession, IATA now estimates that industry passenger revenues could plummet $252 billion or 44% below 2019’s figure. This is in a scenario in which severe travel restrictions last for up to three months, followed by a gradual economic recovery later this year.

IATA’s previous analysis of up to a $113 billion revenue loss was made on 5 March 2020, before the countries around the world introduced sweeping travel restrictions that largely eliminated the international air travel market.

“The airline industry faces its gravest crisis. Within a matter of a few weeks, our previous worst case scenario is looking better than our latest estimates. But without immediate government relief measures, there will not be an industry left standing. Airlines need $200 billion in liquidity support simply to make it through. Some governments have already stepped forward, but many more need to follow suit,” said IATA’s Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac.

Slower Recovery

The latest analysis envisions that under this scenario, severe restrictions on travel are lifted after 3 months. The recovery in travel demand later this year is weakened by the impact of global recession on jobs and confidence. Full year passenger demand (revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) declines 38% compared to 2019. Industry capacity (available seat kilometer or ASKs) in domestic and international markets declines 65% during the second quarter ended 30 June compared to a year-ago period, but in this scenario recovers to a 10% decline in the fourth quarter.

REGION OF AIRLINE REGISTRATION

% CHANGE IN RPKS
(2020 VS. 2019)

EST. IMPACT ON PASS. REVENUE
2020 VS. 2019
(US$ BILLIONS)

Africa
-32%
-4
Asia Pacific
-37%
-88
Europe
-46%
-76
Latin America
-41%
-15
Middle East
-39%
-19
North America
-27%
-50
Industry
-38%
-252

Read Alexandre de Juniac's speech

Check the COVID-19: Updated Impact Assessment (pdf), 24 March 2020

How To Take Care Of Your Mental Health During The Global Pandemic

As the world continues to cope with the unprecedented impacts of the COVID 19, an increasing number of people will be directed to isolate themselves at home or practice social distancing.

These actions can cause negative psychological effects including anxiety, post-traumatic stress symptoms, confusion and anger. Dr. Adrian Hyzler, Chief Medical Officer at Healix International has put together some advice on how to tend to your mental wellness while navigating the new reality we have all found ourselves in.

Things you can start doing today to reduce anxiety

  • Maintain a routine: This is so important! Maintain a regular routine to mimic the structure that was previously provided by your work (or “normal”) life. This will go a long way in helping you to feel productive. Part of that routine should include showering and getting dressed; tempting though it may seem, don’t lounge around in your pyjamas all day!
  • Eat regular, healthy meals: Eating well will help maintain your physical and mental well-being. Whenever possible, make meals from fresh ingredients that you can buy locally.
  • Exercise: A fitness routine, whether it consists of a walk with the dog, skipping with a rope for 20 minutes in the garden or using any exercise equipment you might have at home, will serve as a distraction and help to boost your endorphins.
  • Stay entertained: Read books, write in a journal, listen to music; take the time to do things that you never had room for in your busy life.
  • Engage with others: Use video conferencing (FaceTime, Skype, Zoom) to stay connected with friends and family as well as work colleagues. In times like these, a phone call is better than a text!
  • Shut it down: Switch off social media for a few hours a day so that you are not constantly bombarded with terrible stories, haunting imagery and incessant memes that have you fatigued with the whole COVID-19 situation. This sounds extreme to some, but you might try deleting your social media app from your phone for the day! You’d be surprised how much better you’ll feel after a “digital detox.”
  • Know your sources: Select a small number of trustworthy media sources so that when you do search for news about COVID 19 you are not reading fake news, opinion pieces and viral threads that only increase your anxiety. Be careful what you share on social media; be aware that you could be contributing to others’ anxiety.
  • Break the 24/7 news cycle: Don’t check the news first thing in the morning! Set aside a short period each day to check news stories and let that be it.
  • Explore: While practicing social distancing (staying 6 feet apart at minimum) take note that society is still there! There are other people walking, jogging and riding bikes. You can maintain a safe distance from them while still offering a smile and a wave. There are many parks and areas that are open to the public so that people can exercise and get fresh air. 
  • Have some fun: Join online communities for an hour of Scrabble, Monopoly or other traditional games that can now be played online in order to get a sense of community.
  • Get enriched: Learn a new language or skill, maybe enrol in an online course.
  • Tackle your DIY List: Do those tasks you have been putting off forever, including household repairs and gardening.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help: If you do get anxious and need some professional help, access mental health professionals via helplines that are open 24 hours a day. Know that everyone will get anxious about this pandemic to some degree and it’s ok not to be ok!
  • Remember to breathe: It sounds pretty basic but take a deep breath whenever you start to feel overwhelmed. You may also want to try meditation apps as well as online yoga classes and wellbeing videos.
  • Be kind: This goes for yourself and those around you; check up on vulnerable neighbours and offer assistance as you’re able. Help with shopping for food and medications (drop things off at the door) or offer just conversation (maintaining social distancing of course).
  • Take space: If you are in a family, give each other breathing room!
  • Try and find some meaning:  Though it may seem impossible at times, try and learn from this experience. Focus on what matters the most to you and take some time to really bond with those you care about.

Healix International works with multi-national corporations, NGOs and governments around the world to provide medical, security and travel assistance and help fulfil duty of care obligations.

Cost Of Living Would Prompt A Fifth of Expats To Return Home

Independent research by AXA – Global Healthcare has shown that many expats find life abroad to be surprisingly expensive, with one-in-six (17%) saying that the cost of living is the thing they miss most from their home country and one-in-five (21%) going so far as to say that it would prompt them to return. This is despite three-in-five (58%) saying that they actually enjoy a higher salary since moving abroad.

The greatest source of pressure on expats’ wallets was found to be rent and housing, with more than half (51%) of expats saying this was surprisingly expensive in their new home country. Two-fifths (40%) of those surveyed also said that higher education was more costly than expected, while one-in-three (35%) found that childcare costs put pressure on their purse strings.

Having spoken with people in a number of popular expat destinations, AXA found that life is most expensive for those living in the United Arab Emirates. Almost three-quarters of expats in the UAE said that rent and house prices (71%) and higher education (72%) are surprisingly costly, while two thirds (65%) found schooling to be more expensive than expected.

Tom Wilkinson, CEO, AXA – Global Healthcare commented: “The cost of living varies massively around the world, and even across different regions in the same country, so it’s important on any international secondment to be aware of your spending and manage your finances appropriately. If you’re not sure where to start, there are plenty of resources online – and even apps available – that could help make managing your money a little easier.”

An expense that expats seem to be particularly concerned about is healthcare, with a quarter (24%) of those living abroad worried about the cost of treatment locally. A fifth (18%) of expats said that they would even travel to another country to receive healthcare because the cost of treatment in their new home is too high.

Tom Wilkinson concluded: “The key to being prepared for healthcare costs abroad – especially if you have a pre-existing condition – is to ensure that you have a good grasp of the services and facilities available in your new home. The standard and cost of healthcare will vary around the world, so it’s important to prepare yourself for the different circumstances you might come across. In countries where certain treatments are difficult to come by or particularly expensive, it may even be worth considering how international health insurance could help you to manage your healthcare needs.”

Aetna To Provide Members With Free Access To Virtual Health Care During Covid-19

Aetna International has announced it will provide all their members with free access to its virtual health offering, vHealth, to help ensure continuous access to health care during the COVID-19 outbreak.

vHealth will give members access to confidential medical consultations over the phone or via video link, without having to travel to a doctor’s surgery or hospital. Members will be able to speak with a doctor at any time, about any aspect of their health and well-being.

Additionally, any Aetna International member who undergoes diagnostic testing for COVID-19, as referred by a medical physician in an approved medical facility, will be reimbursed in full for the cost of the test and consultation.

Members can apply for reimbursement following the standard claims process and will be able to make one claim per calendar month related to diagnostic testing for COVID-19. Members should continue to follow the guidance issued by their local health authority and contact their local health care provider or a vHealth doctor if they have any concerns. 

Aetna International has also confirmed that existing health benefits are not affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Any medical advice and subsequent treatment will be covered by Aetna International, as it would any other eligible medical condition, in accordance with a member’s plan.

Richard di Benedetto, president, Aetna International said: “The health, safety and well-being of Aetna International customers and members is paramount. We know that many people will be concerned about visiting a doctor or hospital waiting room at the moment, so we are giving all members free access to vHealth – a global service that provides medical consultations via phone or video link – for any health or well-being condition.”

Commenting on diagnostic testing for COVID-19, Mr. di Benedetto continued: “Members referred by a physician in an approved medical facility for diagnostic testing for COVID-19 will be reimbursed in full. We recognise that each government or health authority may have slightly different advice regarding diagnostic testing, so members are advised to follow the guidance issued by their local health authority and to contact their local health care provider or vHealth doctor if they have any concerns.”

 

 

U.S. Health Insurers Face Potential Rise in Claims Due to Coronavirus

U.S. health insurers will experience an increase in medical claims with the spread of the coronavirus, and sees the potential for these costs to be driven by at-risk patients such as the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions.

A new Best’s Commentary titled, “Potential Rise in Claims Due to Coronavirus,” also states that treatment for non-urgent conditions could decline, as these individuals might choose to avoid becoming exposed at a medical treatment facility or physician’s office.

The higher severity cases, and in cases resulting deaths, thus far have been occurring in the elderly and in individuals with pre-existing medical conditions or compromised immune systems. “As such, exposure is expected to be greater for health insurers covering a large percentage of 'at risk' individuals—including those writing long-term care and support services contracts, Medicare and Medicaid, specifically special needs plans,” said Sally Rosen, senior director, AM Best Rating Services.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is allowing the coronavirus test to be administered locally. Tests conducted by private laboratories will be paid for by an individual’s health insurer. The New York state Department of Financial Services (DFS) is requiring health insurers to waive all cost-sharing for fully insured plans and Medicaid recipients for claims related to testing.

Additionally, several carriers have announced they will be waiving co-payments and cost-sharing for fully insured members for coronavirus testing. AM Best expects that insurers also will be liable for the coronavirus treatment of their members.

According to AM Best, several years of strong earnings has resulted in a strengthening of risk-adjusted capitalization, which should allow health insurers to absorb any potential impact. Furthermore, the coronavirus could impact medical stop-loss carriers for high dollar and high claims in aggregate.

The coronavirus is an evolving situation. AM Best will continue to monitor the outbreak and discuss the potential impact with health insurers. At this time, AM Best’s outlook on the U.S. health insurance segment remains stable.

To access the full copy of this commentary, please visit http://www3.ambest.com/bestweek/purchase.asp?record_code=295209.

Financial Impact Analysis Of The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Public Health Emergency On The Global Air Transport Industry

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) updated its analysis of the financial impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency on the global air transport industry.

IATA now sees 2020 global revenue losses for the passenger business of between $63 billion (in a scenario where COVID-19 is contained in current markets with over 100 cases as of 2 March) and $113 billion (in a scenario with a broader spreading of COVID-19). No estimates are yet available for the impact on cargo operations.

IATA’s previous analysis (issued on 20 February 2020) put lost revenues at $29.3 billion based on a scenario that would see the impact of COVID-19 largely confined to markets associated with China. Since that time, the virus has spread to over 80 countries and forward bookings have been severely impacted on routes beyond China.

Financial markets have reacted strongly. Airline share prices have fallen nearly 25% since the outbreak began, some 21 percentage points greater than the decline that occurred at a similar point during the SARS crisis of 2003. To a large extent, this fall already prices in a shock to industry revenues much greater than our previous analysis.

To take into account the evolving situation with COVID-19, IATA estimated the potential impact on passenger revenues based on two possible scenarios:

Scenario 1: Limited Spread

This scenario includes markets with more than 100 confirmed COVID-19 cases (as of 2 March) experiencing a sharp downturn followed by a V-shaped recovery profile. It also estimates falls in consumer confidence in other markets (North America, Asia Pacific and Europe).

The markets accounted for in this scenario and their anticipated fall in passenger numbers, due to COVID-19, as are as follows: China (-23%), Japan (-12%), Singapore (-10%), South Korea (-14%), Italy (-24%), France (-10%), Germany (-10%), and Iran (-16%). Additionally, Asia (excluding China, Japan, Singapore and South Korea) would be expected to see an 11% fall in demand. Europe (excluding Italy, France and Germany) would see a 7% fall in demand and Middle East (excluding Iran) would see a 7% fall in demand.

Globally, this fall in demand translates to an 11% worldwide passenger revenue loss equal to $63 billion. China would account for some $22 billion of this total. Markets associated with Asia (including China) would account for $47 billion of this total.

Scenario 2: Extensive Spread

This scenario applies a similar methodology but to all markets that currently have 10 or more confirmed COVID-19 cases (as of 2 March). The outcome is a 19% loss in worldwide passenger revenues, which equates to $113 billion. Financially, that would be on a scale equivalent to what the industry experienced in the Global Financial Crisis. 

MARKET IMPACT ON PASSENGER NUMBERS IMPACT ON PASSENGER REVENUES
Australia, China, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam
-23%
-$49.7 billion
Rest of Asia Pacific
-9%
-$7.6 billion
Austria, France, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, the United Kingdom
-24%
-$37.3 billion
Rest of Europe
-9%
-$6.6 billion

Bahrain, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Lebanon, the

United Arab Emirates
-23%
-$4.9 billion
Rest of Middle East
-9%
-$2.3 billion
Canada and US
-10%
-$21.1 billion

Note: Revenue loss figures are not additive due to overlaps of some markets, e.g., revenues for China and Germany both contain the revenues for the China-Germany market. Revenues are base fare revenues for all airlines flying to, from and within the country.

Africa and Latin America/Caribbean regions are not explicitly included in this market-based analysis, because there are currently no countries in either region with at least 10 COVID-19 cases.

Mitigation

Oil prices have fallen significantly (-$13/barrel Brent) since the beginning of the year. This could cut costs up to $28 billion on the 2020 fuel bill (on top of those savings which would be achieved as a result of reduced operations) which would provide some relief but would not significantly cushion the devastating impact that COVID-19 is having on demand. And it should be noted that hedging practices will postpone this impact for many airlines.

Impact

“The turn of events as a result of COVID-19 is almost without precedent. In little over two months, the industry’s prospects in much of the world have taken a dramatic turn for the worse. It is unclear how the virus will develop, but whether we see the impact contained to a few markets and a $63 billion revenue loss, or a broader impact leading to a $113 billion loss of revenue, this is a crisis.

“Many airlines are cutting capacity and taking emergency measures to reduce costs. Governments must take note. Airlines are doing their best to stay afloat as they perform the vital task of linking the world’s economies. As governments look to stimulus measures, the airline industry will need consideration for relief on taxes, charges and slot allocation. These are extraordinary times,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

Read the full updated impact assessment (pdf)

Subscribe to this RSS feed