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iPMI Magazine Speaks With Marco Giacomelli, CEO, Generali Global Health (GGH) Featured

In The iPMI Picture: Marco Giacomelli, CEO, Generali Global Health (GGH). In The iPMI Picture: Marco Giacomelli, CEO, Generali Global Health (GGH).

In this exclusive iPMI Magazine interview Marco Giacomelli, CEO at Generali Global Health (GGH) talks about going for growth and outlines how the Generali Global Health operation he established just four years ago is growing its reputation in the international PMI and health insurance space.

In such a crowded market, what has been the main factor behind your success?

One of the main secrets to our success is working very closely with our intermediary partners, in order to shape our products around our customers’ needs. We at GGH have built our whole organisation on the principle of customer centricity, and the feedback from brokers on the product benefits and services we needed to offer was an important part of our proposition development.

Thanks to this insight we have been able to provide a flexible, value for money plan with comprehensive 24/7 multilingual customer service, and a choice of value added services for members.

What trends have you seen in the market over the past four years?

IPMI was traditionally considered an exclusive health insurance plan for expatriates. Nowadays, the definition of an expatriate is obsolete because more and more people, including local nationals and expats regularly travel internationally, due to their lifestyle, income and careers.

These people need international medical insurance irrespective of their national status or residency. So local nationals, expats, global nomads, or however people define themselves, are driving the demand for IPMI products well beyond any a priori residency classification.

Also, we are closely following the evolution of all leading treatment centres worldwide, and the fact that many of these have established their reputation for excellence at regional and global level. We have seen that an increased awareness around such treatment options is driving our customers’ demand to access the best healthcare available wherever that may be. For example, one of the leading global centres of excellence in certain cancer treatments is based in the Czech Republic, and this option is available to our global membership base.

You say you are a health and wellbeing company not an insurer what does this mean?

We are striving to evolve the old paradigm of a health insurer as a claim payer: GGH is a health and wellbeing company which means a partner that actively works with our members to support their health and wellbeing long before they get sick.

This guiding principle, i.e. our focus on being a health insurer rather than a sickness insurer, also has a very tangible and direct financial repercussion: managing a healthy population is more financially viable and socially responsible than to simply pay for a sick one.

We contribute to our members wellbeing through lifestyle assessment tools available through our digital portal or our wellness app, Bria also helps them identify risk factors and modify their behaviour.

What other wellbeing services do you offer?

Through the My Digital Doctor app, we offer an independent medical consulting service, accessible anywhere in the world, 24/7. Members can have a telephone or video consultation with an internationally certified doctor at the touch of a button. This fast and convenient access allows for earlier intervention, reducing severity of illness, absence from work and costs.

We provide a confidential second medical opinion service, through GGH’s worldwide agreement with Best Doctors. In case of a serious health condition, our second medical opinion service can save a life by enabling immediate access to an independent specialist to undertake a detailed review. Best Doctors’ network of over 50,000 specialists are located all around the world, speak our customers’ language and are recognised leaders in their field, chosen by their peers.

We also provide an Employee Assistance Programme, tailored to globally mobile employees or individuals, who have different challenges to local populations. Moving overseas, a new culture, or a remote location can lead to problems and a member may need specialist and focused support. 

As I recently mentioned in IPMI magazine, our genetic testing service is something we provide to members diagnosed with cancer. This innovative swab-test identifies which course of treatment is most suitable based on analysis of the member’s and the cancer’s genetic profile. This means the member and their medical practitioner can have greater confidence in their chosen treatment plan and knowing that cutting edge technology has been used to aid their diagnosis.

And a new wellness app called Bria that helps members identify health risks and take preventative steps and also offers access to health advice, according to each member’s unique situation and goals.

Bria, is different from the many “fitness” apps often disguised as wellness tools. Bria was designed to engage our insured members in pursuing a healthy lifestyle and adopting behaviours that will improve their well being,  by connecting seamlessly with over 1,000 popular health and activity trackers.

What’s the future for IPMI?

I believe that IPMI as health insurance without borders is the future of health insurance for all people irrespective of their country of nationality, residence or current domicile. The trends in the evolution of health treatment and population health management confirm this vision, as we are seeing the domestic health insurance market decline drastically in many markets around the world.

Technology, innovation in health treatment and digitisation of processes are also powerful shapers of the future of health insurance.

The wider adoption of ground-breaking technologies such as Blockchain, which will underpin not only financial transactions, but also the fully traceable and secure transmission of different health records, will revolutionise the way insurers and health providers interact among themselves and serve their customers.

There is a growing need to smartly invest in big data management and analytics in order to collect, store and analyse huge sets of structured and unstructured data. This will allow us to uncover IPMI-specific trends such as members’ migratory patterns, correlate them with healthcare expenditure and draw meaningful conclusions which will help us to better understand how our clients are behaving and how this should impact our provision of insurance.

Finally, wearable devices to monitor health, activity, and heart and sleep functions will continue to evolve as a member-centred health data ecosystem. These advancements in technologies are further reinforcing the role and responsibilities of insurers in the provision of health and wellness solutions as well as financial protection for communities worldwide.


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