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Bupa Enhances Its Individual Health Insurance Product

Bupa Enhances Its Individual Health Insurance Product

Bupa has enhanced its flexible health insurance product, Bupa By You, to meet the needs of even more people. Bupa By You is a tailored health insurance product which allows people to choose what they are covered for. A number of improvements have been made to give customers even more ways to build health insurance to meet their needs and budgets, including lower-cost cancer cover and more flexible pricing options.

Out-patient limits

Customers now have the option to select an out-patient limit to bring down the cost of their premium. They can choose to cap their out-patient cover for consultations, therapies and tests at £500, £750 or £1,000. Alternatively they can still choose to have no financial limits, so that all costs are paid in full*.

New lower-cost cancer cover

Customers also have the option to choose NHS Cancer Cover Plus instead of full cancer cover**, to reduce the cost of their premium. This means that cancer treatment is provided by the NHS unless they are unable to provide the particular drug or treatment required, in which case Bupa will step in. Customers have the peace of mind that if they needed a drug or treatment which was not available on the NHS, they would be able to get help from Bupa. Bupa gives its members access to breakthrough cancer drugs and treatments. In 2012 Bupa spent £18m on cancer drugs – including £4m for breast cancer drugs and £5m for bowel cancer drugs – which are not routinely available on the NHS. Bupa By You customers will still be able to select other options, such as optical, dental and travel insurance, to further tailor their cover. They will also have the support of the Bupa Anytime HealthLine, which gives unlimited around-the-clock access to health advice from Bupa nurses and GPs.

*No financial limits: All costs are paid in full for eligible treatment on your core health insurance, when you use a healthcare facility within your chosen Bupa network, using a Bupa recognised consultant who agrees to charge within Bupa limits (a fee assured consultant). ** Full cancer cover: Where cancer is covered as part of your core health insurance, there are no time limits and all your eligible cancer treatment costs are paid in full, when you use a healthcare facility from your chosen Bupa network and a Bupa recognised consultant who agrees to charge within Bupa limits (a fee assured consultant). *** The average cost of a take away coffee in the UK on 21/01/13 according to the money saving app, OrsaveIt, was £2.20; 1 in 4 of Bupa By You Comprehensive customers pay less than this. For example: a 25 year old male in Manchester on Comprehensive cover with a £200 excess would pay £1.95 per day. Price calculated on 05/04/13.


Robust Air Passenger Growth in June

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released June passenger demand figures showing year-on-year growth of 6.0%. The robust growth, measured in revenue passenger kilometers (RPK), is ahead of the 4.8% demand growth reported over the first six months of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012. It is also ahead of the 5.6% expansion in capacity for June over the previous year. This pushed the passenger load factor to 81.7%. While the strong growth trend was reflected in all regions it should be noted that Asia-Pacific airlines were responsible for half of the increase in RPKs from May to June.

Due to the volatility of Asia-Pacific performance it is too early to say if this acceleration marks a trend for the rest of the year. European airlines were another highlight of the month. They reported a second consecutive month of solid growth (4.8%) reflecting an easing in recessionary conditions in the Eurozone and an improvement in business and consumer confidence. And emerging markets were once again the strongest performers, particularly Africa (10.8%) and the Middle East (11.0%).

“June was a positive month for passenger markets. The stability in the Eurozone, albeit tentative, is giving a boost to business and consumer confidence. And the load factor at 81.7% shows that airlines are efficiently meeting increasing demand for travel. But there are some headwinds. Growth in the BRICS economies, including China, is slowing. And oil prices remain high. The industry is still on track to make $4.00 per passenger this year for a global net profit of $12.7 billion. But there is little margin for error and even a small change in the second half of the year could shift the outlook significantly,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

International air travel expanded strongly, up by 5.9% in June compared to a year ago. June capacity grew in line with this (5.7%) resulting in a June international load factor of 81.4%.

European carriers recorded 4.7% growth over the previous June. Capacity increased by 3.4% pushing load factors to 83.2%. Asia-Pacific carriers grew by 5.5% on international routes, slightly behind the 6.7% growth in capacity. The load factor stood at 79.0%, the lowest among the major regions. Slower than expected economic growth in China during the first half of 2013 coupled with a decline in both trade and export orders are negatively impacting travel across the region.

Nonetheless, Asia Pacific carriers did account for nearly half of the May to June growth in RPKs. North American airlines grew 3.4% in June year-on-year, ahead of the 3.0% growth in capacity. As a result of continued tight capacity management, the region recorded the highest load factor (87.4%). The June performance was a break from the basically sideways growth of just 1.9% over the first half of the year. It is unlikely that June will mark the start of a step change in the growth trend.

Middle East carriers expanded 12.1% compared to a year ago. This was slightly below the 13.4% capacity expansion resulting in a load factor of 78.4%. The demand for new routes to emerging markets in Africa and Asia has fuelled the growth of the Gulf hubs. Latin American airlines recorded growth of 8.7% in June, ahead of the 7.7% capacity growth.

The region’s load factor stood at 79.2%. The June performance was boosted by strong business-related demand, as the region posted the strongest trade growth of any region in the second quarter. African airlines benefitted from strong domestic economic growth in key markets such as Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, to post growth of 11.2%.

Although African airlines’ load factors (70.7%) still lag the global average by around ten percentage points, they have made consistent progress to close the gap this year, and in June, improved their load factor by almost three percentage points compared to June 2012. Total domestic air travel performed strongly in June, with growth of 6.1% compared to June 2012, and growth in all major markets. Domestic capacity expanded by 5.2% leading to a load factor of 82.0%.

The United States saw domestic growth of 2.4% in June. This weak growth reflects a combination of capacity management, a mature market, and the slowdown in the US economy in Q2.

North American carriers posted the highest domestic load factor at 87.1%. The Chinese domestic market grew 14.6% in June and the load factor stood at 81.5%. This robust performance came despite a reported slowdown in the Chinese economy in recent months. Declining manufacturing employment may put pressure on demand in the months to come.

Brazilian domestic travel was up 3.2% compared to June 2012. This is positive news in a market that is struggling with a 0.6% contraction over the first half of the year and the likelihood of continued economic weakness. Load factors have been a bright spot however, reaching 77.4% in June as airlines tightly control capacity.

The Indian domestic market grew 7.7% in June year-on-year, well ahead of a capacity expansion of 2.6%. Load factors reached 81.5%. Reductions in domestic fares may be leading to increased demand, but it is difficult to discern the true strength of the Indian market due to the volatility of month-to-month traffic. Russia posted the second-strongest domestic growth rate in June, up 9.8% on a year ago.

The outlook for the rest of the year looks positive as the Russian economy looks poised to pick up. Japan’s domestic market showed a solid rise of 6.9%, reflecting strong momentum in the country’s economy. A milestone was passed, as Japan’s air travel market recovered to pre-tsunami levels. Load factors of 59.5% however, indicate the continuing challenges in the market.

“The half-year report for passenger markets is broadly positive. There is plenty of evidence to support some cautious optimism. Airlines are expecting continued growth in demand, but there is little immediate hope for an improvement in yields. In the short term, cost control remains high on every airline’s agenda. And the longer-term challenge is to expand value streams to generate sustainable levels of profitability,” said Tyler. The July IATA Airline Business Confidence index reported that 61.5% of respondents expect an improvement in demand. But only half (30.8%) expect any improvement in yields over the next 12 months.


International SOS acquires Haugaland HMS in Norway

International SOS is proud to announce that Haugaland HMS joined its group of companies on 1st August 2013. Together with Kokstad BHT (KBHT) in Bergen and Stavanger, and Stavanger BHT (SBHT) in Stavanger, which became part of the company in March 2013, Haugaland HMS will combine with them to form the International SOS business in West Norway. This new business will focus on providing medical services to local and international clients. The new International SOS team now consists of 150 people providing occupational health, work environment and medical staffing services. It will work for customers in and around Haugesund, Stavanger and Bergen.

This includes off-shore operations in the Oil and Gas industries. There are also branch offices in Sauda, Sand, Husnes, Leirvik, and Austevoll. These additions to International SOS’ Norwegian-based capability strengthen its’ global platform for growth and will enable the company to provide its’ clients with wider levels of service. The creation of new job opportunities will also be announced in the coming weeks, providing more diverse career opportunities for all of our Norwegian-based employees.

Haugaland HMS’s operations will continue under the managing directorship of Roar Storrø, who will also take up the role of General Manager for the new combined business. Steinar Kobbeltvedt, who has been fulfilling the General Manager role since March, will move to head up client management and business development for the new combined business.

Arnaud Vaissié, Co-founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of International SOS says: “Haugaland HMS perfectly complements our existing capability in Norway and the North Sea. All three of these companies have hard-earned reputations for quality and customer-led service in challenging environments. This acquisition enables us to continue to extend the reach and delivery capability for our clients, as well as offering the global capability of International SOS. In the short time since March we have already seen the evidence of the value this brings, with new clients joining us in Norway and Norwegian clients becoming international clients to the group. ”


Raffles Health Insurance Launches 2 New International Health Insurance Plans In Conjunction With Bupa

Raffles Health Insurance Launches 2 New International Health Insurance Plans In Conjunction With Bupa

Raffles Health Insurance Pte Ltd (RHI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Raffles Medical Group has launched two new international health insurance plans targeting next generation expatriates and international businesses in the Asia Pacific region, in conjunction with international health insurer Bupa. The plans, insured by Raffles Health Insurance and administered by Bupa, are called RHI-Bupa Company Health Select Asia Pacific and RHI-Bupa Company Health Choice International.

The Company Health Select Asia Pacific plan is designed for businesses that operate in the Asia Pacific region, whose employees do not need worldwide cover, while the Health Choice International plan covers members in three different countries. Members on the Company Health Select Asia Pacific plan are covered for treatment in more than 40 countries in the Asia Pacific region, with the exception of Hong Kong; while the Company Health Choice International plan covers members in three countries, for which Singapore has to be their residency country with members choosing two additional locations of choice (excluding the USA).

These new tailored plans provide an affordable and flexible option of healthcare for a next generation of expatriates and the businesses employing them. Rather than offering worldwide cover, the plans are tailored to the specific locations to provide the individual with the right treatment, at the right time and in the right place.

Danny Yap, Principal Officer and General Manager of RHI, said, “We are delighted to see our relationship with Bupa continue to grow. These new products broaden our offerings and further position RHI as one of Singapore’s leading healthcare insurance specialists.” Wayne Close, Managing Director at Bupa International said, “We are very happy to be working with Raffles Health Insurance. The launch of these products further demonstrates Bupa and RHI’s commitment to providing access to high quality healthcare in the region and to the international businesses operating from Singapore.”

He added “With international businesses increasingly moving their Asia regional headquarters to Singapore, we expect the number of next generation expatriates in Singapore to continue to grow. These two new plans have been developed in response to the needs of these businesses and expatriates.”

Both plans include comprehensive in-patient cover and assistance cover, including emergency evacuation and repatriation. Members can also increase the cover to include an additional out-patient module or extend it to their families. In addition, RHI and Bupa have a dedicated 24-hour multi-lingual team to provide medical assistance. Bupa offers quality individual and group medical cover to people who are in their home country or living and working abroad. Under this relationship, RHI will directly insure the plans while Bupa is the administrator.


ACE Comprehensive Travel Medical Insurance Announces a New Pre-existing Medical Condition Coverage Policy for Visitors to the United States

ACE Comprehensive Travel Medical Insurance Announces a New Pre-existing Medical Condition Coverage Policy for Visitors to the United States

India Network Foundation, sponsor of health insurance for visitors to the U.S., announces the addition of the ACE Network Health Insurance Plan, a new comprehensive insurance.

Dr. KV Rao, President of India Network, said, "After we initially tested the product, we were surprised at the response from our members. They loved it! The ACE Network comprehensive Travel health insurance plan is great for visitors with pre-existing conditions who are seeking insurance coverage for such problems as diabetes, blood pressure, hypertension, or any other medical conditions of the past."

A unique feature of ACE Network Visitor Health Insurance Plan is its treatment of new health conditions and pre-existing health conditions on the same par with coverage for both outpatient services and inpatient services. This is the only plan in the United States that offer protection against pre-existing medical conditions, new medical conditions, and accidents without any differentiation of coverage. The ACE Network plan pays 80 percent of the first $5,000 of medical expenses after the deductible, and then 100 percent up until the coverage maximum allowed. This special feature limits the exposure of policy holder to a maximum of $1,000 plus deductible chosen for any medical condition, or accident.

An interesting aspect of the ACE Network Health Plan is that is provides pre-existing health insurance for visitors with pre-existing conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and other medical conditions. ACE Network Visitor Health Insurance Plan operates in the Multi-Plan PPO Health Network — the largest provider network of hospitals and doctors in the United States that allow comprehensive coverage and provide a high-level of medical care to visitors.

India Network Health Insurance spokesperson Deepa says, "The summer is always a busy season for travelers, especially visitors from India coming to the U.S. I am very excited we were able to offer the ACE Network Health Plan in time to provide the much needed pre-existing comprehensive coverage that assures safe and happy travels."

The ACE Network Travel Health Insurance Plan works in conjunction with other quality insurance programs sponsored by the India Network Foundation: Standard (basic coverage for healthy visitors), Premier (basic coverage with pre-existing medical conditions), and Platinum Comprehensive Plan (with limited pre-existing condition coverage).

The latter, Platinum, was also recently released as an alternative to the ACE Network Expatriate Health Insurance Plan. Visitors staying for a period of less than three months can sign up for the Platinum Network Travel Insurance Plan. Compare Travel, Medical, Health and Expatriate Insurance in the International Private Medical Insurance Magazine Underwriter, Provider, Company and Broker Network Directory Guide, click here.


The European Health Insurance Card: What Does it Really Cover Holidaymakers for?

The European Health Insurance Card: What Does it Really Cover Holidaymakers for?

Asda Money looks at the European Health Insurance card (EHIC) and the level of cover it provides for holidaymakers overseas. Brits are struggling to cope with rising living costs but can't give up their holidays. Some 44% of people believe that a holiday and weekend breaks are a lifestyle essential. As a result 23% of people are not willing to cut back on holiday spending1.

This EHIC is a medical card accepted by hospitals and clinics in the European Union as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. In the UK, healthcare is free with the National Health Service (NHS), however, this is not the case in a number of European states. This means that if you have an accident or need medical attention when travelling in mainland Europe, you will have to pay for treatment or services. With the EHIC card, some of those costs are absorbed, but what are you covered for? Benefits of an EHIC This card covers medical treatment you might need if you fall ill or have an accident during your visit to European countries.

It also covers treatment for long-term conditions and existing illnesses. You can have access to state medical care but not private medical treatment with this card. The EHIC card can help holidaymakers when faced with medical expense overseas, but it doesn't replace single trip or holiday travel insurance cover. This is because that the EHIC may not cover specific costs met under travel insurance policies including mountain rescue in ski resorts and the cost of repatriation by air ambulance or commercial airline, with a medical escort. Travel insurance also provides cover for a host of added extras such as luggage loss or cover if your holiday is unexpectedly cut short.

The EHIC was introduced in 2006 and was designed to replace the old E111. This card is valid for five years and can be renewed for free. You can get an EHIC cards free from the official website. It is also important to note, that state run healthcare systems and facilities, in other EU countries, may not be to the standard you are use to in the UK. Waiting lists, poor appointment management and other common issues also exist outside of the NHS.

1. Brits spending on 'lifestyle essentials' increases to £158 billion


Independence Blue Cross Introduces Global Blue Coverage for Individuals and Families

Independence Blue Cross Introduces Global Blue Coverage for Individuals and Families

Independence Blue Cross (IBC) announces the availability of GeoBlue Travel Medical and International Health Insurance products for individuals and families in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties. Since 2011, IBC and GeoBlue have collaborated to offer group coverage for international business travel and expatriate insurance products and services. This coverage is now available for both IBC members and the general public. The new IBC travel and expatriate plans offered through GeoBlue will expand the availability of Blue coverage for all travelers. As well, expatriates will be covered in both the country where they live and anywhere they visit.

For example, if a GeoBlue customer relocates to a European nation, but travels to Asia or Africa, the customer will have health care coverage in each destination. Additionally, GeoBlue policies are available for purchase for both single-trip purposes and multi-trip needs.

"Consumers who purchase GeoBlue products can travel with confidence knowing they are covered worldwide by the trusted Blue brand," said Richard J. Neeson, IBC executive vice president and president of expanding markets. "At IBC, we're working to help the residents of our region stay healthy and ensure that, when they do get sick, health care is safe, coordinated, and available -- no matter where they are in the world."

"GeoBlue provides peace of mind to world travelers and expatriates as they pursue their personal goals," said Brendan Sharkey, director of individual products at GeoBlue. "Given the global arc of business and leisure activities today, the need is clear: timely access to an international network of carefully selected doctors and hospitals to meet whatever health needs arise, and GeoBlue delivers."

In order to use GeoBlue for short-term travel insurance, consumers must have U.S.-based primary health coverage in place. However, that coverage does not need to come from a Blue Cross® or Blue Shield® health plan. GeoBlue is a trade name of Worldwide Insurance Services, LLC, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and a subsidiary of Highway to Health (HTH). GeoBlue markets a full line of group and individual health insurance programs for expatriates and business travelers through arrangements with local Blue plans.


Globality Health Introduces A New International Health Insurance Plan For Individuals - Yougenio® World

Globality Health Introduces A New International Health Insurance Plan For Individuals - Yougenio® World

Globality Health has launched its new international health insurance plan for individuals, YouGenio® World. It is replacing YouGenio® with a large number of improvements to the current plan levels Classic, Plus and Top, such as full cancer care. In twelve-months the product development team has created a product that specifically fits the unique needs of Expatriates with focus on a perfect balance between quality and price. Striving to maintain stable premiums in the future, all plans are regionally priced to ensure that premiums are relative to local costs of treatment.

Beyond that, YouGenio® World is now extended by an additional plan level called YouGenio® Essential. This new entry level plan offers inpatient treatment and medical assistance. It is not only reasonable in price; it also offers outpatient treatment of serious illnesses – a unique offer from Globality Health.

Key benefits of YouGenio® World: All plans cover in- and outpatient cancer treatment and organ transplant; Cover of pre-existing medical conditions; All plans have no minimum or maximum age restrictions; Guaranteed renewability; Improved assistance benefits; Cover for over the counter drugs for Classic, Plus and Top; Direct access to the unique worldwide Globalites® service network;

About Globality Health

Globality Health is the international health insurer with a special focus on expatriates. People who study, live or work abroad are assured that their health is always in good hands, no matter where they are. As an integral part of Munich Health, with more than 5,000 experts across 26 locations, we offer innovative healthcare solutions for clients and partners all over the world. As a member of Munich Re, we give you the strength and security of one of the world’s leading insurers and reinsurers. Read more about Globality Health in the iPMI Magazine Private Medical Insurance Company and Provider Directory, a definitive source of private medical insurance companies.


UK Tourists Remain Confused About Private Medical Insurance Cover and European Health Insurance Card

A recent study by ABTA, the UK’s leading travel association, suggests that some 54% of the 2500 questioned, did not know that they required a European Health Insurance Card to access state healthcare when travelling abroad.

Sean Tipton, spokesman for the travel association Abta said "It is important to have an EHIC because if you do find yourself in an accident while abroad, it allows you to get access to state healthcare anywhere in the European Union, Switzerland, Norway and Iceland." "An EHIC will get you basic state care. In some countries, you will get treatment, but other things - such as food, drink or even changing your bed linen - are not regarded as the responsibility of the nurses. They are things for your family to take care of," added Mr Tipton.

The Association of British Insurers are also voicing concerns in consumer understanding. Whilst the European Health Insurance Card assists travellers access state healthcare when travelling abroad, it does not substitute medical or travel insurance. In tight economic times the ABI are concerned travellers may cut back on insurance spend, and therefore face tragedy and emergency abroad. It is really important for travellers to understand that the European Health Insurance Card will not cover travellers for lost baggage, travel assistance or medical related items like evacuation by air ambulance.

More so, state run healthcare systems abroad, in some cases, are a far cry from the standards one may be used to at home. "It is absolutely not a substitute for travel insurance," said Linsey White of the ABI.

David Bond, CIO, iPMI Magazine said “It is absolutely critical to obtain the correct and appropriate travel AND medical insurance before you travel. The moment you book your trip, book your insurance. Then if travelling in the EU, make sure you have a European Health Insurance Card, and that it is valid and up-to-date. Make sure you plan your travel well and do some homework on the healthcare system in the country you may visit. The public run healthcare system may not be anything like what you are used to at home. Ask your insurance company for local data and information. Get up-to-speed on when pharmacies may be open and where you can access a doctor. What about local hospitals in the vicinity of your hotel? What’s the number for an ambulance? The more you know, the better, and insuring you have the correct insurance in place, is the first step.”

Sean Tipton, at Abta commented "Currently we have an example of a young couple who have flown out to Spain. She was quite heavily pregnant but able to travel. She gave birth prematurely while on holiday, She is getting great healthcare because of her EHIC in Spain, but can't fly home, because they do not have medical insurance to cover the cost of taking her and her baby by air ambulance back to Britain."

Kristina Kellstrom, CMO, iPMI Magazine added “The world in 2013 is home to an array of new risks that travellers haven't experienced before. Civil unrest, political instability and the current economic crisis means you never know what may happen. Look at the recent events in Cyprus; we knew something would happen, but we didn’t expect Senior Citizens and expats to have bank accounts frozen and have a limited supply of cash. Put yourself in those peoples shoes and you should see and understand the importance of travel and medical protection worldwide.”

David Bond, CIO, iPMI Magazine added “Compulsory travel and medical insurance is the way forward. Just like motor insurance, medical and travel insurance should be mandatory for all travel abroad. For expats, business and leisure travellers, plus the new breed of Health traveller seeking treatment abroad, knowing protection is in place and up-to-speed, is going to improve the well being of the planet. It could help take pressure of state run systems that may not offer the standard of care travellers are seeking, and ensure no nationals are turned away at embassies seeking funds to cover medical or travel emergencies. Examples like the one highlighted by Mr. Tipton at Abta, simply couldn't happen. We already see such policy in Abu Dhabi, and talk of such plans in Middle Eastern countries like the UAE, and Cuba officially say you need insurance to enter the country (although it doesn’t seem to be very well policed) so what’s preventing such policy on a global scale?”

Abu Dhabi first came up with the idea for mandatory health insurance in 2005. Since the system was put in place, employers and sponsors have been obliged by law to provide health insurance to employees and their families. Talking about mandatory medical insurance in Dubai Dr Haider Al Yousuf, director of health funding at Dubai Health Authority (DHA) said March 2013 "The director general said it would be finalised in 2013 and that is still very much the plan. We are very much in the final stages now. Technically, we are ready to go, but certain things need to be finalised by the Dubai Executive Council. We are changing the face of the way the health service is in Dubai; something of this enormity has to be done right."

Dubai Health Authority (DHA) is working in close contact with all health bodies and health insurance providers to ensure a smooth transition phase, he said. Once the health insurance law becomes compulsory, it will take about three years for the scheme to be rolled out fully, Dr Al Yousuf said. UK Tourists Remain Confused About Private Medical Insurance Cover and European Health Insurance Card


The Difference Between Travel and Expatriate Insurance

The Difference Between Travel and Expatriate Insurance

Cigna Global provides international health insurance for Expatriates living abroad. Cigna combines years of experience in private medical insurance with an understanding of the service and customer care you need. With Cigna you can create a health insurance plan that's perfectly tailored for the needs of you and your family by offering you the reassurance of comprehensive core cover, and the flexibility of adding as many extra benefits as you want.

The Difference Between Travel and Expatriate Insurance

Cigna Global provides international health insurance for Expatriates living abroad. Cigna combines years of experience in private medical insurance with an understanding of the service and customer care you need. With Cigna you can create a health insurance plan that's perfectly tailored for the needs of you and your family by offering you the reassurance of comprehensive core cover, and the flexibility of adding as many extra benefits as you want.

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