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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

Expat Lifestyle Still ‘Appealing Choice’ For Many In Post-Brexit World Despite Greater Stress And Uncertainty Caused By COVID-19

  • Expat workforce have expressed worries around family finances (30%), lack of job opportunities (24%) and education (16%)
  • Greater Whole Health support will be crucial to support the changing needs of expat workforce in the future

COVID-19 has done little to dampen the aspirational nature of the expat lifestyle.

The appetite to experience life overseas has increased, with nearly a quarter (23%) of people currently based in their home country expressing a desire to relocate. 35% of local employees have cited better job opportunities and career paths as their top reason, with other key motivators including the desire to broaden cultural experiences (35%) as well as learn new skills (27%).

The survey also found that while expats reported higher well-being scores than local employees, HR and business leaders need to prioritise adequate Whole Health support systems for the expat workforce amid pandemic fatigue and uncertainty about the future. 89% say they are suffering from stress compared to 81% of locals – with family finances (30%), lack of job opportunities (24%) and education (16%) topping the list of concerns.

Of the working expats surveyed who have been living abroad for 1-2 years, only 47% are confident that they can maintain their current standard of living and less than half (44%) say they have enough financial security to support their families in case of emergencies.

Almost a third (30%) of all expats thinking about relocating back home cite future finances as one of their top concerns. Despite this, close to half (45%) of expats have reported high resilience compared to 37% of local employees living in their home countries.

Arjan Toor, CEO at Cigna Europe, said, “The global expat workforce has been integral in helping businesses around the world unlock new opportunities. As these individuals continue to face challenges such as travel restrictions and financial worries, it is critical that organisations provide the necessary support for expat employees as they adjust to their new work and home life. Whether it is helping inexperienced expat professionals settle into a new country or providing longer tenure expats with ongoing support to manage stress, supporting their whole health should be a key priority as we usher in different ways of living and working.”

The report also reveals more than half (57%) of expats are keen for holistic support from their employer to help manage stress and work-life balance, with 56% seeking more mental health support – yet only 30% receive it.

Robin Lewis, HR Director, Cigna Europe added, “COVID-19 has profound implications for how HR and business leaders should look at talent management strategies to attract and retain a globally representative workforce. As expat professionals increasingly look to employers to help adjust to their new work and home life, businesses that will remain competitive in the long-term are the ones that go above and beyond to provide expat talent with support systems that help manage their overall stress and concerns.”

Download the reports:

Cigna 360 Well-Being Survey: A Guide for HR Managers: Combatting Stress Amongst Your Expat Workforce is developed specially for business and HR leaders to offers insights into the drivers and changing preferences for the expat workforce, looking at how they have fared and providing insights for talent managers and business leaders on how to better support expat employees.

Cigna 360 Well-Being Survey: Expat Guide to Managing Health and Well-being is designed as a guide for expats, looking at the impact of COVID-19 on well-being scores for different groups of expats based on their tenure and duration of stay as the global pandemic progressed. The report also uncovers the different pain points experienced by expats and offer suggestions to address these challenges.

Comment

Ian Youngman, leading insurance analyst and author of the leading iPMI market report, “International Health Insurance 2021" comments, "The excellent news here is that many more people are considering working overseas.

Perhaps 2 years of doom and gloom have made people think they should take opportunities while they can. And people have been adapting their life and work style to cope.

Before all insurers and brokers panic that existing IPMI customers are about to go home, the research was conducted way back in April 2021 when most borders were still closed and many countries in lock down.

We do not know the normal churn – how many expats go home each year either as a number or %.

There is a massive difference between the heart telling you to go home, and your head telling you that there may be no jobs to go back to, or you will have to suffer a serious salary cut while your employers may not take kindly to it.

Most Cigna customers tend to be expats at the middle or upper end of the salary scale. In reality the vast majority of foreign workers and expats are low level badly paid employees.

Figures from India, the Middle East and the UK suggest that more people than ever are either buying health insurance or considering it.

Many more countries are making it harder for foreigners to work as expats, digital nomads, or temporary workers without proof of health insurance.

Over two thirds of expats and foreign workers do not have health insurance.

So my conclusion is that there is still a massive market to aim for in 2022.

Insurers and brokers will have to move away from just competing for business that comes to them- to a much more positive push to sell the concept.

This may mean a move away from all singing all dancing IPMI products- or even budget versions- to genuinely affordable products that foreign workers and expats on a tight budget can afford.

There could be thousands or hundreds of thousands of digital nomads but so far –despite this being a reality for 9 months- I have seen only one genuine digital nomad product-from an obscure broker.

So there is still a massive IPMI market.

What brokers and insurers need to do is convince employers that it is madness to send people overseas without training, preparation and a full support system that includes health insurance.

If in the middle of a global pandemic you cannot persuade more people to buy health insurance – and amend your products – what are you doing in the market?"

Read the iPMI report, International Health Insurance (IPMI) 2021 by Ian Youngman, click here.

 

AXA – Global Healthcare Appoints Andy O’Cain As Global Head Of Distribution

International healthcare specialist, AXA – Global Healthcare, has announced the appointment of Andy O’Cain as Global Head of Distribution, effective on December 1st 2021.  

Joining from Aetna International, O’Cain will oversee the strategic development of all aspects of global distribution across individual, small business and corporate client segments. He will lead the regional distribution activities delivered from AXA Global Healthcare’s sales hubs in the UK, Europe and Asia, and oversee the development of strategic distribution partnerships, to further strengthen AXA’s growing footprint in the IPMI market.

Andy Edwards, Global Head of International Insurance, AXA Global Healthcare, comments, “We’re excited to welcome Andy to our senior leadership team, and it comes at an opportune time in the evolution of our business. Since separating from AXA PPP Healthcare in 2017, to become an independent Managing General Agent, we’ve developed a strong brand presence in the IPMI market. We’ve enhanced our value proposition, expanded our global reach, and despite some of the challenges the market has experienced over the past few years – from Brexit to the Covid-19 pandemic – kept an uncompromising focus on delivering for the customer. And it’s this unwavering determination to put the customer first that drives our evolution."

“The last 18 months have prompted rapid changes from all of us. Expectations of what makes a good customer experience have changed, people’s trust in digital healthcare services has risen, people’s lifestyle priorities have adapted. We have some exciting developments ahead to meet these emerging needs and ensure our customers can continue to depend on us, wherever they are in the world. With Andy O’Cain joining our senior leadership team, we’re confident in our continued growth in both new and existing customer segments in the global healthcare market.”

With over 20 years’ industry experience, O’Cain has previously held several distribution and senior management roles within the global insurance market. Most recently, he was Distribution Director for Aetna International, where he led the distribution of international health insurance products, prior to which he was Head of Sales and Business Development at Cigna Insurance Services. He has also held a variety of other managerial roles within Allianz and Direct Line Group. From this experience, O’Cain brings excellent knowledge of distribution to individuals, SMEs and corporate businesses in the global market.

Commenting on his new role, O’Cain said, “I’m delighted to be joining the AXA Global Healthcare team and look forward to driving new opportunities for growth in all customer segments. The strength of the proposition and the customer first mindset gives me great confidence in what the future holds.” 

Healix International Wins At EMEA Forum For Expatriate Management Awards

Healix International, a leading global provider of travel risk management and international medical, security and travel assistance services, has been named International Health, Wellbeing or Security Risk Management Provider of the Year at the EMEA region Forum for Expatriate Management Awards.

This award underlines the clear focus Healix International places on delivering forward-thinking solutions that are driven by client’s operational priorities, and the health, wellbeing and security of their staff.

The judges commented on the Healix entry: “A phenomenal response to COVID 19! Healix's COVID 19 response demonstrated agility, awareness and most importantly willingness and desire to help their clients.”

Previously, most risk management methodologies categorised travel-related concerns into four areas – operational risks, security risks, political risks and medical risks, but 18 months ago, a fifth unprecedented risk emerged - COVID-19. Monitoring the pandemic’s evolution, Healix understood that their client’s business travel requirements were going to change for the foreseeable future. To continue offering the same level of value and enable global business operations, Healix themselves had to adapt and respond.

With a strong belief in open, transparent relationships, Healix navigated this transition by maintaining a constant stream of communication with its clients. Through an acute understanding of risk and an ability to move with the times, Healix worked to help customers thrive in the new normal by developing its own risk management methodology and delivering new COVID support services - facilitating employees’ safe return to work, enabling essential business travel and ensuring client’s operational resilience for the months to come. The results of these advances have been highly positive.

Commenting on the win, Charlie Butcher, CEO Healix International, said, “It is very encouraging to achieve this win which reflects our commitment to providing a service that combines the best possible insight for risk mitigation, with hands-on expertise when support is required. We are delighted that our service and expertise has been acknowledged by the Forum for Expatriate Management in their EMEA Expatriate Management & Mobility Awards (EMMAs).  This latest win demonstrates that Healix International is at the forefront of the employee risk management sector, with a commitment to innovation as well as a sustained focus on the highest standards of customer service.”

Commenting on the awards, Claire Tennant-Scull, Global Director of Content & Events at FEM said, “The FEM EMMAs remain the gold standard awards for the global mobility and international HR industry. They are the only truly global, yet region-specific awards with the greatest breadth of categories for both corporate professionals and service providers.”

“EMMAs entries are always rigorously judged by a team of fiercely impartial, highly experienced, senior figures in the industry, who are drawn from a range of disciplines across the EMEA region and who give up their own free time to carry out a very thorough and demanding process. So these awards carry tremendous kudos. It’s so important to receive recognition among your peers for innovation and hard work and so I think the winners and all those on the shortlist should feel extremely proud.”

The Healix International integrated Global Travel Risk Management service provides an exceptional level of care for employees and an effective solution for employers. 

Will Bupa And DNI Now Compete In Several Countries Where Generali And Generali Employee Benefits Are Both In Business, Or Just The Middle East, Or Just The UAE?

In this article, Ian Youngman, leading insurance analyst and author of the leading iPMI market report, “International Health Insurance 2021" talks about the DNI takeover of the Global Choice international medical insurance portfolio of Generali Global Health.

A few weeks ago Generali and Bupa announced a deal on IPMI.

Generali Employee Benefits (GEB) and Bupa Global announced a strategic partnership to offer “best-in-class” international private medical insurance and global employee benefits solutions to their new and existing corporate customers.

RELATED: Generali Employee Benefits And Bupa Global Announce Strategic Partnership To Offer International Private Medical Insurance

GEB customers will have access to Bupa Global’s quality, expertise, and comprehensive health and wellbeing offering, when and where they need it, across 190+ countries. Bupa Global customers will also have the ability to access global health and benefits solutions provided by GEB’s worldwide network.

What is easy to miss here is that it only refers to corporate business.

So what happens to the individual business of Generali Global Health?

The implication is that Generali Global Health would cease trading and leave the IPMI market.

I expect details to be explained on December 15th, 2021 when Generali will hold a virtual Investor Day to present its new strategic plan.

One part of the future was leaked – but it leaves gaps in knowledge.

Dubai National Insurance & Reinsurance (DNI), one of the leading insurance companies in the UAE, has partnered with Munich Re to take over some of the Global Choice medical portfolio of Generali Global Health.

Munich Re took over the reinsurance of Global Choice in July 2021.

DNI and Munich Re will maintain the existing policy benefits and terms and conditions of Global Choice.

Abdulla Al Nuaimi, CEO of DNI said, "We are delighted to officially announce the takeover of the GGH portfolio in collaboration with Munich Re. This exciting new collaboration affirms our commitment to continuously provide the same level of benefits and enhanced quality services to our clients and existing policyholders. We are dedicated to working with and strengthening our relationship with our partners to ensure seamless integration, giving customers peace of mind that they will not only continue to enjoy the benefits of GGH but take advantage of the combined expertise that DNI and Munich Re have to offer on the international medical front.”

Dr Frank Mayer, CEO, Munich Re comments, "DNI has been a trusted partner, and we are eager to work together and continue to expand our portfolio of services in the coming years. We believe that, together, we are in the best position to cultivate an even stronger and more comprehensive ecosystem that will allow us to serve our customers and partners better."

To ensure seamless operations following the takeover, DNI has continued working with Munich Re subsidiary MedNet as the third-party administrator owing to their familiarity with the scheme. The process will continue under the new partnership with Munich Re. The international network direct billing facilities previously through GGH will now be offered through the MedNet Global Network.

Although MedNet has a global network, DNI is limited to the Gulf and most of that is in the UAE.

Will Bupa and DNI now be competing in several countries where Generali and Generali Employee Benefits are both in business, or just the Middle East or just the UAE?

What will happen to the rest of the Generali Global Health portfolio?

Comment

There is a trend for even leading global insurers to decide to stop competing in PMI and IPMI in selected countries.

There is also a trend for insurers to work in partnership with local groups and TPAs.

Regional groups see gaps.

What is interesting is to look at the plans of Oman Insurance to offer PMI/IPMI in six more countries from 2022 in association with four named and two yet unknown local insurers.

Looking at other recent deals, there is a move for insurers in Africa and The Gulf to offer PMI and IPMI across borders in association with others from the region.

While this may or may not have anything to do with Afghanistan it is very clear that American and European insurers are going to have to compete with strong local rivals.

My tip for 2022 is watch for more country exits by USA and European insurers.

But it is not all one way traffic, with Zurich quietly entering in some countries and the expected IPMI launch from HDI Global - ironically bringing us full circle as they have been recruiting from Generali Global Health.

READ THE LATEST REPORT ON IPMI: International Health Insurance (IPMI) 2021

 

 

 

Global Excel Achieves Type II SOC 1 & 2 Certification

Global Excel Management Inc., a leader in Healthcare Risk Management, has announced that it is now officially Type II SOC 1 & CSAE 3416 and Type II SOC 2 & CSAE 3000 compliant across the organization.

The Type II SOC 1 & CSAE 3416 report provides a snapshot assuring organizations that internal and connected external reporting controls are properly designed, in place, and validated through rigorous testing.

The Type II SOC 2 & CSAE 3000 report examines the effectiveness of the same controls, including Privacy, Confidentiality, Processing Integrity, Availability and Security, over an extended period – typically around 12 months.

“Protecting our clients – and their members – highly sensitive healthcare data has always been a top priority for Global Excel Management. We’re proud of our continuing commitment to information security and achieving Type II SOC 1 & 2 certification underscores our longstanding reliability as a global business partner for actors in the insurance and assistance sector” said Global Excel’s Director of Information Security & Compliance, Paul Anderson.

These latest achievements, combined with our ISO 27001:2013 and SOC Type 1 & 2 certifications and GDPR, HIPAA, PIPEDA compliance, underpin our strategy to continue offering the best possible value to our clients worldwide. The Global Excel Type II SOC I & CSAE 3416 and Type II SOC 2 & CSAE 3000 reports are available to clients upon request.

 

BLACK FRIDAY: Save Up To 33% When You Purchase International Health Insurance (IPMI) 2021 Report

With Black Friday almost upon us, iPMI Magazine announces a sale price on the current iPMI Market research report, International Health Insurance 2021.

There are now 80 million expatriates, 5 million international students, 4 million temporary foreign workers, and 18 million high net worth individuals of which 2.7 million are ultra high net worth. All of these are targets for iPMI.

If you are an iPMI Magazine Subscriber you may now access the complete report, with a 20% subsidy on the RRP. So, £3600 becomes just £2,880.*

If you are an iPMI Magazine Advertiser you may now access the complete report, with a 33% subsidy on the RRP. So, £3600 becomes just £2,412.*

Learn more about this report click here.

Order your own copy of International Health Insurance (IPMI) 2021, or ask questions, write to ipmi[at]ipmimagazine.com

*Offer ends 1/12/2021. This offer is only available when you purchase the report directly through iPMI Magazine. The report is still selling at full RRP on Research and Markets.

The Top 5 Threats To Businesses In The Next Year, According To Healix’s 2022 Risk Outlook Report

Healix, the leading global independent health, travel, and security related risk management solutions provider, has launched its annual Risk Outlook report, identifying the five major risks to businesses around the world over the next 12 months.

Economic uncertainty and unrest

With domestic measures gradually easing and the return of international travel gathering pace, the shoots of a global economic recovery have begun to emerge. This recovery is not equal, however, and a gap is widening between advanced and developing economies, owing primarily to vaccine inequity and a lack of financial support. Growth rates in poorer countries are behind their Western counterparts, influenced by a lack of testing, inadequate medical capacity and disproportionate death rates. This is creating even more economic disparity.

Anger at responses to the COVID-19 pandemic has added fuel to the fire during unrest in Tunisia, Colombia, Lebanon and South Africa. Knock-on effects such as poverty, unemployment and the removal of subsidies are all potential drivers for unrest which governments are facing in 2022, not least in emerging markets.   

Supply chain constraints

Following a dramatic fall during the pandemic, consumer demand is rising, which suppliers and retailers are struggling to meet. Bottlenecks are occurring within supply chains globally, owing to a wide range of factors including a lack of labour to backlogs at ports.

The political fallout of this is significant, with businesses scrambling to fill vacant positions while markets remain sceptical about long-term security, owing to the impact further COVID restrictions could have on the labour market. There are no quick fixes for the issues driving the supply chain backlogs and it is likely that businesses and consumers will continue to feel the impact of this well into 2022.

The rise of ransomware

Last year, hostile actors exploited the opportunities that remote working provided to infiltrate networks. With a huge increase in devices working outside of companies’ perimeter networks, potential avenues of infiltration include phishing attacks and vulnerabilities with remote desktop protocols.

Notwithstanding the immediate disruption a ransomware attack can cause, the long-term impact is significant. Reputational risks are heightened, especially if the news of a ransomware attack becomes public or involves customer data. As criminals continue to create more advanced tools to expose and exploit network vulnerabilities, cyber-attacks remain high on the risk agenda for 2022.

The next pandemic

Before COVID-19, many of the pandemic planning exercises focused on an influenza-like respiratory virus. Two years after the onset of COVID-19, epidemiologists continue to warn of the threat of an influenza epidemic. The pandemic has not eliminated the threat, but sharpened the focus on how to avoid it.

There are currently 26 virus families in existence that are now seen as viable threats to the way we live. Thus, surveillance systems around the world will need to be aware of these potential threats to the world order throughout the next 12 months.

A climate in crisis

Extreme weather is a frequently neglected factor in risk analysis, particularly for developed countries, but the frequency and intensity of such events is only set to increase over the coming decades due to the escalating impacts of climate change.

The gravity of this risk has been reinforced by multiple divergent events throughout 2021, including devastating flash flooding in the Eifel region, which killed more than 200 people, and severe heat waves hitting North West America in June, which caused hundreds of excess deaths, mass disruption and sparked wildfires.

The increasing regularity of such events will pose significant challenges over the coming years and businesses must be prepared to address them.

Chris Job, Director of Risk Management Services at Healix, comments, “This year, there has been an increase in global travel, particularly for businesses, as face-to-face interactions become preferable following months of virtual meetings. This increase will see familiar risks and challenges re-emerge for organisations in terms of ensuring the health, safety and security of their people and assets, which for the last 18 months have slipped down the agenda. 

“As we continue the return to normal, businesses will need to provide more reassurance to their employees and instil confidence that they have the necessary plans and resilience programmes in place to protect their people, assets and operations. Healix’s Risk Outlook report aims to provide businesses with insights into the key risks that could adversely affect them, and in doing so, help them to prepare their business and mitigate consequences where possible.”

You can download the full report here.

Charles Taylor To Focus On International Insurance Fraud With BBC

Charles Taylor Specialist Investigation Services, the multi-sector fraud specialists, are to feature again in BBC One’s Claimed and Shamed series: the programme that casts a covert eye over the ever-growing problem of insurance fraud.

Adam Grady, Investigations Manager at Charles Taylor, will focus on international fraud in the new series, talking viewers through a range of fraudulent overseas claims and the tools used by Charles Taylor to expose them. These include a network of global investigators and intelligence-led techniques such as open source and social media profiling. The series is expected to attract up to a million viewers.

Simon Cook, Charles Taylor’s Head of Specialist Investigation Services, comments, “We’re delighted to have participated in multiple series of BBC One’s Claimed and Shamed because we recognise the value of constantly striving to deter would-be fraudsters and protecting insurers’ bottom lines.

“Our global claims validation capabilities cover every sector of insurance, from household to private health, marine to motor, travel to trade credit and beyond. We’re supported by offices in 30 different countries and by technical specialists in every field. We have also recently launched an award-winning open source and social media investigation tool, Discovery, to optimise our intelligence-led approach.”

You can watch Adam Grady in Claimed and Shamed at 10am on BBC One: November 25thth, and 29th and December 1st - or catch up on BBCiPlayer.

For more about Charles Taylor Specialist Investigation Services, see https://bit.ly/3oIQrqz

 

The Death Of The Credit Standard In IPMI & Travel Insurance

Written by Scott J Rosen, Founder and CEO, MDabroad.

The pandemic has impacted the travel and IPMI policy service industry in many fundamental and some unexpected ways. As the near cessation of cross-border travel caused a sharp drop in revenue followed by drastic cost reduction measures, the specter of a prolonged depression in our industry has forced us to look introspectively to examine the efficiency (or inefficiencies) of our organizations and to challenge the prevailing models of how we do business.  We are now forced to rethink the long-held paradigms, business models, practices and workflows that have existed virtually unadulterated for decades, such as the unsecured payment guarantee that has been the tool for payers to access credit.

The economic crisis of our industry exposed the dysfunctional claims payment cycle with a series of defaults of healthcare payers concerning their obligations to providers and correspondents. We have seen thinly capitalized businesses fail and others simply not honor obligations, resulting in a cascade effect across the entire value chain, specifically impacting medical service providers. The “GOP” (or Guarantee of Payment) and its several iterations[1] were defaulted upon as insurers and their representatives were unwilling to pay bills, using the pandemic as a pretext to avoid payment for services rendered in good faith by medical providers. This has created a “never-again” moment for many medical providers and correspondents, whom have now made institutional decisions to heavily restrict credit to mitigate the risk of doing cross-border business with limited recourse.

As the travel market wakes up, the international insurance sector anticipates a revival in demand for travel medical cover that will be met with service capacity shortages and above all, distrust by the many medical providers who lost faith in a payment system that for years neglected to pay them in a timely manner and eventually left them with unpaid claims under the guise of the pandemic. Many providers are forced to continue working with the segment to recoup or dilute away their losses by securing future business, yet they are challenged by old credit system that has failed us all in the past.

In my view, the prolonged Covid crisis will result in the slow death of provider credit for small claims and hardening of credit criterion by hospital providers. Today, the industry is seeing hospital groups take measures to more carefully underwrite international risk, such as demanding audited financial statements and deposits, which should probably have been the case even prior to the pandemic. The death of credit, or the credit standard, as we can call it, impacts the ability of assistance companies to service policies and challenges the ability of indemnity payers to execute contractual obligations, which means a new standard shall be introduced: payment at time of service, instant settlement, or a cash standard.

The Credit Standard

As an industry, we have strived for decades to build global, all-encompassing networks that allow for direct cashless access for our members. Whether the provider relationships are direct or are accessed through the circuitous route of correspondents or intermediaries, the underlying tenet of the network relationship is predicated on the desire to obtain credit with our providers. Credit is offered across and between various entities and perpetuates a network effect where offered, ensuring the greater use of providers that extend credit to foreign insurers and reliably service members. While the network model is generally “good enough”, the functionality of it certainly lacks sustainability or optimal efficiency due to the mere fact that it runs on credit, a concept that in and of itself is an inefficient manner of settlement, fraught with uncertainty for providers and carrying many hidden costs and risks for all. While the credit standard is something the industry has sought out for the sake of delivering on the cashless access promise, it is not the answer to reducing administrative expenses, medical loss, and may not even provide for the best member experience as we thought in the past.

The Credit Premium

Working on the basis of credit comes at a premium. What is the incentive for a service provider to accept any transaction on the basis of credit when a far superior alternative is cash settlement at the time of service? For providers and vendors, credit implies the cost of credit risk, cumbersome invoicing, collection and recovery efforts, transaction fees and time. To work under the credit standard creates a layer of cost that necessitates charging a premium over the preferred method receiving payment: payment at the time of service. There is no doubt that medical expenses are loaded with a credit premium; if one would argue against that, I would pose the question to any provider: would you charge less to be paid right here, right now? The answer would be a resounding “yes”. By accomplishing instant payment to providers this in our international healthcare transactions, we have the ability to do away with the credit premium, thereby reducing medical expenses and improving loss ratios. While this premium may vary by location, jurisdiction, and even on a provider-by-provider basis, our experience has demonstrated a consistent savings when working on the cash standard (i.e. paying on the spot). Ask any negotiation department of an insurer or third-party administrator (TPA) what their historical average discount achieved for prompt payment is and we would have some idea of the price we pay for that credit premium. It is safe to say the credit paradigm costs us money and we have no choice but to migrate from a credit standard to a cash standard for us (payers and provider) to cost contain in the most pure and honest sense.

The Cash Standard

Imagine a process by which a member requests care, a contact center intelligently directs a member to a provider, the provider receives a cash-secured guarantee, and, upon sending in a standard claims form through an online application, instant payment for that service is sent directly to the provider’s account. Case settled and closed… at the cash rate. No credit premium applied.

The departure from the credit standard and the imminent adoption of the cash standard in accessing services and paying invoices poses an opportunity to introduce smart technologies for case coordination, claims adjudication and the settlement of invoices. The decades-old credit model – consisting of unsecured GOPs, VOBs, LOGs and other head-spinning IOU instruments – involve an endless revenue cycle involving billing agents, manual invoicing, requests for medical records, denials, appeals, patient balance billing, collection agencies and many touch points that typically result in dissatisfaction for members and network providers. By abandoning the credit model, we uncomplicate life and reduce the cost of doing business. The new model, using a smart contract and instant settlement results in less friction. Migrating to a cash standard, will help us achieve the experience we ultimately seek out for members, network providers and our internal stakeholder, the company.

Our customers and our network providers demand change to more sophisticated means of accessing service and settling claims. At the same time, diminished industry margins demand that we evolve to a more savvy and tech-oriented method of operation. In order for cashless access continue, the industry must evolve from the credit standard to a cash standard, utilizing smart contracts. We must replace the risky IOU (i.e. GOPs, VOBs, GOPs) with cash-secured smart contracts backed by a real guarantee to create an sustainable that perpetuates value for all parties (insurers, providers, members).

MD Group is committed to working with our industry partners to developing and improving our industry. We welcome feedback on the topic and really to look to hear our colleagues’ thoughts and opinions and as we evolve towards the new reality. To learn more about MDabroad, click here, to visit their website.

[1] GOP: guarantee of payment

LOG: letter of guarantee

VOB: verification of benefits

DIOT-LSN And SIACI SAINT HONORE Finalize Their Merger And Create A Leading Independent European Insurance Broker

The merger between the DIOT-LSN and SIACI SAINT HONORE groups has been given the green light from the European Union and the regulators and authorities in the various countries where the new Group will be operating.

The birth of the leading independent European insurance broker operating worldwide took place on November 16, 2021. The new group will generate turnover of almost €700 million, with 5,000 employees in 42 countries.

The transaction signed on July 2 between the BURRUS GROUP, headed by Christian Burrus, and SIACI SAINT HONORE, chaired by Pierre Donnersberg, was completed on November 16, paving the way for the creation of a new European leader in insurance brokerage, reinsurance and risk management consulting.

The Burrus Group and the management of the new entity will hold the majority of the capital and voting rights, thus guaranteeing its independence. Alongside them, the presence of leading investors, led by the Canadian pension fund Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan with a 30% stake, Bpifrance with 10%, Cathay Capital with 5% and Mubadala and Ardian, already shareholder in the SIACI SAINT HONORE Group, confirms the international ambitions of the new Group.

Pierre Donnersberg will be Chairman of the new "DIOT-SIACI" group and Christian Burrus will become Vice-Chairman and Managing Director within an Executive Committee of directors from both entities.

By becoming one of the world's top 10 players in large corporate risks, the new group is positioning itself as a key player in this market alongside the global brokers from across the Atlantic. In France, thanks to its national network, it is strengthening its position in the Large Companies, Mid-cap and SME-SMI market in personal insurance, international mobility, property and liability, marine and transport, and credit insurance and reinsurance.

Pierre Donnersberg said: "We are delighted to be able to finalize our corporate venture which now positions us as the French leader in our sector with a clear international strategy. We will seize new growth opportunities and make the most of all our synergies to better serve our clients all around the world”.

Christian Burrus emphasized: "We share an ambition and values that place people and jobs at the heart of this project. We are committed to our independence, guaranteed by a strong family shareholding which safeguards the interests of our employees, our clients and our investors”.

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