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Dubai Hospital To Undergo AED 290 Million-Expansion Plan

His Highness Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, UAE Minister of Finance and President of the Dubai Health Authority has approved a new AED 290 million expansion plan for Dubai Hospital.

The first phase of the expansion that will cost around AED 100 million and will include a six-storey building for specialized outpatient clinics.

The expansion will meet the growing demand for its medical services from within and outside the country.

The six-storey building will be spread across 17,800 square meters and will include 142 specialty clinics—this is three times the current number of specialty clinics (48 clinics) that the hospital currently offers.

The ground floor will provide diagnostic services including laboratory and radiology, as well as a pharmacy. The first floor includes 21 endocrinology and diabetes clinics and 13 clinics for rheumatism and immunology.

The second floor consists of six internal medicine clinics, 17 urology clinics, and other multi-disciplinary clinics. The third floor includes six cardiology clinics and 10 blood diseases clinics.

The fourth floor includes 12 clinics for obstetrics and gynecology, 13 pediatric clinics. The fifth floor includes 19 clinics for ophthalmology and 12 administration offices and finally the sixth and last floor includes 25 dental clinics.

In the second phase of the project, lecture halls and workshops with the latest technology will be added as well as a parking lot that will include more than 1,200 parking slots for visitors.

His Excellency Humaid Al Qatami, Chairman of the Board and Director- General of DHA said: “In line with the vision of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and in line with the directives of HH Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council and HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, UAE Minister of Finance and President of the Dubai Health Authority, the DHA is keen on ensuring that we provide high-quality specialized and super-specialized care to our population and visitors alike. The expansion will provide a dedicated area for outpatient services, which in turn will reduce the waiting-time at the hospital, provide enhanced outpatient clinics for a number of medical specialties and thus help further improve high-quality patient-centric care, which is the core of our Dubai Health Strategy 2016-2021.”

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Aviva To Commence Share Buy-Back

Aviva plc (Aviva) announces that it will commence a share buy-back of Aviva's ordinary shares for up to a maximum consideration of £300 million.

Aviva has entered into a non-discretionary agreement with Morgan Stanley to enable the purchase of Aviva ordinary shares by Morgan Stanley, acting as principal, during the period running from 25 May 2017 and ending no later than 15 December 2017, for an aggregate purchase price of up to £300 million. Shares acquired by Morgan Stanley under the agreement will be simultaneously on-sold to Aviva. To the extent permitted by law, such ordinary shares purchased will be cancelled.

Any purchase of Aviva ordinary shares contemplated by this announcement will be carried out on the London Stock Exchange and Multilateral Trading Facilities, as defined by the Directive 2014/65/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 May 2014 on markets in financial instruments, and executed in accordance with (and subject to the limits prescribed by) Aviva's general authority to repurchase ordinary shares granted by its shareholders on 10 May 2017 and Chapter 12 of the Financial Conduct Authority's Listing Rules. 

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Bupa To Increase Stake In Bupa Arabia To 34.25%

Bupa has announced that it proposes to increase its stake in Bupa Arabia by 8% from 26.25% to 34.25%. This follows an agreement on the acquisition of a portion of Nazer Group’s* stake in Bupa Arabia. Bupa is now submitting formal applications to the relevant Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) authorities for the customary regulatory approvals.

Bupa Arabia is one of the largest health insurance providers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) giving over 3m customers access to high quality healthcare.

As a result of a partnership entered into between Bupa and Nazer Group in 1997, Bupa Arabia was listed on the Saudi stock market (Tadawul) in the KSA in 2008 and its share price has risen strongly since then. Bupa Arabia has one of the widest healthcare networks in the KSA with over 320 clinics or hospitals in the region. It provides a highly differentiated service model, as well as the most comprehensive healthcare offering in the KSA health insurance market. The most recent customer satisfaction scores were 91%. For more information, visit www.bupa.com.sa

Since 1997, Bupa and Nazer Group have developed a long and successful partnership. In 2008 Bupa Arabia was listed on the Saudi stock market (Tadawul) in the KSA and Bupa Arabia is now one of the largest health insurance providers in the KSA, with over 3m customers and has delivered significant growth in revenue, profit and customer numbers over the last 10 years.

The increase in Bupa’s stake will strengthen Bupa’s presence in the KSA, in line with its strategy of investing in its market position in geographies in which it already operates. It is recognition of the opportunity to help develop the private health insurance market in the KSA, which the government’s Saudi Vision 2030 Strategy called out as a key growth sector and important pillar. 

Between the parties, Bupa and Nazer Group will together continue to account for over 50% of the shares in Bupa Arabia and the agreed price of SAR 143 per share (approximately £190m) reflects the partners’ confidence in the strong future prospects of Bupa Arabia. 

Wayne Close, Acting CEO of International Markets at Bupa, said: "We are absolutely committed to supporting Bupa Arabia’s ongoing growth and meeting the health and wellbeing needs of customers in the KSA. This decision is an acknowledgment of Bupa Arabia’s success and underlines Bupa’s commitment to develop the private health insurance market in the KSA, where there is huge potential. This will be a fantastic step forward in the delivery of our strategy, offering further opportunities for strong and sustainable growth.” 

Loay Hisham Nazer, Chairman of Bupa Arabia and Founder and Chairman of Nazer Group, added: “We appreciate the constructive long-term partnership that we have forged with Bupa over the past 20 years. Following our success in building Bupa Arabia into the company it is today, our priority is to ensure it continues to meet the demands of customers in the fast changing health insurance landscape in the Kingdom. At Nazer Group, we see a bright future ahead for Bupa Arabia. We remain committed to supporting its long-term success through our continued shareholding and through my role as the Chairman of the Board and Tal Nazer’s position as CEO.” 

Bupa Arabia has one of the widest healthcare networks in the KSA with over 320 clinics or hospitals in the region. Bupa Arabia’s share price has risen strongly since the 2008 IPO.

*The agreement is on the acquisition of a portion ASAS’, a Nazer Group Company, stake in Bupa Arabia

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Bupa Chairman Announces Intention To Step Down In December 2018

Bupa has announced that its Chairman, Lord Leitch, intends to step down on 31 December 2018. As a result, the Board Nomination and Governance Committee will begin the recruitment process for his successor later this year, ensuring a smooth transition of responsibilities. 

Lawrence Churchill CBE, Bupa’s Senior Independent Director commented, “Over the past 10 years, Sandy has done a wonderful job as Bupa’s Chairman. During his tenure, the company has grown from revenues of under £4bn in 2005, to £11bn in 2016 and more than trebled the number of customers served. We now employ 86,000 people, compared with 33,600 in 2005, principally in the UK, Australia, Spain, Hong Kong, Poland, New Zealand, Chile, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, India and the US.

“Sandy remains committed to Bupa. He is sharing his plans to support an orderly handover as part of Bupa’s succession planning. The Board’s Nomination and Governance Committee will begin the process to recruit his successor later this year, enabling Sandy to step down as Chairman at the end of 2018.”

Lord Leitch said, “Bupa is a wonderful organisation and we embark on our next phase from an excellent position; financially strong, with a well-respected brand. It is a privilege to serve as Bupa’s Chairman, and I remain absolutely committed to Bupa over the time ahead.”

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Aetna International Launch 'vHealth by Aetna' A Global Digital Primary Healthcare Service in India

Aetna International has announced the global launch of 'vHealth by Aetna' in India. India is the first market in the world to see the launch of 'vHealth by Aetna' and is set to become the center of excellence for global expansion of this service, with subsequent launches planned in key markets including UK & UAE later this year.

Dr Sneh Khemka, President of Population Health, Aetna International said, "At Aetna International, we believe that new innovations and technology will fundamentally change the way healthcare is managed and delivered. India has a reputation for rapid acceptance of technology, including smartphones, making it a perfect market for the launch of such an innovative tool, which we believe will revolutionize the primary care system. The combination of our 'vHealth by Aetna' centre, our clinical expertise and our extensive network of medical partners, allows us to provide a uniquely integrated healthcare journey, which we believe will be of enormous benefit to our members. We are very excited forIndia to be leading the way with this first launch of 'vHealth by Aetna'."

Manasije Mishra, Managing Director, Indian Health Organisation & Aetna India said, "Healthcare can appear complex and hard to navigate. 'vHealth by Aetna' can be a guide and partner in managing your family's health."

He continues, "Our doctors are trained and certified as per Swiss telemedicine standards and follow robust clinical protocols built by Medgate A.G., a Swiss market leader in telemedicine for over 15 years. These protocols, customised for India, enable our doctors to provide evidence-based diagnosis and care. We believe that the resulting clinical quality, together with the breadth and convenience of this service will be unparalleled in the Indian healthcare market."

This service will be delivered in India by Aetna's fully owned subsidiary, Indian Health Organisation (IHO) which aims to have 4 million members in India by 2020, with revenue of INR 300 cr.

Available at an annual subscription cost of Rs. 2400 for a family of four, the service is set to give patients a very different experience as the vHealth doctors give extended time to patients, listen to their concerns, and treat them with courtesy and professionalism. Consultations are delivered remotely, through a new mobile app or by telephone. With the clear benefit of fast access to a doctor from any convenient location, 'vHealth by Aetna' is very cost effective, reducing the need for a physical consultation by an average of 47%.

With an objective to ensure quality, vHealth by Aetna service delivers:

Access to Expert Doctors: The doctors at vHealth are trained as per Swiss quality standards and certified for practicing teleconsultation after an extensive assessment. This enables vHealth doctors to diagnose patients effectively by understanding their complete medical, surgical, social history along with help of cues like the voice of a patient, his breath sounds, and pictures of the affected area or any previous test reports.

Evidence-based Medicine: Doctors at vHealth follow a robust clinical protocol built by Medgate A.G., a Swiss market leader in telemedicine for over 15 years. These protocols, customised for India, are used by vHealth doctors to help patients elicit points which are relevant to their health problem, which the patients themselves may be unaware of. This information along with medical history and reports enable the vHealth doctors to provide evidence-based diagnosis and care.

Quality Care: Doctors at vHealth spend quality time to diagnose and treat patients over the phone. Once the nature of a disease is identified, the patient is given a fair understanding of his medical problem. A proper medical prescription followed by a care plan is sent to the patient with details of medication, general precautions, lifestyle modifications, diet and so on. In addition, to ensure that the treatment is helping the patient, doctors at vHealth do a proactive follow-up with patients at regular intervals to ensure there is a proper handholding.

This makes vHealth by Aetna a perfect family health solution which can cater to all healthcare requirements including management of chronic conditions, treatment of minor illnesses, advice on alternate treatment options, interpretation of diagnostic reports and guidance to stay healthy.

Along with the expertise in teleconsultation, vHealth also brings a comprehensive eco-system that allows a family to access end-to-end medical services. Diagnostic tests can be arranged at the member's home and medication can be delivered to their door. Doctors will also refer members to appropriate medical specialists at IHO's partner centers at discounted prices as appropriate.

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Cigna Global Health Benefits Launches Crisis Assistance Plus

Cigna Global Health Benefits®  has launched an enhancement to their suite of global health care product Crisis Assistance PlusTM (CAP).

Heather Schleeweis, Product Manager for North America, commented, “CAP is not only a market differentiator for Cigna, it also directly supports our mission of helping individuals improve their health, well-being and sense of security. Now more than ever, security threats are a concern for today’s global travellers. CAP enables us to provide our customers with comprehensive global health benefits that include peace of mind.”

This solution allows for a worldwide, comprehensive crisis assistance program, powered by FocusPoint International®, and responds to the unique needs of Cigna’s globally mobile customers who currently do not have a program in place today under our 2-20 expat products and our MBA product for international business travellers. It helps promote peace of mind by providing services that include time-sensitive advice and coordinated in-country crisis assistance, as well as political evacuation services for nine different risks that impact, or have the potential to impact, them while on assignment or traveling on international business. In the event of a covered event, the CAP program provides customers and their covered dependents immediate access to rapid response teams and dedicated CAP managers who are deployed globally within 24 hours, experienced security personnel for field rescue, shelter in place and ground evacuations, and highly experienced kidnap-for-ransom and extortion-response specialists.

From natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes, to acts of terrorism, blackmail or extortion, hijacking and other violent crimes, CAP provides coverage for services of up to $250,000 per covered person, per incident. This unique and comprehensive service is included as a value added benefit and reinforces Cigna’s commitment to its customers and reputation in the marketplace as a leader in global health benefits.

 

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CEGA Collaborates With Charles Taylor General Adjusting Services To Enhance Fraud Investigation Capabilities

Insurance fraud investigation expert, CEGA Special Investigations, has partnered with Charles Taylor General Adjusting Services (CTGAS) to add insurance fraud investigation services to Charles Taylor's loss adjusting capabilities.

CEGA Special Investigations investigates all areas of insurance fraud, including household, personal accident, travel and health claims.  Its collaboration with CTGAS will enable it to extend its investigative presence in the UK and to explore wider client opportunities by enhancing the CTGAS offering.

CEGA Special Investigations, established in 2008, benefits insurers by providing specialist services to reduce insurers' losses by detecting and declining fraudulent claims, while ensuring the fast payment of genuine claims.  It is a stand-along business of global medical assistance and claims management provider CEGA Group and is part of the Charles Taylor Group.

David Parker, Managing Director, London, Charles Taylor General Adjusting Services, said, "We are delighted to be forming this mutually beneficial partnership.  CEGA's breadth of investigative experience augments our own in-depth processing expertise; producing a seamless service that will both benefit our existing clients and attract new business.

Simon Cook, Head of Technical Claims, CEGA, said, "This progressive move is set to expand our client base and reinforce our ability to offer clients end-to-end multi-sector fraud investigation solutions both at home and abroad. Our success to date can be attributed to the unified skills of our in-house investigative, medical, claims and travel teams, complemented by our worldwide network of agents.  We now look forward to building on this success with Charles Taylor General Adjusting Services; investigating suspicious domestic and international claims thoroughly and paying genuine claimants quickly."

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Turning the Travel Insurance Claims Process Inside Out

Has this happened to you? You file a claim and submit all the necessary documentation, only to find out weeks later the claim was never covered in the first place. Leading travel insurance comparison site, Squaremouth, has reinvented the claims process to make sure that doesn't happen.

Before requesting any documentation, Squaremouth's claims team talks directly to every claimant to assess their situation and better understand what coverage they may have.

"The way we do it is significantly more expensive for us as a company, however it provides a much better customer experience," says Squaremouth Co-Founder and CEO Chris Harvey. "We gather all of the necessary information ahead of time to simplify the claims process for our customers."

During the initial claims interview, Squaremouth claims adjusters use their expertise to put together an easy-to-interpret claim form. The customer is able to electronically make additions or changes to the form, and email back a signed copy with supporting documentation.

"The claim interview is the best way to explain to a customer what type of claim they have and what the process will be moving forward," says Squaremouth Claims Director Brandi Morse. "We can also let someone know if they won't be covered, so they don't have to spend the time providing us with documentation."

Building a Custom System to Fit Their Process 
Communication between a claimant and their provider is typically through email. Squaremouth uses the upfront interview to talk to each customer and obtain a clear understanding of their claim.

"We aren't going to force someone to provide anything we don't need, and we certainly won't ask them to provide lots of documentation if they won't be approved," Harvey says. "Customer experience is the most important thing for us."

To accommodate its unique claims process, Squaremouth built its own in-house claims system.

"We tweak the system on a constant basis" Harvey says. "My goal was to build a system that could tell the full story of every claim. You should always be able to look back and understand every step of a claim."

Using this system, Squaremouth has been able to dramatically increase customer satisfaction while lowering loss ratios.

"Excellent customer service and lower loss ratios are not usually mutually agreeable," Harvey says. "We had to re-engineer the process. We just turned it on its head."

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1 In 3 Millennials Turns Down A Job In Part Because Of Poor Insurance Offerings

Many employers are upping the ante with trendy wellness benefits in an attempt to attract and retain younger employees, but new survey results from Anthem, Inc. show that they may be missing a key opportunity. The survey, conducted in honor of May as Disability Insurance Awareness Month, found that 35 percent of Millennials (ages 18 – 34) have turned down a job offer either fully or partially due to the fact that they were dissatisfied with insurance offerings, compared to 27 percent of U.S. respondents overall.

While trendy offerings like in-office massages, fitness classes and extra time off might help lower employee stress levels, the number one stress-causing factor in America is still money.1 The Millennial generation seems particularly inclined to watch their wallets, as Anthem’s survey found they are more likely than the previous generation (29 percent 18 – 34 year-olds vs. 19 percent 35 – 54 year-olds) to have engaged in long-term financial planning over the past year. This fact underscores that disability insurance, which protects a person’s income when they are unable to work due to injury or illness, should be a critical part of a benefits package and of significant importance to younger workers. While a free massage at work might get the knots out of your back, disability insurance can better position you for long-term financial health.

“We understand that money can be a huge cause of stress for many people no matter their age, and disability insurance is a way to alleviate that worry and prevent many of the other health problems high stress can cause,” said Mike Wozny, president of Anthem Life Insurance Company. “That’s why it is important to recognize financial planning as a part of a comprehensive, integrated health care plan.”

For many living paycheck to paycheck, an injury or illness that leaves them unable to work could have innumerable negative outcomes, not the least of which is moving back in with mom and dad. Of survey respondents who did not have disability insurance, many reported lacking coverage because either their employer did not offer it (53 percent) or because it was too expensive (32 percent). What they may not know is that for less than the price of one yoga class, workers of all ages can buy disability insurance benefits that can protect against loss of income.2

For employers, integrating disability and medical benefits with one insurance company can also help save money by helping employees get back to work sooner and by reducing benefits administration costs. More than half of employers using this integrated benefits approach saw medical claims-based savings, according to an August 2015 study by Employee Benefit News.

“Disability benefits protect financial wellness, but they are also an important part of overall health and wellbeing,” said Wozny. “Anthem recognizes that physical, emotional and financial health is interconnected, and by treating the whole patient, healthcare professionals of all specialties can help patients get better faster and also save money in the process.”

This report presents the findings of an online omnibus survey using the field services of YouGov, from March 15 – 16, 2017. Data was collected among 905 U.S. adults, ages 18+ across the country. All survey respondents work at a company with at least two employees. Statistical significance testing for this survey was done at a 95 percent confidence level and margin of error was +/- 3 percent. This means that if we were to replicate the study, we would expect to get the same results within 3 percentage points 95 times out of 100.

1 http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2015/02/money-stress.aspx

2 As compared with average monthly disability premiums.

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Anthem Comments On Decision Of Delaware Court of Chancery On Acquisition of Cigna

Anthem, Inc. has commented on the decision by the Delaware Court of Chancery denying Anthem’s motion for a preliminary injunction.

Since the transaction was announced, Anthem says it has worked hard to complete the merger, one that was approved by over 99% of the votes cast by the shareholders of both companies. Anthem believed this acquisition was a truly compelling opportunity to positively impact the health and well-being of its members, and to expand access to high quality affordable health care for consumers.

In light of the  decision and Cigna’s refusal to support the merger, Anthem has delivered to Cigna a notice terminating the Merger Agreement. Cigna has failed to perform and comply in all material respects with its contractual obligations. As a result, Cigna is not entitled to a termination fee. On the contrary, Cigna’s repeated willful breaches of the Merger Agreement and its successful sabotage of the transaction has caused Anthem to suffer massive damages, claims which Anthem intends to vigorously pursue against Cigna.

Anthem has been a leader in providing individuals with access to high quality, affordable health care and its decision to acquire Cigna was grounded in a commitment to this goal and to leading our industry during this period of dynamic change. Moving forward, Anthem will remain focused on serving as America’s valued health partner, delivering superior health care services to our more than 40 million members with greater value at less cost.

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BREXIT And The Impact For Insurers And Brokers Operating In Or Planning to Operate In The UK And Europe 2017 Sample Contents

View sample contents here for free - from the new market research report  "BREXIT and INSURANCE".

Both the UK and the EC have hardened their negotiating positions in the last few weeks- helped by pointless and rather childish political rhetoric from both sides.

Any insurer or broker opting for a "wait and see what they will negotiate" is on a hiding to nothing.

A fast hard BREXIT means that any organisation with cross border business involving the EU needs to be planning now.

The only prudent plan is one that assumes the UK becomes a third country with no special market access deal.  Delaying the effects of Brexit from 2019 to 2022 in some transition period makes no difference.

Every firm must have a plan for various scenarios.

If the UK becomes a "third country" – the right to provide services and establish branches under the passporting regimes from the UK will cease. Cross border client solicitation and servicing between the UK and EU will no longer be easy; the ability of branches within the EU to do business across borders will be open to question.

How fast events can change thinking is shown by Gibraltar. Weeks ago it assumed that some passporting deal would be sorted before 2019.This week regulators have accepted that they must work on the basis that insurers and brokers using Gibraltar to enter the EU, will lose that right as soon as Britain leaves the EU in 2019. They hope, and even that is not certain, that the deal with the UK whereby insurers on the rock can write UK business will remain. One insurer has already said it is leaving Gibraltar.

For more information about this report visit: https://brexitinsurance.report/brexit-and-insurance-2017-market-research-report

Key Topics Covered:

1 Institutions

2 Free Trade Agreements

3 EU Principles

4 EU Directives and Regulations

5 EU/EFTA Citizens

6 EU Travel

7 EU Insurance Regulation

8 UK Insurance Regulation

9 UK/EU Passporting

10 UK Resignation

11 EU Response and Negotiation Timetable

12 UK Insurers and Brokers Wanting to do Business in EU/EFTA after Brexit

13 EU/EFTA Insurers and Brokers Wanting to do Business in UK after Brexit

14 Regulators and Trade Bodies

15 Locations for UK Firms

16 A To Z of UK/EU Firms Plans

17 Gibraltar

18 EU Healthcare

Companies Mentioned

  • Admiral
  • AIG
  • Aviva
  • Axa
  • Banks
  • Beazley
  • Building Block Insurance
  • Chesnara
  • FM Mutual
  • Hiscox
  • Jardine
  • Legal and General
  • Lloyd's of London
  • Met Life
  • Prudential
  • Royal London
  • RSA
  • Standard Life

For more information about this report visit: https://brexitinsurance.report/brexit-and-insurance-2017-market-research-report

 

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BREXIT And The Impact For Insurers And Brokers Operating In Or Planning to Operate In The UK And Europe 2017

iPMI Magazine has announced the addition of the "BREXIT and INSURANCE" report to their offering.

With 200 pages of critical insurance business intelligence, this new market research report looks at what BREXIT means for insurers and brokers operating in or planning to operate in the UK and Europe.

For those UK insurers, EU insurers, brokers and agents selling- or planning to sell- into the UK and/or European markets; BREXIT is a legal and logistical nightmare.

UK regulators have demanded that every UK insurer now doing business in the EU/EFTA -whether by passport or local subsidiary- and every EU/EFTA insurer doing business in the UK on a passport or full basis -must show them their contingency plan that covers all options including the nuclear one of a UK exit with no deals- by July 2017.

Much will depend on what is negotiated - but do not believe the hype from either side. The core rule from the EU is very simple: non-members are not allowed to have deals equal to those that members have, and despite what British politicians may shout - that is non-negotiable.

One of the anticipated losses resulting from the UK's exit in 2019 is its exclusion from the single market, namely its exclusion from the free movement of goods, services and workers within the EU. This will impact insurance businesses in the UK that will lose their right of direct access to the single market, and EU insurers will lose their right of direct access to the UK.

40% of UK insurance businesses are studying alternative scenarios involving migrating their European business to other member states.

There will be two parallel but not identical sets of laws - in the UK and in the EU/EFTA countries. Any UK insurer or broker doing business in the new EU/EFTA block will be subject to ALL the laws and rules in that region such as on solvency, insurance regulation and competition - plus the UK rules on solvency, insurance regulation and all other regulation that will diverge from EU rules.

In the UK the Bank of England and subsidiary insurance/financial regulators have confirmed that there will be no bonfire of regulations post-Brexit - while other regulators and bodes such as on competition and health and safety have made similar promises.

The author says: "Wait and see is not an option given the time that it will take to set up a regulated subsidiary within an EU member state or in the UK. If you rely in the main UK media for your Brexit information you could be in for a few surprises. My report is non-political and takes information from across Europe-including primary sources. It is written in a non-technical way so that every insurer and broker can easily understand what is happening and why they must get ready for all possibilities, now, not 2018 or 2019."

Key Topics Covered:

1 Institutions

2 Free Trade Agreements

3 EU Principles

4 EU Directives and Regulations

5 EU/EFTA Citizens

6 EU Travel

7 EU Insurance Regulation

8 UK Insurance Regulation

9 UK/EU Passporting

10 UK Resignation

11 EU Response and Negotiation Timetable

12 UK Insurers and Brokers Wanting to do Business in EU/EFTA after Brexit

13 EU/EFTA Insurers and Brokers Wanting to do Business in UK after Brexit

14 Regulators and Trade Bodies

15 Locations for UK Firms

16 A To Z of UK/EU Firms Plans

17 Gibraltar

18 EU Healthcare

Companies Mentioned

  • Admiral
  • AIG
  • Aviva
  • Axa
  • Banks
  • Beazley
  • Building Block Insurance
  • Chesnara
  • FM Mutual
  • Hiscox
  • Jardine
  • Legal and General
  • Lloyd's of London
  • Met Life
  • Prudential
  • Royal London
  • RSA
  • Standard Life

For more information about this report visit: https://brexitinsurance.report/brexit-and-insurance-2017-market-research-report

 

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British Insurance Brokers’ Association Launch Good Practice Guide For Brokers

Under the strapline ‘Guiding Brokers’ the British Insurance Brokers’ Association launched a Good Practice Guide for brokers at the BIBA Conference 2017.

The guide comes together as an output from BIBA’s Insurance Brokers’ Standards Committee (IBSC). Uniting much of BIBA’s existing guidance for members as well as completely new material, sections include:

  • Roles and responsibilities;
  • Corporate Governance;
  • Business protection;
  • Clients;
  • Employment; and
  • Market practice.

The guide will be a constantly evolving manual for brokers to use in many aspects of their business and will be added to and adapted as legislation and accepted good practice changes.

Paul Anscombe, IBSC Chair and CEO Seventeen Group said “This guide gives a framework which will allow brokers to set a benchmark for good practice in all areas of the business. As well as input from practicing BIBA member brokers it draws on external sources for guidance including the FCA rule books and legislation and I’m particularly pleased that we have had input from the CII who are part of the committee. I am passionate about standards and I believe this guide will become invaluable in helping brokers to show their added value.”

Sian Fisher, Chartered Insurance Institute CEO added “The CII is delighted to be involved with BIBA in this initiative as we share the same desire to raise professional standards in our sector. We are looking forward to helping with the continued work of the IBSC.”

Graeme Trudgill, BIBA Executive Director concluded “The guide builds on existing content and materials making these easier for members to access in the context of good practice. We have also commissioned and developed entirely new sections such as our guide to agency law and a coming section on TOBAs where we are looking to get market agreement on many common clauses.  The guide’s format allows us to expand and adapt it as necessary and will help drive professionalism in our sector.”

Paul Anscombe, Sian Fisher and Graeme Trudgill will be on stage at 10.40 on Thursday 11 May for the BIBA Conference Seminar on ‘Embracing best practice in modern corporate governance.

The guide is available online at www.biba.org.uk/members

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Insurance Industry Could Be Facing A Perfect Storm Warns BIBA CEO Steve White

At his opening address to the BIBA Conference 2017 in Manchester, Steve White, BIBA CEO warned the industry to be wary of current turmoil affecting the sector.

Making an analogy to the weather mis-forecast of the 1987 UK hurricane, he said that in political and economic terms, there are storm clouds on the horizon that the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) is tracking.

The conditions causing most concern domestically include:

  • The doubling of Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) in only 18months and the threat of more increases to come.
  • The changes to ‘Ogden’ discount rate for calculating catastrophic injury damages.
  • Increasing inflation and decreasing value of Sterling.
  • The coming snap election and all that will bring.

Over the horizon, of course is the force of the coming Brexit and the need to find suitable solutions to enable the insurance sector to continue to trade in Europe. Further afield are the noises of protectionism from the new United States Government that could reduce the optimism of a US-UK trade deal. These added to our domestic turmoil point to the development of a perfect storm of disruption.

White said: “Cost pressures within our industry, economic factors affecting insurance buyers, uncertainty and new competitive threats to the UK insurance market are all possible issues that we have to deal with. If a few of these storms materialise and hit us at the same time, they could create significant challenges for us.”

BIBA is actively tracking these matters and continues to campaign for outcomes that are positive for members and their customers.

Discussing the predicted challenges after speaking on stage White added: “Despite these clouds there remains plenty of better weather to look forward to. Our industry remains in a healthy state and continues to make a significant contribution to the UK’s service trading surplus.  There are opportunities arising from insuretech, from autonomous vehicles and from the desire to really increase trust in our sector and we will be right behind our members as these opportunities develop.”

RELATED READING: What BREXIT Means for Insurers and Brokers Operating in or Planning to Operate in the UK and Europe - Research and Markets

 

 

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Captive Insurance: A Viable Risk Management Tool For Asian Corporations

Labuan International Business and Financial Centre (Labuan IBFC) and Labuan International Insurance Association (LIIA) are jointly organising The Asian Captive Conference (ACC 2017) in Sasana Kijang, Kuala Lumpur on 16 and 17 August 2017.

Themed ‘De-Risking Asia: The Growing Role of Self-Insurance’, ACC 2017 is aimed at enhancing the awareness of the role of self-insurance, specifically captives, in Asia. The Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia, Datuk Seri Muhammad Ibrahim is expected to deliver a keynote address during the event.
 
Other highlights of the event will be the unveiling of the findings of a research conducted by Captive Review entitled “Attitudes towards Captive Insurance in Asia”. It is worth noting that while captive insurance has been used as a risk management tool for decades, starting in the 1950s in the United States, this concept of captive insurance is still very nascent in Asia.
 
Labuan IBFC Inc CEO, Danial Mah Abdullah said: “The Asian market for captive is relatively unexplored and the potential for growth is immense. The penetration level is low at the moment with only 2.3% out of the total numbers of 6,939 captives established worldwide (according to Business Insurance 2016) and we believe the Asian captive market will continue to grow at a steady pace.
 
“The Asian corporations are viewing captives as a viable alternative of risk management tool and the number who appreciates this concept is growing.
 
“While many companies will continue to depend on traditional insurance, those with the know-how will explore greater business opportunities and risk management options through captives, especially when commercial premium rates make standard insurance untenable.”
 
He added that the ACC 2017 is timely as it will serve as an educational platform to raise awareness of businesses and corporates to use captive as a risk transfer tool as a complement to the traditional insurance.
 
“Labuan IBFC, for example, is a substance-enabling jurisdiction that offers captive as a business solution that is complemented by a competitive tax structure. In fact, there are currently about 39 captives in the centre and it is home to the world’s only takaful captive, introduced in 2015,” explained Danial.
 
The Labuan International Insurance Association Chairman, Raymond Wong Shu Yoon said, “Captives is a unique concept of self-insurance that allows corporations and businesses to enjoy greater protection with the flexibility of managing them to suit their needs. Naturally, this could be an attractive and cost-efficient business solution for many.
 
“We are pleased and honoured to have Labuan IBFC as a partner for this event and we are definitely excited about this collaboration and hope to receive positive response from the industry players.”
 
The conference will also discuss various key areas in risk management including insure tech and block chain and the effects of Base Erosion Profit Shifting and tax transparency in business. There will also be dedicated sessions on captives, including a case study on an existing captive.
 
The conference will feature speakers such as Steve Tunstall, General Secretary of Pan-Asia Risk and Insurance Management Association (PARIMA); George McGhie, Managing Director of Captive Practice, Willis Towers Watson; Kelvin Wu, Group Risk & Insurance Manager of International SOS, Datuk Majid Mohamad, Technical Advisor of LIIA; Michael Velten, Asia-Pacific Financial Services & Insurance Tax Leader, Deloitte and; Stuart Herbert, Senior Vice-President of Marsh Captive Solutions Group.
 
The event is open to all business owners, captains of industry, leaders of global corporations, corporate advisers and risk management professionals. Registration fee starts at RM205.  
 
For more information about ACC 2017 and to register, please visit: www.theasiancaptiveconference.com
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Towergate Insurance Q1 2017 Results

Commenting on the results, Towergate Chief Executive David Ross said, “I am pleased to report that the strong performance we delivered in the second half of 2016 has continued in the first quarter of this year. Revenues have continued to improve to a point where we are reporting organic income growth once again. We have also delivered the third consecutive quarter of year-on-year growth in Adjusted EBITDA, a reflection of just how far this business has come in a relatively short span of time.

“Of particular note is the profit improvement in Insurance Broking where we have reported an 85% increase in Adjusted EBITDA. Similarly, Paymentshield has benefited from strong growth in new business and Panel sales, delivering a strong improvement in profitability, while there are positive signs of stabilisation and improved retention in Underwriting.

“Looking ahead to the rest of 2017, I am confident that Towergate can continue to build on the foundations of organic growth that are now in place across the business. The team’s unrelenting focus on cost efficiency will continue, while at the same time investing in our staff and high calibre new hires, along with the best infrastructure to support them, including our new flagship Bishopsgate headquarters in the City of London.”

Key Highlights

  • 1% organic growth achieved with income coming at £77.9 million, reflecting resilient underlying performance across the Group
  • Continued strong Adjusted EBITDA* performance, up £5.8m or 42% from Q1 2016. This is the third consecutive quarter of organic year-on-year growth and evidences the strong trading momentum carried into 2017
  • Significant progress made in cost saving initiatives, with an additional £13 million of annualised savings achieved in the quarter
  • Continued success in strategic growth initiatives in Q1, including continued improved relationships with carriers and suppliers. High calibre new hires are gaining traction and retention rates continue to improve
  • Insurance Broking reported a substantial increase in Adjusted EBITDA of 85% to £10.5 million, the result of both income growth (up 3%) and costs savings
  • Positive signs of stabilisation in Underwriting with H2 improvements in retention rates and new business levels being maintained. The division reported Adjusted EBITDA growth of 6%, supported by the early execution cost saving initiatives, leading to an 11% reduction in expenses year-on-year
  • Paymentshield reported a 16% increase in Adjusted EBITDA*, with its performance boosted by improved carrier agreements and new initiatives gaining traction. New business is growing significantly year-on-year, while Panel sales also rose by 26% in Q1 with March 2017 a record high new business sales month
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Cigna Corporation Announces Termination Of Anthem Transaction

Cigna Corporation has announced that the merger agreement with Anthem has been terminated. Anthem did not appeal the Delaware Court of Chancery’s decision denying Anthem’s motion for a preliminary injunction that sought to prevent Cigna from terminating the merger agreement.

Anthem was required under the merger agreement to lead the regulatory approval process and to use its reasonable best efforts to obtain regulatory approval. As Cigna has stated, it believes that Anthem willfully breached those obligations and as a result the transaction did not receive the requisite regulatory approvals. Cigna seeks prompt payment of the $1.85 billion reverse termination fee and will pursue our claims for additional damages of over $13 billion against Anthem for the harm that it caused Cigna and its shareholders.

Cigna has a clear path to create value in the marketplace and looks forward to leading the healthcare industry in engaging customers and providing support through their diverse life and health stages while we also deliver sense of security solutions to our customers around the world. Cigna will continue to invest in innovative capabilities and drive to further improve affordability and personalization in part through our value-based care models.

Cigna plans to immediately increase the open market share repurchase activity as a result of the termination of the transaction. Cigna’s Board of Directors had previously authorized share repurchase of $3.7 billion, and through May 11, 2017, Cigna has repurchased approximately 2.4 million shares of common stock for approximately $360 million. Cigna expects to repurchase at least half of the remaining authorization by December 31, 2017.

The Company looks forward to discussing its strategic growth plan during an Investor Day to be held on June 21, 2017 in New York City.

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AIG Europe Announces Full Year Results For 2016 And First Quarter Results For 2017

In its annual report published AIG Europe Limited (AEL) posted its financial results for the year ended 30 November 2016, impacted by prior year development and higher levels of severe claims.

First quarter 2017 figures demonstrate that the long term plan to improve returns is showing results.

During 2016, AEL achieved premium growth in several key business lines and demonstrated resilience to strong competition thanks to its focus on underwriting discipline and also on business lines and geographies that are most profitable. However, adverse prior year development and higher levels of severe claims within both Property and Special Risks and Liability and Financial Lines impacted the accident year result.

Additionally, Liability reserves were strengthened as a result of the announcement to lower the Ogden discount rate to minus 0.75% from 2.5%. These elements together with lower levels of investment returns resulted in a loss before tax. First quarter results released on 3 May by parent company American International Group, Inc. split out the European performance and show a normalised return on equity for the European business of 7.2% for the first quarter. Europe also returned to a pretax operating income of $28 million in the first quarter versus a fourth quarter loss of $382 million. These results can be found in the financial supplement here.

Anthony Baldwin, Chief Executive of AIG Europe Limited, commented, “The positive first quarter results achieved in Europe show that we are starting to benefit from the transformational steps we have taken in 2016. The challenging operating environment during 2016 validated our strategy of focusing on underwriting discipline and on those business lines and geographic areas that are most profitable. We have continued to improve our business mix and focus on our core capabilities, including financial lines, multinational and client risk solutions, leveraging our geographic reach, our capacity and our expertise. I remain confident that we will see further benefits from these changes in 2017.”

The key financial results for the full year ended 30 November 2016 are:

  • Net premiums written rose 3% to £3,661.3 million, up from £3,553.1 million the year earlier
  • Combined ratio increased to 111.8% from 98.2% last year
  • Profit before tax fell to a loss of £171.1 million, from a profit of £408.5 million last year

A strong performance from Personal Insurance and Liability and Financial Lines was partly offset by competition and rate pressure within Property and Special Risks. Liability and Financial Lines saw net premiums written rise 4% to £1,580. 4 million and Personal Insurance saw net premiums written rise 11% to £962.3 million while Property and Special Risks saw net premiums written slip 5% to £1,118.6 million. Liability and Financial Lines represents 43% of total net premiums written, while Property and Special Risks is 31% and Personal Insurance is 26%. Expenses increased to £1,445.3 million (2015: £1,321.4 million) largely due to the impact of foreign currency, with the underlying costs showing good cost discipline. Adverse claims experience, largely in the financial sector, and severe property losses, saw higher net claims of £2,920.0 million (2015: £2,227.0 million) leading to a higher combined ratio and adverse underwriting result. At 30 November 2016, total equity of the Company totalled £3.4 billion (2015: £3.2 billion).

The AEL 2016 annual report can be found here.

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Aon Completes Acquisition Of International Benefits Brokerage Portfolio Of Mayfair Group

Aon plc (NYSE:AON) has announced it has completed its acquisition of the international health and benefits brokerage portfolio of Mayfair Group, a leading solutions provider to Indian multinational companies.

“Mayfair’s expertise with Indian multinational companies and their leading operational platform, combined with Aon’s world class consulting, analytics and placement capabilities will create a powerful value proposition for Indian multinational companies,” said Tim Dwyer, CEO, Aon Health & Benefits Asia Pacific. “We are excited at the opportunity to grow our offering to clients in one of our most important markets”.

Mike Chopra, CEO of Mayfair Group commented, “We have been exploring opportunities to enhance our offering to clients, and Aon was the perfect fit in terms of global footprint, expertise and culture. Together with Aon we look forward to providing truly distinctive solutions to Indian multinational companies and their subsidiaries.”

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CSA Travel Protection Rebrands To Generali Global Assistance

CSA Travel Protection, a leading provider of travel insurance, today announced that it is rebranding to Generali Global Assistance. This corporate initiative is part of a broader organizational program to rebrand several Europ Assistance business lines in the United States to Generali Global Assistance. Europ Assistance is part of the Generali Group, one of the world's largest insurance groups.

As Generali Global Assistance, the Company will be able to fully leverage the global scale and resources of one of the strongest and most successful corporations in the world. Further, the rebrand supports Generali Global Assistance's North American business growth and aligns its operations as the company continues to expand its global leadership position in the insurance industry.

Chris Carnicelli, CEO, Generali Global Assistance North America commented on today's news, "This is another exciting step our company has taken to bring our global solutions and talents directly to our clients. In the U.S. travel insurance space, our partnership capabilities and service to customers is unrivaled -- now having the global scale and resources of one of the 50 largest companies in the world puts us even further ahead in the quest to provide cutting-edge solutions to our business partners and end-clients."

Generali Global Assistance Travel Insurance & Assistance Services

Products and solutions carrying the CSA Travel Protection name will be transitioned over time to fall under the Generali Global Assistance brand, while retaining and enhancing the offerings and services to its customers that it has established over the past 25 years. Generali Global Assistance offers a full suite of innovative, vertically integrated travel insurance products and assistance services that protect consumers against risks associated with travel and helps resolve issues that may arise. These services span the entire travel insurance value chain, including underwriting, product design, commercial delivery and claims administration. Several new and enhanced travel insurance plans under the Generali Global Assistance brand are being launched in the U.S. marketplace shortly.

Chris Carnicelli concluded, "Our travel insurance and emergency assistance services unit has long been recognized for our uncompromising commitment to our customer's peace of mind. We are committed to growing our leadership position in the travel insurance industry, and as such, we are continually improving the value we bring to our customers. Backed by the global resources and strength of Generali Group, we are in an even better position to enhance our value proposition."

Serious issues while traveling happen more often than consumers realize. One in six U.S. adults reported having to cut a trip short or change travel plans, and of those affected, only 22% had travel insurance to protect their investment, according to a recent U.S. Travel Insurance Association survey. With a Generali Global Assistance travel protection plan, travelers can be reimbursed for unused, pre-paid, nonrefundable trip costs if they need to cancel or interrupt a vacation for a covered reason. Additionally, the Company's medical and dental coverage, as well as emergency assistance services, are designed to provide necessary medical, surgical and emergency dental care costs along with around the clock 24-hour Emergency Assistance services. 

However, that represents only a fraction of the Company's offerings. One of Generali's key differentiators is that its executive team has diversified experience across all insurance markets, including health, life, casualty, travel, property, liability and more. This unique expertise allows the Company the ability to offer innovative, customizable products that make travel safer and protect travel investments.

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Aon Reports First Quarter 2017 Results

First Quarter Key Metrics From Continuing Operations

  • Reported revenue increased 5% to $2.4 billion, with organic revenue growth of 4%
  • Operating margin decreased 410 basis points to 14.4%, and operating margin, adjusted for certain items, increased 220 basis points to 22.3%
  • EPS decreased 15% to $0.94, and EPS, adjusted for certain items, increased 20% to $1.45
  • For the first three months of 2017, cash flow from operations increased $38 million, or 26%, to $182 million, and free cash flow increased $41 million, or 38%, to $148 million

First Quarter Highlights

  • Repurchased 1.1 million Class A Ordinary Shares for approximately $125 million
  • Subsequent to the close of the quarter, the Company closed its sale of the Benefits Administration and HR Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) platform for cash consideration of $4.3 billion and additional consideration of up to $500 million
  • Subsequent to the close of the quarter, the company announced a 9% increase to its quarterly cash dividend

Aon plc (NYSE: AON) today reported results for the three months ended March 31, 2017.

Net income attributable to Aon shareholders was $291 million, or $1.09 per share, compared to $325 million, or $1.19 per share, in the prior year period. Net income per share attributable to Aon shareholders, adjusted for certain items, increased 17% to $1.63, compared to $1.39 in the prior year period. Net income from continuing operations was $265 million, or $0.94 per share, compared to $312 million, or $1.10 per share, in the prior year period.  Net income per share from continuing operations, adjusted for certain items, increased 20% to $1.45, compared to $1.21 in the prior year period. 

"Our first quarter results reflect a strong start to the year driven by investments in our client-serving capabilities and operating model.  Organic growth of 4% is the strongest start to the year since 2012, adjusted operating margins expanded by 220 basis points, and earnings per share from continuing operations increased 20% driven by effective operational and capital management," said Greg Case, President and Chief Executive Officer.  "With the recently completed divestiture of our outsourcing platform, we have taken another meaningful step in a decade long strategy that has produced exceptional results for clients and shareholders.  As a leading global professional services firm, we are operating from a position of strength.  With strong free cash flow generation and roughly $3 billion of incremental transaction proceeds, we have significant financial flexibility to invest in high-growth high-margin areas across our industry-leading portfolio, invest in our operating model and to return capital to shareholders."

FIRST QUARTER FINANCIAL SUMMARY
The first quarter financial results discussed herein represent performance from continuing operations unless otherwise noted.

Total revenue in the first quarter increased 5% to $2.4 billion, compared to the prior year period driven primarily by 4% organic revenue growth in commissions and fees and 3% increase in commissions and fees related to acquisitions, net of divestitures, partially offset by a 2% unfavorable impact from foreign currency translation.

Total operating expenses increased 10% to $2.0 billion compared to the prior year period due primarily to $144 million of restructuring costs, a $60 million increase in operating expenses related to acquisitions, net of divestitures, and an increase in expense to support 4% organic revenue growth, partially offset by a $42 million favorable impact from currency translation, a $12 million decrease in expense related to certain hedging programs, and $11 million of savings related to restructuring activities and operational initiatives.

Restructuring expenses were $144 million primarily driven by workforce reductions. The Company expects to invest $900 million in total cash over a three-year period, excluding $50 million of non-cash charges, in driving one operating model across the firm. This includes an estimated investment of $700 million of cash restructuring charges and $200 million of capital expenditures. To date, the Company has incurred 19% of the total estimated restructuring charges. 

Restructuring savings in the first quarter related to restructuring activities and other operational initiatives are estimated at $11 million. Before any potential reinvestment of savings, restructuring activities and other operational initiatives are expected to deliver run-rate savings of $400 million annually by the end of 2019.  To date, the Company has achieved 3% of the total estimated restructuring related savings.

Foreign currency exchange rates in the first quarter had an immaterial impact per share, or $1 million pretax unfavorable impact on U.S. GAAP net income, and a $0.01 per share, or $3 million pretax, unfavorable impact on adjusted net income if the Company were to translate prior year quarter results at current quarter foreign exchange rates.

Effective tax rate used in the U.S. GAAP financial statements in the first quarter was 0.1%, compared to the prior year quarter of 15.9%.  After adjusting to exclude the applicable tax impact associated with intangible asset amortization, restructuring charges and anticipated non-cash pension settlements in the fourth quarter, the adjusted effective tax rate for the first quarter of 2017 was 11.1% compared to 15.7% in the prior year quarter, primarily due to a $29 million, or $0.11 per share benefit from the required change in accounting for share-based compensation. The new guidance for share-based compensation requires all excess tax benefits and tax deficiencies to be recognized as income tax expense or benefit in the income statement and treated as discrete items in the reporting period. 

Average diluted shares outstanding decreased to 267.0 million in the first quarter compared to 273.7 million in the prior year quarter. The Company repurchased 1.1 million Class A Ordinary Shares for approximately $125 million in the quarter.  As of March 31, 2017, the Company had $7.7 billion of remaining authorization under its share repurchase program.

FIRST QUARTER CASH FLOW SUMMARY

Cash flow from operations for the first three months of 2017 increased 26%, or $38 million, to $182 million compared to the prior year period, primarily driven by operational improvement, partially offset by $31 million of cash restructuring charges.

Free cash flow, defined as cash flow from operations less capital expenditures, increased 38%, or $41 million, to $148 million for the first three months of 2017 compared to the prior year period, reflecting growth in cash flow from operations and a $3 million decrease in capital expenditures. 

Total organic revenue increased 4% compared to the prior year period primarily driven by strong growth in Health Solutions and Data & Analytic Services.

Commercial Risk Solutions organic revenue increased 2% compared to the prior year period driven by solid growth across the U.S., EMEA, Asia, and Pacific regions, partially offset by a decline in Latin America.

Reinsurance Solutions organic revenue increased 2% compared to the prior year period driven by growth across every product line, including treaty, facultative, and capital markets, partially offset by a modest unfavorable market impact globally.

Retirement Solutions organic revenue increased 3% compared to the prior year period driven by continued growth in investment consulting, primarily for delegated investment management, as well as growth in talent, primarily for compensation and engagement services.

Health Solutions organic revenue increased 14% compared to the prior year period driven by solid growth globally in health & benefits brokerage, including double-digit growth across Asia and EMEA, as well as double-digit growth in health care exchanges driven by follow-on enrollments on the retiree exchange and certain project-related work.

Data & Analytic Services organic revenue increased 5% compared to the prior year period driven by strong growth across Affinity, with particular strength in the U.S. across all product lines.

Compensation and benefits expense increased 9%, or $116 million, compared to the prior year period due primarily to $103 million of restructuring costs, a $38 million increase in operating expenses related to acquisitions, net of divestitures, and an increase in expense associated with 4% organic revenue growth, partially offset by a $29 million favorable impact from currency translation, a $12 million decrease in expense related to certain hedging programs resulting from actions undertaken in consideration of reduced ongoing transactional exposure to the Indian Rupee, and $6 million of savings related to restructuring activities and operational initiatives.

Information technology expense increased 6%, or $5 million, compared to the prior year period due primarily to $3 million of restructuring costs, as well as other infrastructure investments, partially offset by $5 million of savings related to restructuring activities and operational initiatives.

Premises expense increased 2%, or $2 million, compared to the prior year period due primarily to $3 million of restructuring costs.

Depreciation of fixed assets expense increased 42%, or $16 million, compared to the prior year period primarily due to $13 million restructuring costs related to of fixed asset write-offs.

Amortization of intangible assets expense increased 16%, or $6 million, compared to the prior year period primarily due to an increase in intangible asset amortization from previous acquisitions.

Other general expenses increased 14%, or $37 million, compared to the prior year period due primarily to $22 million of restructuring costs and a $13 million increase in operating expenses related to acquisitions, net of divestitures.

FIRST QUARTER INCOME SUMMARY

Certain noteworthy items impacted operating income and operating margins in the first quarters of 2017 and 2016. 

Operating income decreased $77 million, or 18%, compared to the prior year period. Adjusting for certain items detailed on page 10 of this press release, operating income increased 16%, or $73 million, and operating margin increased 220 basis points to 22.3%, each compared to the prior year period. The increase in adjusted operating margin was primarily driven by strong organic revenue growth, return on investments across the portfolio, and $11 million of savings related to restructuring activities and operational initiatives, as well as $12 million, or +50 basis points, favorable impact from reduced expenses related to certain hedging programs, and a +30 basis point favorable impact from foreign currency translation.

Interest income was flat at $2 million compared to the prior year period.  Interest expense increased $1 million to $70 million compared to the prior year period driven by a modest increase in total debt outstanding. Other expense of $10 million primarily includes losses related to the unfavorable impact of exchange rates on the remeasurement of assets and liabilities in non-functional currencies. Other income of $18 million in the prior year period primarily includes gains related to the favorable impact of exchange rates on the remeasurement of assets and liabilities in non-functional currencies.

DISCONTINUED OPERATIONS

Net income from discontinued operations was $40 million, or $0.15 per share, compared to $25 million, or $0.09 per share, in the prior year period.  Net income per share from discontinued operations, adjusted for certain items, was $48 million, or $0.18 per share, similar to the prior year period. 

Conference Call, Presentation Slides and Webcast Details

The Company will host a conference call on Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at 7:30 a.m., central time.  Interested parties can listen to the conference call via a live audio webcast and view the presentation slides at www.aon.com.

 

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BIBA Creates An ‘Adaptation Guide’ To Help Brokers, Insurers And Customers Navigate The Post Insurance Act World

The Insurance Act 2015 came into force almost a year ago and the Enterprise Act 2015 took effect on 4 May 2017 impacting both the placement of commercial insurance and the way claims are considered.

Following on from a survey of members about implementing the new Acts, BIBA, in conjunction with insurance governance specialist, Mactavish has launched its ‘Insurance Act 2015 & Enterprise Act 2016 Adaptation Guide’.

Sponsored once again by Ageas and RSA, the guide launched 10 May 2017 at the BIBA Conference in Manchester and follows the earlier Introduction and Implementation guides.

This latest guide in the series focuses on the adaption issues that, according to the BIBA member survey, brokers and their customers find most challenging.  Taking scenarios from a fictitious case study the guide provides a practical summary of the matters generating concern around ‘Fair Presentation’, ‘Contracting Out’ and ‘Post Loss Conditions’.  It goes on to consider the implication of the Enterprise Act which came into force on 4 May 2017 and what businesses will have to show to take advantage of its provisions in respect of damages for late payment of claims.

Steve White, BIBA Chief Executive said, “These legislative changes are massive and we wanted to understand from our members what they see as the biggest challenges in adapting to them.  The guide has the support of insurers in the shape of our sponsors as well as the ABI, AIRMIC, CII, CILA and LIIBA. Having the insurance market work together will help to bring clarity about adapting to the Acts.”

Bruce Hepburn, Mactavish Chief Executive Officer added; “Former Law Commissioner, David Hertzell, who drafted the Insurance Act helped us bring this guide together. It draws on existing case law to suggest how the Act might be interpreted and concentrates on the real concerns of brokers in acting for their clients when placing commercial business.  Using a business example helps make the issues real and we hope to see a positive conversation in the sector around working together under the Acts.”

The Adaptation guide is printed with a shortened version for businesses to help them understand the duties imposed upon them in the new regime.

François-Xavier Boisseau, CEO at Ageas Insurance Limited, guide sponsor, said: “We knew that the legislative change being brought about by the Acts would present challenges, as highlighted in the practical examples. We’re thrilled to be part of this and Ageas will continue working with and supporting brokers to provide as much clarity as possible in adapting to these changes for both brokers and their customers.”

Stephen Lewis, RSA Insurance Group Plc CEO UK & Western Europe, guide sponsor said: “It’s important that all parties involved in a commercial insurance contract understand the changes brought about by these two new Acts coming into force. We are pleased to support this guide and I welcome the clarity this guide provides to our employees and partners alike.”

Steve White concluded; “Our survey showed the areas which are proving most challenging to navigate but also highlighted that our members do believe the Act will improve professionalism in placement, one of its aims.  The fact that this guide has broad market support points towards it being a key document to bring clarity to the operation of the Acts.”

View the Adaptation Guide here

View the Client Factsheet here 

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Digital Networking Will Be More Important For UK Brokers Than Face-To-Face Within A Decade

Digital networking will become more important for UK brokers than networking face-to-face within the next ten years, according to a survey released by Chubb for the BIBA 2017 conference, where this year’s theme is ‘Connections’.

Sara Mitchell, Head of Corporate Division, UK and Ireland at Chubb, said “Our survey captures brokers at a fascinating moment in time. The results underline that, even in ten years’ time, face to face relationship building will still be extremely important in the middle market.  However, the pendulum is moving very clearly in the direction of online and digital networking and brokers are showing an increasing degree of confidence in their social networking and online skills.”

“The survey also shows that insurers need to work more to improve their effectiveness when it comes to joining up their offerings and capabilities for brokers. However, I am pleased that more than half of the brokers we surveyed say that Chubb is better than most and we will continue to listen carefully to what brokers want from us as we evolve our middle market strategy in the UK.”

The survey of almost 300 British brokers reveals that they expect the percentage of time they devote to digital networking, including on social media, to rise from 30% today to more than 50% in the next decade while face-to-face networking will drop from 70% to slightly less than 50%.

The survey also suggests that while many UK brokers have some work to do in terms of how they realise social media’s full business potential, they are making progress. Asked how effectively their businesses use social media today, 20% describe themselves as “social media savvy”, while 45% say that they are “getting there”. 27% admit they are “slow adopters” and 8% are “technophobes”.

Further exploring the theme of interconnectedness, the survey also considered how well insurance carriers join up their capabilities, for example on product, service and relationship management, to make life easy for brokers and their clients. While 51% feel that insurers are ‘somewhat effective’, a significant minority (44%) say they are ‘not too effective’. Having a single, named point of contact; a clearly communicated risk appetite; and a well-coordinated team are the three top asks from brokers of insurance companies when it comes to interconnectedness.

 

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International Assistance Group And Ace Air & Ambulance New Partnership Guarantees Emergency Medical Care In Zimbabwe

International Assistance Group (IAG), the world’s largest alliance of independent assistance companies, welcomes ACE Air & Ambulance as new IAG Accredited Service Provider in Zimbabwe.

ACE Air & Ambulance are remote African Rescue Experts, offering complete peace of mind solutions to patients needing emergency medical care, whether they are in the remotest regions of Southern Africa, or within busy city centers.

With bases in both Harare and Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe), ACE is strategically positioned to ensure quickest activation times within Southern Africa. Their services include ICU Transfers and Intensive Care Transportation (including newborns), as well as emergency medical training and a range of first aid courses, tailor-made to suit clients in the most challenging of environments.

ACE received the EURAMI accreditation for its fixed wing air ambulance service in 2016 and recently joined the IAG Accredited Service Provider partnership programme, which reaffirms a proven track record in transporting patients, both locally and internationally, with unparalleled expertise and professionalism.

The company’s personnel are registered with the Health Professions Authority (HPA), a regulatory body established for the control of health institutions throughout Zimbabwe, as well as the Allied Health Practitioners Council of Zimbabwe, thus ensuring the provision of high quality emergency medical services to all patients on a 24/7 basis.

The new IAG Accredited Service Providers has three Beechcraft King aircrafts at disposal which are suited to land at airstrips where most other jets cannot land. The aircraft is fully equipped and permanently configured as an ICU air ambulance, readily available for use at any time.

Cécile Hermetz, International Assistance Group (IAG), General Manager mentioned “It is the IAG mission to enable our Partners to always deliver world-class assistance services whenever their customers are. ACE Air & Ambulance brings an expert solution in such an important and difficult region (Southern Africa) that definitively supports us to deliver on our mission.”

Last year, ACE Air & Ambulance handled 200 air evacuations and 2,500 ground ambulance mission calls.

ACE Air & Ambulance services include: Advanced Critical Care, Fixed Wing Aeromedical Services, Fully Equipped ICU Ground Ambulance Services, Complete Medical Case Management, Accredited Training Academy with the Resuscitation Council Southern Africa, Paramedic Training, Remote Field Paramedic Stations, amongst others.

 

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Milestone For European Air Ambulance With Completion Of Fleet Renewal Programme

European Air Ambulance (EAA) has marked an important milestone, with the completion of its fleet renewal programme. It’s the culmination of a major investment and renewal project that started in 2011 when EAA began upgrading its smaller Learjet 35As to Learjet 45XRs, as part of its strategy to increase capacity and service flexibility.

EAA Director of Sales and Marketing, Patrick Schomaker said, “This is the successful completion of a project we started in 2011, when we began to renew our fleet by upgrading from Learjet35A to Learjet45XR. The whole team is delighted that the upgrade is complete, as it brings so many advantages to our operations, and most importanly to the service we can provide to our clients and the patients in our care. Our fully harmonised and uniform fleet brings a synergy to our operations, combining the very best medical care for patients with the cost-effectiveness and availability our clients are looking for. While our modernised fleet gives us great confidence going forward, we will however not rest on our laurels. We are constantly looking for new projects to further develop and improve the services we can offer to our clients.”

The size, speed and high specification of the larger aircraft make them ideal for aeromedical missions worldwide, particularly the flexible configuration options that can accommodate two intensive care patients, as well as medics, passengers and equipment.

All EAA’s aircraft act as in-transit critical-care units, and the award-winning air ambulance provider took delivery of its fifth Learjet45XR (registration LX-LAR) just a few weeks ago, following the recent sale of its last remaining Learjet35A (registration LX-TWO).

All five aircraft, which are fully owned and controlled by EAA and dedicated to medical air ambulance services, fly missions worldwide from headquarters in Luxembourg. The larger aircraft - with high-tech interiors custom-designed in-house and equipped with the most advanced medical kit – offer a greater range of possible configurations, including double intensive care or single stretcher options as required. They also offer improved comfort and privacy; more room to accommodate patients, passengers, crew and kit, including neonatal equipment, EAA’s infectious disease module, and a unique stretcher system for heavier-weight patients; an improved service to remote or challenging areas; and greater cost-effectiveness for clients by reducing flight minutes, length of fuel stops, and maintenance costs.

RELATED READING: International Medical Evacuation And Repatriation Strategies 2016

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iPMI Magazine IPMI Provider Network Directory Company Guide May 2017

Buying international private medical insurance is a complex decision and finding the right insurer is crucial. That is why iPMI Magazine helps you ensure providers in our directory are all brands we are proud to represent. For more info on any IPMI plan or provider please contact us.

In a foreign country simple things like shopping can be a chore due to language and cultural barriers. Do not risk your life and health - you will need an international private medical health insurance plan that covers all eventualities. 

Featuring Aetna International, Bellwood Prestbury, Cigna Global IPMI, DavidShield, Generali Global Health, GeoBlue, Globality Health, Healthcare International, Integra Global, Pacific Cross International and Wellaway.

The Advantages Of International Private Medical Insurance (IPMI)

Choosing the right international private medical and health insurance coverage plan is critical for expatriates, offshore workers, tourists and business travellers. If you're live, travel or work abroad then you will need the best access to private medical facilities and international medical insurance all year around. iPMI Magazine represents an eclectic mix and has a choice of specialist international private medical, health, expatriate and travel insurance companies allowing you to compare overseas international private medical insurance coverage and plans that may suit you and your family. 

GREGOR SCHULTE, GLOBALITY HEALTH: The list of advantages of a well designed International Private Medical Insurance plan is headed by the customer confidence it engenders through adequate cover regardless of the country of residence of the policyholder. Also the non-medical benefits such as advice and assistance in navigating the local language and customs, provides comfort at times of stress. In order to provide adequate assistance it is imperative that international companies also have local knowledge and a local service offering. On the flip-side, iPMI should not have any comparative or substantive disadvantages when compared to local schemes. Of course, price is generally higher but when value is considered this disadvantage quickly recedes.

ANDREW APPS, BELLWOOD PRESTBURY: International medical insurance plans are designed to be more comprehensive in terms of the cover provided and to work outside any local state healthcare systems. This does of course mean that the premiums will be higher and is often the main barrier for the expatriate, who may be tempted instead to opt for a local or travel policy believing it to offer similar benefits.

With a market of more than 57 million expatriates, there is still great confusion whether travel insurance or IPMI is the right solution. Travel insurance provides good emergency coverage for short-term travel, but is rarely sufficient for longer periods. On the other hand, traditional IPMI plans can often include unnecessary benefits such as routine dental or maternity coverage, resulting in a high-premiums.

As a leading global insurance specialist, Bellwood Prestbury has considerable experience in arranging international medical, high-risk and complex insurance cover for companies and organisations throughout the world. As experts in our field we work closely with IPMI providers to help reduce the day to day administration

headache many clients face. We proactively manage their employee benefit programmes which in turn helps to strengthen the relationship between client and insurer.

PHIL AUSTIN, CIGNA: International plans are much more suitable for expatriates living abroad. Whilst they can be more expensive than local plans, cover levels will usually be much higher. A good international plan will provide cover for evacuation and repatriation, meaning that if the insurer agrees that treatment cannot be provided locally to the sufficient standard, the customer has the option to be taken back to their home country or a nearby centre of medical excellence for their treatment. Another big advantage is that international plans are portable. If the expatriate pays a visit back home during their stay, or travels to another country, they will continue to be covered. If the expatriate plans to move to a different country after their assignment finishes, they avoid the risk of having to be re-underwritten and having any new medical conditions excluded by simply transporting their existing plan.

SHIRLEY PUCCINO, GEOBLUE: A well designed iPMI plan will allow the employer to cover globally and delivery locally. The best insurers will have the global expertise to provide plans that function well in multiple markets yet provide the flexibility to allow for localised customs and practices. Expats have needs and expectations both locally and globally, so integrating global cover and services with the best local option(s) is the ideal solution.

Searching the internet for more international medical and private health care insurance industry data on the most important international medical insurance players in the industry?

Check out the latest IPMI report, International and Expatriate Healthcare And Insurance 2016, click here.

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Allianz Expands Tuition Protection Offerings To Colleges And Universities

Allianz Global Assistance has announced new tuition protection plans to improve financial security for students and their families. The company is partnering with colleges and universities to offer the plans to students to increase access to reimbursements for tuition and fees when students have to leave school for a sudden covered illness, injury or other covered circumstance. The expanded plan options are part of an effort to join with institutions and help protect the 21 million college students who spend nearly $500 billion every year on their education.

"A significant number of students are forced to leave school because of an unexpected illness, injury or serious mental health issue sometime during their college career—creating a significant financial loss for students and their families," said Joe Mason, Chief Marketing Officer of Allianz Global Assistance USA. "Our protection plans can reimburse lost tuition and fees, offering families a financial lifeline while improving the student experience by providing a family-friendly solution to sudden withdrawals."

To help offer these new protection plans to more students and universities around the country, Allianz Global Assistance is partnering with GradGuard™, a leading provider of student protection programs at more than 200 colleges and universities.

"Schools can rely on these robust new plans to deliver a modern form of tuition protection that is designed specifically with the interests of the student and the tuition payer in mind," said John Fees, co-founder of GradGuard. "Backed by the world-class service of Allianz Global Assistance, participating schools can now help the families they serve save money and protect their investment in a college education."

Partnering schools will have the ability to customize a tuition protection program to best fit the needs of their students, with each plan covering in-state and out-of-state students in accredited public and private institutions.  Tuition insurance helps colleges to provide a better withdrawal experience by covering non-refundable tuition, housing, and fees in the event a student needs to unexpectedly withdraw following a covered illness, injury, mental health disorder, or other covered reason.

A January 2017 national survey completed by 107 college and university bursars and student accounts representatives revealed that 45 percent of respondents reported increased withdrawal rates due to illness, while 74 percent said they do not currently offer tuition insurance.

"Tuition insurance may offer a remedy to the growing problem of unexpected withdrawals," said Mason. "Tuition insurance can ensure families won't lose their non-refundable tuition and fees following a covered unexpected illness but also may help universities avoid potential health records privacy issues since Allianz Global Assistance manages all claims for reimbursement."

While most college and universities do not offer a full tuition refund past the early part of the semester, 80 percent of bursars and student account representatives agreed that it would be wise to help families protect themselves from unexpected financial losses, with 85 percent saying that tuition insurance should be as easy to purchase as travel insurance.

"It's important that students understand their school's reimbursement policy and consider tuition insurance as a way to save money and gain valuable protection against a significant loss," said Mason. "Tuition is a significant investment for most families and it should be protected just like other large investments such as homes and cars."

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Fewer Americans Are Considering Travel To Cuba

A year since the U.S. government's easing of travel restrictions to Cuba, an annual survey* by Allianz Global Assistance is reporting that Americans are less interested in taking a trip to the country than in 2016.

The 2017 survey showed that 40 percent of Americans would be interested in taking a trip to Cuba (two percent fewer than in 2016) while the easing of travel restrictions made just 26 percent of Americans more interested in visiting the country (nine percent fewer than 2016). Seventy-six percent reported being unlikely to plan a trip to Cuba (six percent more than 2016).

While safety concerns (38 percent in 2017/ six percent lower than in 2016) and fear of communist government (12 percent in 2017/ three percent lower than in 2016) were major anxieties for Americans in 2016, those worries appear to be weakening this year. Instead, lack of information on Cuba's travel experiences (22 percent in 2017/ four percent higher than in 2016), travel infrastructure (13 percent in 2017/ one percent higher than in 2016) and internet/mobile connectivity (nine percent in 2017/ two percent higher than in 2016) are the factors making Americans less interested and likely to travel to Cuba.

Resorts and beaches (32 percent/ one percent less than in 2016) remain the hot ticket items that would make Americans most interested and likely to travel to Cuba. That is still ahead of Cuba's cultural attractions (23 percent/ one percent less than in 2016), Cuban food and rum (13 percent/ two percent higher than in 2016), the Cuban people (nine percent/ three percent less than in 2016), classic 1950s American cars (nine percent/ same as 2016), Cuban cigars (seven percent/ two percent higher than in 2016) and family and friends (seven percent/ two percent higher than in 2016).

The survey also measured sentiment and discovered that 34 percent of Americans think Cuba has changed for the better because of as a result of the U.S. having eased travel restrictions to the country.

"Our survey found that merely two percent of Americans think they will go to Cuba in the next six months, two percent believe they will make it there by the end of 2017 and 10 percent think they will go sometime in 2018," said Daniel Durazo, director of communications at Allianz Global Assistance USA. "Airlines continue to change their services to Cuba, while cruise lines are revving up sailings to the island. It will be interesting to see how this affects visitors' interest. It may be having initial effects as Allianz's cruise survey from earlier in the year showed that 17 percent of Americans felt the recent announcements of cruise lines adding sailings to Cuba made them more interested in visiting the country."

The survey also found that 15 percent of Americans believe the peace of mind of having travel insurance would make them more interested in traveling to Cuba.

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Cigna Reports Strong First Quarter 2017 Results

Cigna Corporation has reported strong first quarter 2017 results driven by continued execution of its proven strategy, and highlighted by earnings growth in each of Cigna's business segments over first quarter 2016.

“Cigna's strong first quarter performance reflects the value we are delivering to our customers and clients through affordable, high-quality and personalized solutions,” said David M. Cordani, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We expect continued positive momentum and growth across targeted customer segments, fueled by ongoing investments in innovative products and services.”

Total revenues in the quarter were $10.4 billion, an increase of 5% over first quarter 2016, driven by continued strong business growth in Cigna's Commercial Healthcare and Global Supplemental Benefits segments, partially offset by contraction, as expected, in our Seniors business.

For the first quarter of 2017, shareholders’ net income was $598 million, or $2.30 per share, compared with $519 million, or $2.00 per share, for the first quarter of 2016.

Cigna's adjusted income from operations for first quarter of 2017 was $719 million, or $2.77 per share, compared with $601 million, or $2.32 per share, for the first quarter of 2016. This represents per share growth of 19% and reflects continued strong contributions from each of our business segments.

Global Health Care

This segment includes Cigna’s Commercial and Government businesses that deliver medical and specialty health care products and services to domestic and multi-national clients and customers using guaranteed cost, retrospectively experience-rated and administrative services only (“ASO”) funding arrangements. Specialty health care includes behavioral, dental, disease and medical management, stop loss and pharmacy-related products and services.

  • Global Health Care delivered strong results in the first quarter, reflecting consistent performance in well-positioned growth businesses.
  • First quarter 2017 premiums and fees increased 4% relative to first quarter 2016, driven by customer growth and specialty contributions in our Commercial business, partially offset by, as expected, reductions in Government customers.
  • The medical customer base at the end of the first quarter 2017 totaled 15.7 million, including an increase of 537,000 customers in the quarter driven by organic growth in all of our Commercial market segments.
  • First quarter 2017 adjusted income from operations and adjusted margin, after-tax reflect medical and specialty business growth, continued effective medical cost management, and favorable prior-year reserve development.
  • Adjusted income from operations for first quarter 2017 and first quarter 2016 included favorable prior year reserve development on an after-tax basis of $61 million and $14 million, respectively.
  • The Total Commercial medical care ratio (“MCR”) of 77.6% for first quarter 2017 reflects the consistent strong performance of our Commercial employer business and favorable prior year reserve development. The increase over first quarter 2016 reflects the impact of the health insurance tax moratorium.
  • The Total Government MCR of 85.9% for first quarter 2017 reflects the seasonal impacts of Medicare Part D as well as favorable prior year reserve development.
  • First quarter 2017 Global Health Care operating expense ratio of 20.5% reflects the impact of the health insurance tax moratorium, business mix changes, and continued effective expense management.
  • Global Health Care net medical costs payable was approximately $2.51 billion at March 31, 2017 and $2.26 billion at December 31, 2016.
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iPMI Magazine publishes daily regular breaking international private medical insurance and emergency medical assistance industry news, reports, features and business intelligence for expatriate, business and leisure travel markets globally.

The latest iPMI industry news, commentary, data and analysis from executive appointments and movements, company results and awards, new IPMI plans cover and products, risk management, disaster recovery and preparedness, information technology, travel warnings, air ground ambulance and medical transportation, international medical and travel assistance, third party administration, medical cost containment, medical claims management, international hospital and clinics, reinsurance, mergers and acquisitions, expat life and expatriate healthcare insurance, travel and travel insurance plus aviation and airlines - we have you covered.