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

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Bupa 2020 Group Half Year Financial Results

Key points

  • Half Year 2020 results reflect the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic across all of Bupa, although the operational impact varied by line of business and by geography
  • Disruption caused by COVID-19 to our healthcare provision and aged care businesses during the period, along with reduced investment earnings, more than offset the improved profit performance in our insurance businesses
  • Our priority has been to focus on the welfare of our customers, our people and society, and play our part in government and public health responses to COVID-19
  • Revenue1 £5.8bn, down 3% at AER (2019: £6bn); flat at constant exchange rates2 (CER) (2019: £5.8bn)
  • Statutory profit before taxation £153m, down £54m at actual exchange rates (AER) (2019 profit before taxation: £207m)
  • Underlying profit before taxation3 £140m, down 28% at AER (2019: £195m); down 26% at CER (2019: £190m)
  • Solvency II capital coverage ratio4 of 169% (FY 2019: 159%)

Evelyn Bourke, Group CEO, commented, "Our results reflect the disruption caused by COVID-19 across our businesses. I am very proud of how our people have responded to the challenge of the pandemic. They have focused on our customers, while contributing to national responses, often in the toughest of circumstances.

Across our insurance businesses, claims temporarily reduced due to restrictions on access to hospitals. We expanded telehealth and digital healthcare services so customers could continue to access care. In insurance, we have reserved prudently as we expect to pay increased claims as our customers access treatments delayed by lockdowns. As restrictions have started to ease, we have reopened our healthcare provision services, with the requisite safety measures in place, and activity levels are returning.

COVID-19 means we are operating in a time of significant uncertainty. We are actively managing our financial position, ensuring Bupa remains financially strong, so we can continue to invest in organic growth in our chosen markets, in technology capabilities and operational resilience.”

Market performance5 (CER)

  • Australia and New Zealand: revenue up by 4% to £2,238m at CER with the new Australian Defence Force (ADF) contract driving growth. Underlying profit was £49m, a decrease of 35% at CER driven by losses in our Australian aged care businesses mainly due to occupancy challenges arising from the previously reported compliance issues which we have been successfully addressing, and from COVID-19, along with higher costs of operations.
  • Europe and Latin America: revenue up by 3% to £1,827m and underlying profit growth of 1% to £73m at CER mainly driven by growth in our insurance businesses offset by how our provision and aged care businesses were impacted by lockdowns and restrictions caused by COVID-19.
  • Bupa Global and UK: revenue was down by 7% to £1,532m, with underlying profit down 58% to £22m at CER mainly due to the impact of COVID-19 related lockdowns and restrictions, particularly in our aged care, dental and clinics businesses.
  • Other businesses:Revenue is stable at £243m. Underlying profit is up 89% to £34m, mainly reflecting the growth in Bupa Arabia.

Financial position

  • Net cash generated from operating activities was £843m, up £454m on prior year (2019: £389m) reflecting the delay in claims outflows in the first half
  • Solvency II capital coverage ratio of 169% (FY 2019: 159%)
  • Leverage ratio of 27.3% (FY 2019: 25.1%). Leverage is 34.4% (FY 2019: 32.7%) when IFRS 16 lease liabilities are taken into account
  • In March, Fitch downgraded Bupa Finance plc’s Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (LT IDR) to ‘A-’ from ‘A’, and senior and unguaranteed subordinated bonds to BBB+ and BBB- respectively. In April, Moody’s affirmed the senior and subordinated debt ratings of Bupa Finance plc, while changing outlook from stable to negative

Operational responses to COVID-19

Our focus on our customers and our people, together with the continued emphasis on Bupa’s values, was an important foundation of our response to the pandemic.

  • In health insurance, we accelerated our telehealth and digital healthcare services so customers could continue to access care and advice. We also took targeted action in our markets such as removing pandemic exclusions as they relate to COVID-19, delaying approved premium increases, reviewing excess clauses, and supporting those experiencing financial hardship.
  • In health provision, our hospitals and clinics supported the national public health response across different countries, treating COVID-19 patients and providing capacity to the public health systems. Our hospitals in Spain, Poland and Chile treated thousands of COVID-19 patients as part of the national responses. In Spain, we doubled the number of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds and constructed two field hospitals. In the UK, the Cromwell Hospital treated cancer and cardiology patients on behalf of the NHS, and some of our clinical staff were deployed to the NHS 111 helpline. Although many of our dental practices were closed for a period in line with local public health advice, we kept services open for emergency treatments.
  • In our four aged care businesses we have supported and cared for residents, while ensuring our people could operate safely, always working in close collaboration with local health authorities.
  • Our people have played a huge part in the COVID-19 response, working on the front line to support customers and contribute to the national responses. We swiftly enacted remote working capabilities wherever possible, and nearly all our people worldwide have been able to continue to work effectively through the pandemic.

Operational highlights

  • Our total number of health insurance customers grew to 18m (FY 2019: 17.5m)
  • In June, we enhanced our liquidity and capital position through two bond issues together raising £650m
  • In June, we announced an agreement to increase our shareholding in Bupa Arabia by 4% to 43.25%
  • We sharpened our focus on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) priorities with the creation of a Healthy Communities Fund

1 Revenues from associate businesses are excluded from reported figures. Customer numbers and economic share of post-tax profits from our associate businesses are included.

2 All figures are at constant exchange rates (CER) unless stated. We use CER to compare trading performance in a consistent manner to the prior year. We have restated 2019 results to 2020 average exchange rates.

Underlying profit is a non-GAAP financial measure. This means it is not comparable to other companies. Underlying profit reflects our trading performance and excludes a number of items included in statutory profit before taxation, to facilitate year-on-year comparison. These items include impairment of intangible assets and goodwill arising on business combinations, as well as market movements such as gains or losses on foreign exchange, on return-seeking assets, on property revaluations and other material items not considered part of trading performance. A reconciliation to statutory profit before taxation can be found in the notes to the condensed consolidated financial statements.

The 2020 Solvency II capital coverage ratio is an estimate and unaudited.

At the 2019 half year, we announced the simplification of our organisation into three Market Units: Australia and New Zealand; Europe and Latin America; and Bupa Global and UK. We are reporting in accordance with this new structure and have restated our comparator results, where applicable.

Proposed Transfer Of CS Healthcare’s Private Medical Insurance Members And Business To Bupa

Bupa and CS Healthcare are announcing a proposed transfer of CS Healthcare’s members and business to Bupa.

CS Healthcare is a Friendly Society with approximately 18,500 members and was originally established in 1929 to provide health insurance cover for members of the UK Civil Service. Bupa is the UK’s leading health insurer, established in 1947, and its purpose is to help people live longer, healthier happier lives.

The proposed transfer offers a number of benefits to CS Healthcare’s members. Bupa is well known for the standards of care it provides and has a strong commitment to maintain the highest level of customer service in the industry. Bupa’s strong financial position and presence in the health insurance market offers confidence in its sustainability and the ability to deliver affordable premiums over the long-term.

If the transfer is approved, following their first or second policy renewal, CS Healthcare members will benefit from greater access to even more health and wellbeing support including Bupa’s specialist support for cancer* and cardiac care, digital GP service, and direct access to treatment for a wide range of conditions without needing to see a GP first. They’ll also benefit from Bupa’s market-leading mental health cover, to support this important aspect of their health.

Over the last few years, CS Healthcare has been impacted by rising healthcare and administration costs and increased costs of regulatory compliance. This has led to premiums increasing and more customers leaving CS Healthcare than joining, impacting sustainability.

Subject to regulatory approval, clearance from competition authorities and approval by CS Healthcare’s members at its AGM in September, the transfer is due to complete towards the end of 2020.

Alex Perry, CEO, Bupa Insurance said, “We’re very pleased that CS Healthcare has chosen Bupa to care for its members into the future. Bupa has been in discussions with the CS Healthcare Board and management for some time, and it’s clear that our organisations share similar values and cultures, with a strong long-term commitment to putting customers first.

“We work hard to deliver the best healthcare for our customers. The transfer will give CS Healthcare members access to Bupa’s leading health expertise and pioneering support services to help them stay in control of their physical and mental health, including our enhanced range of healthcare services that can be accessed from home.”

Tom Gidaracos, Chief Executive, CS Healthcare said, “We are committed to ensuring our members have assured medical insurance and continuity of cover for their futures.

“Changes in the private medical insurance market over the past two decades, as well as increased regulation and costs in the insurance industry mean that CS Healthcare’s members would benefit from joining a larger organisation.

“Bupa will provide added security, continuity of cover and enhanced benefits to CS Healthcare members. As an organisation with no shareholders, and a similar ethos, we’re confident it’s the right home for our members and their future.”

For more information please visit the Bupa website

* where customers have chosen to include cancer cover.

AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings Of Mercantil Seguros y Reaseguros, S.A.

AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of B++ (Good) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “bbb” of Mercantil Seguros y Reaseguros, S.A. (Mercantil Seguros) (Panama). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.

The ratings reflect Mercantil Seguros’ balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as strongest, as well as its adequate operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

Mercantil Seguros’ balance sheet strength is underpinned by its risk-adjusted capitalization, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR), which is at the strongest level. The ratings also reflect the company’s well-structured reinsurance program, sound underwriting practices and conservative investment strategy. Partially offsetting these positive rating factors is Mercantil Seguros’ relatively small size within Panama´s insurance industry.

Mercantil Seguros is a Panama-based (re)insurer established in 2013, with net premiums written composed of health (54%); miscellaneous (24%); and auto (19%), as of year-end 2019. The company, which is part of Mercantil Group’s international companies, controlled by the ultimate parent, Mercantil Servicios Financieros Internacional, S.A., operates in Panama through a network of brokers and direct distribution channels. Mercantil Seguros also performs as a retrocessionaire for reinsurance business sourced in Venezuela, driven by reinsurance brokers.

Mercantil Seguros’ risk-adjusted capitalization stands at the strongest level and is supportive of its current ratings. The company has increased capital at a 57% compound annual growth rate since it began operation, supported by positive bottom-line results, driven by a consistent inflow of underwriting and investment income, as well as a capital infusion. A well-balanced reinsurance program placed among counterparties of strong credit quality also reinforces the company’s risk-adjusted capitalization.

In AM Best’s view, Mercantil Seguros has shown sound underwriting practices, characterized by overall premium sufficiency levels. A combined ratio of 62% in 2019 was enabled through well-underwritten risks by group companies, thereby containing claims expenses. Additionally, consistent reinsurance profits, which offset acquisition costs, continue to support the company´s profitability, as evidenced by a return on equity and return on assets of 21.6% and 14.7%, respectively, in 2019.

AM Best expects the company’s current geographic diversification to further improve through distribution channel synergies provided by the overall organization in the near to midterm, enabling Mercantil Seguros to expand its Panama-sourced business while diminishing dependence on its Venezuela-sourced business.

Positive factors that could result in positive rating action include improvements in geographic diversification in combination with sustained profitability, while maintaining risk-adjusted capitalization at the strongest level. Factors that could lead to negative rating action include protracted adverse underwriting performance that leads to a significant deterioration in its risk-adjusted capitalization, or political turmoil that affects Venezuela-sourced business.

FINEOS Acquires Limelight Health

FINEOS Corporation has entered into an agreement to acquire Limelight Health, a leading North American provider of quoting, rating and underwriting solutions for group and voluntary employee benefits, for $75M US.

The union will provide an end-to-end SaaS core product suite from quote, rate and underwrite through to billing, policy administration, absence and claims management for the global life, accident, and health industry.

Michael Kelly, CEO of FINEOS, said: “We’re delighted to welcome the Limelight Health team and their clients to FINEOS, and we look forward to accelerating our combined growth for the benefit of all of our clients, people and partners. This acquisition delivers more product options for our clients as they accelerate their digital transformations and reduce their reliance on legacy core systems. Together we are over 1,000 people with our total focus on helping life, accident, and health carriers to serve their clients and customers with superior insurance technology.”

“The North American employee benefits industry is undergoing tremendous change which is accelerating due to the competitive and regulatory environment as well as the constant advance of technology capabilities,” adds Kelly. “Limelight Health is a rapidly growing Silicon Valley Insurtech with strong roots and competence in the employee benefits industry. They have a collaborative and inclusive culture with a powerful product that has been selected and deployed with leading Tier 1 North American carriers. They are aligned with our FINEOS culture, market focus and technology platform, and we are excited to combine with the Limelight Health team to accelerate our combined growth in North America and globally.”

“This acquisition combines two of the most modern systems in the market today to offer customers a flexible SaaS platform that keeps them future-ready,” said Jason T. Andrew, CEO of Limelight Health. “Joining with FINEOS makes the most of our extensive experience in group benefits and our strong customer base in the US to support our expansion into individual insurance and global markets. Our customers will be able to depend on our combined team with a strong presence in North America, Europe, and Asia. The two companies share similar collaborative values, which will assist us in rapidly and successfully integrating.”

Limelight Health solutions streamline and automate the sales and underwriting functions for group benefits insurers, enabling carriers to win more business with faster, more accurate proposals and an online broker interface. The suite of products for rating, underwriting, and quoting will be available as an optional component of FINEOS AdminSuite, while continuing to be available to the market as a standalone SaaS product solution which readily integrates with third-party and legacy core solutions.

FINEOS and Limelight Health have already built integrations between their products to enable joint go-to-market and system delivery to meet their clients’ needs. This acquisition will enable deeper integration and make it easier to do business with the unified company. The objective is to provide a strong and seamless user experience to everyone inside and outside the carrier’s business operations, making the FINEOS Platform an even more attractive offering to the employee benefits industry.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to complete quickly. As FINEOS and Limelight Health integrate the business over the coming months, the priority will be to continue to operate on a business as usual basis in order to meet customer needs.

Teladoc Health And Livongo Merge To Create New Standard In Global Healthcare Delivery

Teladoc Health and Livongo has announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement.

This merger represents a transformational opportunity to improve the delivery, access and experience of healthcare for consumers around the world. The highly complementary organizations will combine to create substantial value across the healthcare ecosystem, enabling clients everywhere to offer high quality, personalized, technology-enabled longitudinal care that improves outcomes and lowers costs across the full spectrum of health.

Under the terms of the agreement, which has been unanimously approved by the Board of Directors of each company, each share of Livongo will be exchanged for 0.5920x shares of Teladoc Health plus cash consideration of $11.33 for each Livongo share, representing a value of $18.5 billion based on the closing price of Teladoc Health shares as of August 4, 2020. Upon completion of the merger, existing Teladoc Health shareholders will own approximately 58 percent and existing Livongo shareholders will own approximately 42 percent of the combined company.

The combination of Teladoc Health and Livongo creates a global leader in consumer centered virtual care. The company will have expected 2020 pro forma revenue of approximately $1.3 billion, representing year over year pro forma growth of 85 percent. Demonstrating the power of the combined platform and the scalability of the data driven and virtual ethos, the combined company is expected to have pro forma Adjusted EBITDA of over $120 million for 2020.

“This merger firmly establishes Teladoc Health at the forefront of the next-generation of healthcare,” said Jason Gorevic, CEO of Teladoc Health. “Livongo is a world-class innovator we deeply admire and has demonstrated success improving the lives of people living with chronic conditions. Together, we will further transform the healthcare experience from preventive care to the most complex cases, bringing ‘whole person’ health to consumers and greater value to our clients and shareholders as a result.”

“This highly strategic combination will create the leader in consumer-centered virtual care and provides a unique opportunity to further accelerate the growth of our data-driven member platform and experience,” said Glen Tullman, Livongo Founder and Executive Chairman. “By expanding the reach of Livongo’s pioneering Applied Health Signals platform and building on Teladoc Health’s end-to-end virtual care platform, we’ll empower more people to live better and healthier lives. This transaction recognizes Livongo’s significant progress and will enable Livongo shareholders to benefit from long-term upside as the combined company is positioned to serve an even larger addressable market with a truly unmatched offering.”

Strategic and financial benefits of the combination

  • The combination joins two highly complementary companies to create an unmatched, comprehensive platform for virtual healthcare delivery. By bringing together leaders in virtual health and chronic condition management, the merger combines comprehensive clinical expertise with a rich technology and data-driven experience; prevention and chronic condition management with acute and specialty care; behavior change expertise with data science; global footprint with products meeting global need; access with innovation and two of the fastest growing companies in health technology.

  • Combining clinical expertise with deeper, more comprehensive consumer health insights to deliver the highest quality care and improve outcomes. The transaction combines Teladoc Health’s broad integrated services across virtual care with Livongo’s data-driven approach to providing actionable, personalized, and timely health signals to create a comprehensive virtual healthcare delivery system. The combined company’s platform will feature the full range of health support – from AI+AI engine-driven “nudges” and health coaches to therapists and board-certified physicians and the world’s leading specialists – available anytime, anywhere to ensure the right care is always delivered.

  • Focusing on prevention as a critical lever for reimagining healthcare delivery. Together, Teladoc Health and Livongo will empower consumers to proactively manage their wellbeing with the help of a single, comprehensive partner across the full spectrum of health, whether they are at-risk of, or living with, chronic conditions or need acute care. By tapping into data and care anytime, anywhere, consumers will have real-time information and guidance to stay healthy and avoid the unchecked progression of illness.

  • Joining two leaders in consumer behavior change, bringing millions more consumers into virtual care and building even deeper consumer and provider relationships. Teladoc Health’s flywheel approach to continued member engagement combined with Livongo’s proven track record of using data science to build consumer trust will accelerate the combined company’s development of longitudinal consumer and provider relationships.

  • Expanding Teladoc Health’s portfolio and footprint with Livongo’s leadership in addressing underpenetrated and underserved chronic condition populations. Teladoc Health’s global reach, including 70 million customers in the United States, and significant access to high growth segments in that market (e.g., Medicare and Medicaid) give Livongo a stronger platform to reach millions of new consumers, at risk of, or living with chronic disease.

  • Complementary cultures and operating philosophies that put a premium on health equity. Teladoc Health has long focused on virtual care as the “great equalizer” expanding access to underserved communities facing negative social determinants of health. With Livongo’s focus on chronic conditions, which disproportionately impacts underserved communities, the combined company will be positioned to make meaningful progress on addressing long-standing disparities.

  • Significant shareholder value creation and revenue acceleration opportunities. The combined company is positioned to execute quantified opportunities to drive revenue synergies of $100 million by the end of the second year following the close, reaching $500 million on a run rate basis by 2025. These opportunities include increased cross-selling and penetration into each company’s client base. They also include accelerating Livongo’s international expansion through Teladoc Health’s existing footprint, improving combined company member retention rates and driving more efficient enrollment. In addition to the quantified synergies, the combination offers significant unquantified synergies by enabling new care models and next generation solution opportunities. As a result of efficiencies, the combined company is expected to achieve cost synergies of $60 million by the end of the second year following the close, which can be reinvested to drive topline growth and margin expansion.

Leadership & Governance

Jason Gorevic, current CEO of Teladoc Health, will be the CEO of the combined company. Led by Teladoc Health chairman, David Snow, the newly combined Teladoc Health Board of Directors will be composed of eight members of the Teladoc Health Board and five members of the Livongo Board.

Additional Transaction Details

The transaction is expected to close by the end of Q4 2020, subject to regulatory and Teladoc Health and Livongo shareholder approvals and other customary closing conditions. The newly combined company will be called Teladoc Health and will be headquartered in Purchase, New York.

Advisors

Lazard served as exclusive financial advisor to Teladoc Health and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP served as legal advisor.

Morgan Stanley served as exclusive financial advisor to Livongo and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP served as legal advisor.

AXA Half Year 2020 Earnings

  • Total revenues* down 2% to Euro 52.4 billion
  • Underlying earnings** down 48% to Euro 1.9 billion, or up 1% excl. Covid-19 claims*** and EQH****
  • Covid-19 claims*** estimated 2020 UE** impact confirmed at Euro 1.5 billion and booked in 1H20
  • Solvency II ratio***** at 180%, debt gearing** down to 27.6%, and cash remittance of Euro 4.9 billion
  • No exceptional distribution of reserves in 4Q20 following ACPR’s July 28 communication

THOMAS BUBERL, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF AXA comments, “In the first half of 2020, AXA demonstrated its resilience in the challenging context of the Covid-19 pandemic. Revenues were down 2%, to Euro 52 billion, reflecting strong growth in the first quarter offset by lower business activity in the second quarter. Growth in Health remained strong throughout the first six months of the year, at +9%, and price increases in P&C Commercial lines continued to accelerate.

The Group’s underlying earnings were Euro 1.9 billion, down 48%, and were up 1% excluding Covid-19 claims*** and the disposal of Equitable Holdings. The impact of Covid-19 on AXA’s earnings was in line with our previously published guidance. Commercial lines were the most impacted, notably at AXA XL. The rest of the Group was resilient, with the impacts from Covid-19 claims largely offset by lower frequency in Motor and growth in Health and Asset Management.

AXA’s Solvency II ratio was resilient at 180%, its debt gearing was reduced by 1.2 points to 27.6%, and cash remittance amounted to Euro 4.9 billion, confirming the strength of the Group’s balance sheet in volatile market conditions.

AXA’s strategic vision and business profile shift are more relevant than ever, notably with its growing and profitable Health business, and an unparalleled opportunity to benefit from the hardening pricing cycle in P&C Commercial lines. With a clear focus on technical risks, the Group is well positioned for a prolonged period of low interest rates.

The Covid-19 pandemic has shown the critical role of insurance in protecting societies and supporting economic recovery. This conviction is encapsulated in our new purpose ‘Acting for human progress by protecting what matters’. As a global insurance leader and investor, the Group continues to take ambitious measures to meet the major challenges of our time, aligning post-Covid recovery strategies with our long-standing commitment to facilitate the green economy transition.

Our people are key to the Group’s performance, and I wish to thank all our employees, agents and partners, for their unwavering commitment to provide support and undisrupted service to our clients during these challenging times."

*Change in gross revenues is on a comparable basis (constant forex, scope and methodology).

**Underlying earnings (“UE”), underlying earnings per share (“UEPS”), underlying combined ratio, adjusted earnings, adjusted return on equity and debt gearing are non-GAAP financial measures, or alternative performance measures (“APMs”). A reconciliation from APMs adjusted earnings, underlying earnings and underlying combined ratio to the most directly reconcilable line item, subtotal or total in the financial statements of the corresponding period is provided on pages 19 and 20 of the Half-Year 2020 Financial Report. APMs adjusted return on equity and underlying earnings per share are reconciled to the financial statements in the table set forth on page 26 of the Half-Year 2020 Financial Report. The calculation methodology of the debt gearing is set out on page 22 of the Half-Year 2020 Financial Report. The above-mentioned and other non-GAAP financial measures used in this press release are defined in the Glossary set forth on pages 60 to 67 of the Half-Year 2020 Financial Report.

***“Covid-19 claims” includes P&C, L&S and Health net claims related to Covid-19, as well as the impacts from solidarity measures and from lower volumes net of expenses, linked to Covid-19. “Covid-19 claims” does not include any financial market impacts (including impacts on investment margin, unit-linked and asset management fees, etc.) relating to the Covid-19 crisis.

****Equitable Holdings Inc. ("EQH") was deconsolidated in AXA's Financial Statements in 2019.

*****The Solvency II ratio is estimated primarily using AXA’s internal model calibrated based on an adverse 1/200 years shock. It also reflects the release of the provision for the 4Q20 exceptional distribution of reserves of Euro 0.70 per share and includes a theoretical amount for dividends accrued for the first six months of 2020, based on the full year dividend of Euro 1.43 per share initially proposed by the Board for FY19. Dividends are proposed by the Board, at its discretion based on a variety of factors described in AXA’s 2019 Universal Registration Document, and then submitted to AXA’s shareholders for approval. This estimate should not be considered in any way to be an indication of the actual dividend amount, if any, for the 2020 financial year. For further information on AXA’s internal model and Solvency II disclosures, please refer to AXA Group’s SFCR as of December 31, 2019, available on AXA’s website (www.axa.com).

In compliance with the decision from AXA’s lead supervisor (the ACPR) from January 1, 2019, entities that were part of the XL Group (“XL entities”) have been fully consolidated for Solvency II purposes (as per the consolidation-based method set forth in the Solvency II Directive) and their contribution to the Group’s solvency capital requirement has been calculated using the Solvency II standard formula. Subject to the prior approval of the ACPR, the Group intends to extend its Internal Model to XL entities as soon as December 31, 2020.

Generali Global Assistance Launches Email Health Check To Enhance Identity Monitoring For GEICO Customers

Generali Global Assistance, the developer of a proprietary identity and cyber protection platform has announced that it has launched Email Health Check for GEICO Insurance Agency customers.

Email Health Check is an interactive tool that provides customers with immediate detailed breach search results so that users know if their email address is secure. If consumer emails are compromised, Email Health Check outlines what steps to take to safeguard their sensitive information.

Paige Schaffer, CEO, Global Identity and Cyber Protection Services, commented on today’s news, “Breached email addresses and passwords are dangerous as cyberthieves can cause significant harm by using the addresses to gain access to the victim’s other accounts or by sending fraudulent messages to contacts posing as the email owner. While traditional email monitoring is useful on an ongoing basis, these tools can take time to work. Our team developed Email Health Check to fill the gap and provide customers immediate peace of mind they want in the wake of a breach.”

Email Health Check complements the existing identity theft monitoring offering for GEICO Portfolio Identity Theft Protection customers that is provided by Generali Global Assistance by giving a user immediate feedback about email address exposure. It allows users to enter their email address and view detailed information instantly that shows if their email has been breached, where, what information was found, and in addition, provides corrective steps for users to take to safeguard their information.

Keeping Employees Safe In The Physical And Virtual Workplace

To help businesses with the planning and risk management process to keep employees safe in the workplace, Healix International has added two new COVID-19 related modules to its expanding e-learning platform.

Lockdown has had a detrimental effect on many people which may make them nervous about coming into the workplace. New research by psychologists at the University of Bath, suggests that 1 in 4 people have significantly elevated anxiety and depression, exacerbated by lockdown and isolation. The Healix International modules aim to help businesses reassure employees who are considering returning to work by providing them with the information they need to keep themselves and their colleagues safe, both physically and mentally, and in the real and virtual workplace.

The COVID-19 – A Guide to Workplace Protection course is designed to help employees protect themselves and their colleagues from contracting COVID-19 in the physical workplace. It includes information and advice on topics such as what is COVID-19, the symptoms and risks, how it is spread and risk management.

“The shift to returning to the workplace is a momentous one and businesses need to be aware that staff who have underlying health conditions may be particularly anxious; the biggest hurdle that employers need to overcome is how to instil confidence in their employees and protect their wellbeing,” explains Charlie Butcher, Commercial Director from Healix. “To help address this, this course also covers COVID-19 in the workplace and looking out for signs of COVID-19 related anxiety in colleagues.

“Employers do have a duty of care to their employees to safeguard their health and wellbeing, so it is vital they consult with their employees to understand their fears about returning to work, and to adhere to occupational safety measures to ensure the workplace is safe”.

The second course focuses on keeping employees safe in the virtual workplace. While working remotely for staff when overseas is commonplace, it’s increasingly become the norm for office based staff too. However, such a shift exposes vulnerabilities and can create challenges for organisations, particularly in relation to cyber security and data protection.

With cyber-criminals quick to take advantage of any lapses in security, Healix’s Managing Cyber Security for Remote Workers course helps staff identify cyber risks in order to prevent malicious attacks, invasions of privacy and fraud, wherever they are based,

The course includes why is cyber security important, who poses an online threat and the main cyber risks associated with remote working. Also included are tips to practice good cyber security, what ‘phishing’ is and how to identify a phishing attempt.

Both modules are broken down into bite sized lessons with quick knowledge checks at the end of each section and are accessed through a user-friendly portal which can be white labelled.

“While lockdown is relaxing in the UK and many other countries, there is still the potential for regional restrictions”, added Charlie Butcher. “It is therefore critical businesses maintain support for their workforce’s physical and mental health and regularly review flexible and remote working practices. In these ever-changing times in which we are living, businesses need to have the capability to move safely from one scenario to another.”

APRIL International Care Wins 2 More Prestigious Awards In Asia

APRIL International Care Asia has picked up two more awards at the prestigious 2020 Insurance Asia awards for "Service initiative of the year" and "Marketing initiative of the year."

Awarding the Service initiative of the year top spot to APRIL Singapore, the judges noted how APRIL had extended access to its innovative TeleHEALTH service in time to help clients worried about the Covid-19 pandemic.

APRIL International Care opened up its TeleHEALTH service to all individual and group clients across Asia and parts of Europe to provide support for clients during the Coronavirus outbreak. TeleHEALTH is a free medical consultation system for policyholders, offering unlimited consultations 24/7 in English and 11 other languages. Operating via a partnership with Teladoc Health, it allows policyholders to access a phone consultation with a qualified medical practitioner via the APRIL Easy Claim app.

APRIL's Hong Kong subsidiary picked up a second top spot awards for "Marketing initiative of the year" for its Easy Claim app which offers a range of fast and paper free service enhancements of particular relevance during the pandemic. The App allows clients to simply photograph medical invoices which are less than US$800 and submit the invoice directly for settlement. The app also holds a copy of the electronic membership card. Other functions include the ability to use GPS to find local medical facilities, to confirm direct billing availability and it can be used to request a letter of guarantee, an essential prerequisite for hospitalisation and surgery.

Commenting on the two awards, Regional CEO of APRIL International Care Asia, Romain Di Meglio said, "These prestigious awards are testament to the hard work and innovative approach of our Asian teams across the region. The past year has seen immense trading challenges, but out teams have remained focused on the number one goal of servicing their clients better through innovation."

APRIL International Care are specialists in designing and delivering flexible international private health insurance solutions for individuals, families and companies. For more information, contact APRIL International Care by visiting www.april-international.com.

IATA Urges Costa Rican Government To Rethink Mandatory Covid-19 Insurance For Visitors

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) expressed its deep concern about the excessive cost of the insurance policy required for international travelers entering Costa Rica.

The coverage - which is priced between USD265 and USD965, depending on the age of the passenger and can only be purchased from a single provider - will make the country less attractive as a tourist destination.

"While we understand that this measure is solely aimed at covering the cost of medical treatment in case of falling ill with COVID-19 during a stay in Costa Rica, it will dissuade people from traveling to the country. This will directly affect the recovery of both tourism and air transportation, putting at risk the important contribution of this key sector of the economy, which has already been hard hit by the five-month standstill," said Peter Cerdá, IATA Regional Vice President for the Americas.

The resumption of air services in Costa Rica as of August 1st  was made possible by airlines, airports and government implementing the “Take-off” biosafety guidance issued by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) - and the World Health Organization (WHO). Although the industry is ready to restart, States need to create the conditions to stimulate demand. "For this reason, we are asking the authorities to support us in implementing initiatives that allow air operators to generate more traffic and greater demand for their countries," Cerdá said.

IATA also asks the Costa Rican authorities to rethink their COVID-19 testing requirements due to the redundancy created by limiting air transport between Costa Rica and Canada, the EU, and the UK while demanding a mandatory COVID-19 test for each passenger. "Restricting operations to certain countries and at the same time requiring COVID-19 testing as an entry requirement for all passengers will discourage demand for travel and therefore impact tourism and the national economy," Cerdá continues.

According to a study by Oxford Economics, air transport contributed - directly and indirectly - some USD5 billion to the Costa Rican economy before the pandemic, equivalent to nine percent of the country's GDP, and generated some 155,000 direct and indirect jobs. However, IATA estimates that the impact of the pandemic puts at risk 101,545 jobs and USD3.5 billion in economic contribution -three quarters of the pre-COVID-19 amount.

"Historically, Costa Rica has been able to boost its tourism industry largely because of travelers arriving in the country by air. We call on the Government to reconsider their testing and insurance measures and to continue working with the air transport industry, so that it can lend its experience and best practices to make aviation one of the pillars of the country's economic recovery after the pandemic," said Cerdá.

Note: More information on the health pass required to enter Costa Rica is available on the Ministry of Health website.

 

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