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iPMI Magazine

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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Generali Vietnam And OCB Announce 15-year Exclusive Bancassurrance Partnership

Generali Vietnam Life Insurance LLC ("Generali Vietnam") and Orient Commercial Joint Stock Bank ("OCB") has officially announced their 15-year strategic exclusive bancassurance partnership which aims to develop financial and insurance solutions, expand distribution channels, promote the application of advanced digital technology, and enhance customer experience.

Under the agreement, OCB will be the exclusive distributor of Generali Vietnam's life and health insurance products to meet customers' needs in healthcare, protection, savings and investment. Generali's pre-eminent products such as VITA - Live Confidently; VITA - Golden Shield; VITA - Live Optimistically; VITA - Live Prosperously; and etc., will be distributed via OCB's country-wide network and online channels.

Ms. Tina Nguyen - Generali Vietnam CEO said: "We have enjoyed and valued our partnership with OCB over the last two years and now look forward to building on our excellent business performance together under this new exclusive partnership. This strengthens our relationship even further and highlights our commitment to work together to develop customised solutions and products that will cater different OCB customer segments. This commitment is based on our mutual strengths in data analysis, digital capabilities and shared focus on customer centricity."

Mr. Nguyen Dinh Tung, CEO of OCB, said: "The exclusive partnership between OCB and Generali recognizes the increasing development and success of the bancassurance model in Vietnam to leverage and enhance the strengths of both sides, bringing mutual efficiency as well as benefits for customers. I hope this signing ceremony will be the foundation for OCB and Generali's cooperation in developing and distributing high quality life insurance products to meet the needs of each customer segment and earn long-term trust from customers."

Generali Group

Generali is one of the largest global insurance and asset management providers from Italy. Established in 1831, Generali is present in over 50 countries, with total premium income exceeding EUR 66 billion in 2018. With nearly 71,000 employees serving 61 million customers globally, Generali has a leading position in Europe and an increasingly significant presence in Asia and Latin America.

Generali Vietnam

Generali Vietnam is a member of Generali Group. After 8 years of operation, Generali Vietnam currently has a nationwide network of over 60 GenCasa (agency offices) and customer service centers, serving approximately 200,000 clients including individuals and insured members of domestic and foreign businesses in Vietnam.

With the motto of "Simpler, Smarter and Customer centric", Generali Vietnam commits to bringing world-class insurance solutions through innovative product offerings, wide distribution network and revolutionary customer experience. Generali Vietnam takes pride in our strong focus on customer experience and won 2017 & 2018 "Best Customer Service" award and 2018 "Most Innovative Insurance Company" award by International Finance Magazine, 2017 "Excellent Brand" award by Vietnam Enterprise Development Science Union and 2017 & 2018 "Golden Dragon" award by the Vietnam Economics Times.

Orient Commercial Joint Stock Bank (OCB)

OCB was established in 1996, after 23 years of operation and development, OCB has nearly 200 trading units in all major cities and economic zones in the country with more than 6,000 staff and VND 10 billion in equity (equivalent to approx. USD 450 million).

With the motto of "customer centricity, research and develop appropriate financial products and services to meet various customers' demands", OCB is focusing all current resources in expanding transaction networks, increasing competitiveness, strengthening risk management activities, implementing the development strategy from 2016 to 2020 with a vision of becoming one of the leading banks in Vietnam.

OCB is a pioneer in digital technology application with regards to all of its operations and products activities. The upgrade of the application software, technology infrastructure and security system has also contributed to OCB being one of the first Vietnamese banks to have completed risk management project under Basel II (2017).  OCB has been rated Ba3 - the highest credit ranking for commercial banks in Vietnam by Moody's (one of the three most prestigious credit rating agencies in the world).

International Health Insurance Premiums Are on the Rise in 97 Countries

A global study of 100 countries conducted by insurance brokerage Pacific Prime found that 97 countries witnessed increases in average international health insurance premiums for both individuals and families.

Of the 100 countries, the average international health insurance premiums for individuals ranged from USD $8,887 in the US to USD $2,728 in Thailand. Meanwhile, the average international health insurance premiums for families ranged from USD $26,883 in the US to USD $10,842 in Thailand.

The following are the key findings of Pacific Prime’s Cost of International Health Insurance For Individuals and Families - 2019 report:

Top of the list: The US remains the country with the most expensive health insurance premiums. This is largely a result of the country’s notoriously high cost of healthcare.

Region with the most expensive premiums: The Americas remain the most dominant region in the top 20 most expensive countries list. The region was able to pack up to 15 countries into the list, which includes 29 countries due to many having the same average premium.

Region with the highest premium inflation rate: African countries saw some of the highest inflation rates in the world. As many as 21 countries in Africa witnessed inflation rates that are 15% or higher, resulting from various macro trends such as the rise of the middle-class and technological advancements.

China’s overall premiums are getting cheaper: China’s premiums are going through a correction phase after years of increase. In 2019, a number of prominent insurers in China did not increase their premiums, with some even lowering them, making it one of the few countries experiencing a year-on-year decrease in average health insurance premiums.

Big jumps in premium rankings: Canada saw average health insurance premiums inflate by 7% for individuals and 5% for families, surpassing Hong Kong as the country with the second most costly country for international health plans. Singapore has also jumped from 9th to 4th position with an inflation rate of 9% for both individuals and families.

Download a complimentary copy of Pacific Prime’s Cost of International Health Insurance for Individuals and Families - 2019 for further details of the survey findings, as well as in-depth regional premium analyses:

APRIL International Care Revamps Singaporean International Health Insurance Plans

APRIL International Care has announced significant improvements to the range of health insurance benefits it offers under both its individual and SME policies in Singapore to local businesses, expatriates and group schemes.

All inpatient plans will now offer increased hospital cash benefit, whilst at the same time, new areas of medical cover have been added across selected plans. These include cutting edge technologies such as stem cell treatment on Extensive and Elite Hospital & Surgery plans. Emergency room coverage has also been extended.

Outpatient plans have been improved in a number of significant areas too – clients electing to use APRIL International Care’s extensive local panel network of clinics will no longer be subject to a 20% co-insurance requirement, whilst important new additions areas of policy benefits include both traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic treatments.

Finally, in a move designed to lower costs for policyholders, those needing planned treatments who choose to use one of  APRIL International Care’s  network of hospitals in Singapore and Hong Kong will now benefit from a 15% discount on premiums.

These new benefits apply to both individual and group or SME business.

Commenting on the changes, Customer Journey and Digital Marketing Manager, Kylee Lancsar said, “Our individual and group policy upgrades and new discount option mark an important step in our objective to deliver world class international private medical insurance, backed by the best clinical care available. We are constantly reviewing our benefits package and upgrading this to reflect not only changing customer demand, but also technology advances.”

APRIL International Care are specialists in designing and delivering flexible international health insurance solutions for individuals and companies, with long term, short term and student healthcare plans available.

CEGA Uses BBC To Spread Awareness Of Travel Insurance Fraud

CEGA, a Charles Taylor company, warns BBC viewers over insurance fraud.

BBC1 viewers are to be subjected to a series of warnings about insurance fraud over the next few weeks, as CEGA Special Investigations, a Charles Taylor company, features in the channel's latest Claimed and Shamed series.

The ever-popular TV documentary, that casts a covert eye over insurance fraud, is expected to attract as many as a million viewers and will see insurance claims validation expert CEGA make multiple appearances to talk through fraudulent travel insurance claims large and small.

CEGA Special Investigations validates all sectors of global insurance claims; not least travel, personal accident, private health, household, aviation, casualty, special risks and benefits. It works closely with Charles Taylor Adjusting, its parent company Charles Taylor and a global network of investigators, to offer clients end-to-end claims validation solutions – all over the world.  

CEGA's Head of Technical Claims Simon Cook, who regularly contributes to the BBC1 programme, comments, "Claimed and Shamed has become a valuable medium through which to increase public awareness of the severity of insurance fraud, however small it may be – and wherever it originates in the world.

"This is an important part of our ongoing commitment to insurer clients and their customers to pay only genuine claims - and to offer the very best claims service."

You can watch CEGA in BBC1's new series of Claimed and Shamed at 11am on Tuesday October 22nd, Thursday October 24thand Monday November 4th. Or catch up on iPlayer -

RELATED: FOCUS ON FRAUD: iPMI Magazine Speaks With Simon Cook, Head Of Technical Claims, CEGA Group, A Charles Taylor Company

AXA & Eurasia 2019 Future Risks Report

The report finds that the main risks in the next five to ten years will relate to climate changetechnology and geopolitical instability. Risks are increasingly interconnected, meaning that protective measures must be considered through a global, interdisciplinary, and multi-stakeholder approach.

For the 2019 edition, AXA has formed a partnership with Eurasia Group, a US-based leading geopolitical advisory and consultancy services firm. This collaboration has enabled AXA to enhance its in-depth risk knowledge and extend the scope of the report to encompass geopolitical trends, which are rapidly re-shaping the global risk environment.

More than 1,700 risk experts from over 50 countries contributed to the 2019 survey. 


Bringing Primary Care Services To Your Front Door: Aetna International Announces Launch Of ‘vHealth at Home’

Aetna International, the global health benefits provider, is launching a ‘vHealth at Home’ service for London-based customers, enabling a doctor to visit you at a location of your choice, such as work or home, within four hours of being booked – and often quicker.

Initially available to Aetna members within London Zones 1 to 4, ‘vHealth at Home’ improves ease of access to GP assistance, saves time spent travelling and in waiting rooms, and acts as a complement to Aetna’s existing digital primary care doctor service, vHealth.

During your appointment, the visiting primary care doctor – who will be both GMC-registered and NHS-trained – will be able to provide everything you’d expect from your regular GP consultation, including the assessment and treatment of minor illness and injuries, providing prescriptions and sick notes, and making referrals when appropriate.

Being able to have a fully qualified GP come to you and consult face-to-face addresses a well-documented gap in the current marketplace. A recent survey revealed that two in five employees are worried about their long-term health but haven’t had a health check in the last year, and almost a quarter (23%) cite a lack of time as the reason. There has also been a 15% increase year-on-year in patients waiting a month for a GP appointment.

“Health care consumers want convenience. In an era where professionals are increasingly time-poor, it can be challenging to schedule an appointment with a GP at a time and place that works for you, let alone set aside time to travel to the surgery and spend in waiting rooms,” comments Dr Anushka Patchava, Global Proposition & Strategy Lead, vHealth, at Aetna International. 

“A review of our existing digital virtual health provision showed that our members report saving an average of 4.5 hours per appointment – a substantial amount of time from both employees’ and employers’ perspectives.  However, there are still occasions when someone might prefer to see a medical professional face-to-face. As a high-tech and high-touch solution, ‘vHealth at Home’ provides this, and ensures our customers have increased access to high quality, personalised, round the clock, primary care. In essence, it takes the hassle out of health care.”

In partnership with Qured, a revolutionary health care company specialising in delivering doctors and physiotherapy services to the consumer, ‘vHealth at Home’ will be available between the hours of 8.30am and 9.30pm, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Bookings are made online and, during doctors’ working hours, the assigned doctor will phone within 10 minutes of this booking for an initial assessment (triage), to provide reassurance and ensure it is not a case for emergency services. It’s also possible to book an appointment for the next-day, ensuring not only convenience but flexibility.

Damian Lenihan, Executive Director, Europe, at Aetna International comments: “We’re always looking for ways to lead positive change and deliver the best health outcomes for members by merging new tech, new business models and new partnerships. Introducing the ‘vHealth at Home’ service to our London-based members is a case in point, and a further step towards engaging people with the care they need, when they need it.  Above all, it underlines our commitment to innovating with our customer at the forefront, in order to create a more accessible and patient-centric health care system.”

Brokers will be informed today about the launch of ‘vHealth at Home’ at Aetna International’s bi-annual Health Matters Forum event, held at the Bulgari Hotel, Knightsbridge.


Generali Launches Best Doctors Mental Health Navigator From Teladoc Health

Generali UK has announced the launch of an innovative new mental health navigator service, adding it at no extra cost to the range of early intervention and rehabilitation services available via the insurer’s Group Income Protection (GIP) policy.

• Expert assessment and signposting to appropriate services by mental health clinicians, reducing pressure on Line Managers and Mental Health First Aiders, while improving outcomes for individuals and for business.

• Mental health condition and treatment reviews for anyone who wants a better understanding of an existing condition or prescribed programme.

• Improved integration of an employers’ existing benefits, services and mental health policies and procedures into a more structured and meaningful pathway.

The announcement follows successful roll-outs of the Best Doctors Mental Health Navigator in Canada and Australia, by Teladoc Health - the largest provider of virtual care globally.

Leveraging a cross-functional team of leading psychologists, psychiatrists and clinicians, the service is designed to identify the correct diagnosis and provide an action plan for those struggling with a range of mental health conditions from anxiety, stress or depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to many other mental health problems. Available to all employees of Generali’s GIP policyholders and their families (over the age of 18), the service may also be used by those who want to gain a better understanding of an existing condition or treatment programme.

The service will be fully integrated into Generali’s comprehensive care pathways, which may be tailored to individual employee requirements and include access to: an employee assistance programme; vocational rehabilitation; psychotherapy services; cancer recovery services; chronic fatigue and pain specialists; physiotherapy; cognitive behavioural therapy; specialist dietetics; absence and return to work case management, plus conflict resolution and mediation services.

This launch comes at a time when 1 in 4 of the UK population will experience a mental health problem each year1 but three quarters of people with such problems receive no support at all2 . The cost to the UK economy is estimated at £105 billion a year – roughly the cost of the entire NHS2 . While the cost to UK employers is £30 billion each year through lost production, recruitment and absence3.

Colin Hawes, Head of Claims at Generali Employee Benefits UK, commented, “UK businesses and employees are currently bombarded with a confusing array of mental health support services: at last count, around 3,000 self-care apps4 are available for example. And pressure is increasingly being placed on Line Managers and Mental Health First Aiders to identify problems and appropriately signpost to relevant and useful solutions. “It’s an incredibly complex landscape. In order to know where to turn, employees need to be first helped by mental health trained clinicians to understand the problem. Only then can they learn how to fix it. This is one of the ways the Best Doctors’ service is strengthening our mental health care pathway.”

Dominic Howard, Director, Teladoc Health Europe, said, “For employers not only in the UK but globally, mental health is one of the biggest challenges facing their business currently. Our recent global mental health study revealed that over half of employees globally (55%) agree more should be done in their workplace to improve mental health, with more than a third (38%) saying they would be more productive at work if there was better mental health support. “Our mental health navigator service can deliver employees the support they need on their terms, filling a critical gap in access to mental healthcare services for whatever issue they may be struggling with.”

Rita Fridella, President, LifeWorks and Executive President, Morneau Shepell - Generali’s EAP and Total Wellbeing Partner added,“Mental health and wellbeing ecosystems are complex. A guiding hand will undoubtedly be welcomed by employees, helping them navigate their choices according to expertly assessed need. Success here relies on much needed collaboration between providers. “That’s why LifeWorks, with its digital capabilities and clinical excellence, is delighted to be working closely with Generali and Best Doctors to help ensure employees are efficiently and appropriately supported.”

1. Mental health facts & statistics, Mind, accessed October 2019:

2. The Five Year Forward View for Mental Health, independent mental health taskforce to the NHS in England, Feb 2016:

3. Promoting Positive Mental Health in the Workplace, Acas, accessed October 2019 https://

4. Self-care apps are booming, Techcrunch, April 2018


9 In 10 Expats Feel Isolated

This World Mental Health Day, new research suggests that many expats have struggled with life overseas.

Research* by AXA – Global Healthcare reveals that almost nine in ten (87%) expats have felt isolated during their time abroad, with half (48%) of those saying that missing friends and family was the primary reason.

Language barriers (24%), a lack of a local support network (20%) and generally getting oriented in a new location (18%) were also key factors that led to expats feeling isolated. When asked what would make them most likely to move back to their home country, one in four (26%) said that being closer to families and friends would be their biggest motive.

When asked about their experience as a whole, a quarter (26%) of expats had a negative view of living abroad, with most of these feeling either stressed (9%) or isolated (8%). Others reported feeling bored, lethargic or angry about their experience.

Tom Wilkinson, CEO, AXA – Global Healthcare, (pictured) commented: “Moving abroad is a huge adjustment for all expats, and it’s incredibly common to experience feelings of isolation, but they shouldn’t last forever. Making sure that you take care of yourself is really important and looking after your mental health is just as important as your physical health.”

It’s not all bad news, though. A third (34%) of expats were found to spend more time eating out with friends than before they moved, while three in ten (30%) were able to increase the amount of exercise they did and two in five (41%) said they spent more time exploring the local area.

Tom Wilkinson concluded: “There are a lot of factors that contribute to your mental strength, like exercise and spending time socialising. Sometimes, it can take time to adjust and build a new support network though, and another way to address negative feelings is to work on building up your resilience. That doesn’t mean you won’t face difficulties anymore; it just means you’ll feel better equipped to deal with them when they do come up.”

Resilience is a skill that can be developed and improved with practice. There are a few ways that you can help yourself feel better prepared to manage negative situations and solve problems when you’re next faced with them.

  • Break it down

Problems are a lot more manageable when they’re broken down into smaller pieces. Tackling one part at a time will help you to feel more able to work through the issues.

  • Focus on the positives

It’s hard to feel positive when something goes wrong, but if you’re moving to another country, it’s only natural that some aspects won’t go to plan. Avoiding those negative feelings will help you to feel more optimistic about finding a solution. Take time in your day to focus on the positives by reflecting on three things that you’re grateful for. Include it in your routine, for example when you’re brushing your teeth or when you’re leaving the house in the morning. Sometimes, we just need to pause and take a moment to get some perspective.

  • Build and use your support network

It’s important that we have people around us who we can turn to when we need to talk or if we need some help. If you’ve moved somewhere new, it can feel even more daunting when we feel up against it. Take the time to build new relationships. Dealing with certain situations is much less scary when we have people around to help us through it, whether that’s friends and family or colleagues. A problem shared is a problem halved, after all!

Since spending time away from friends and family was cited as the most common problem for expats staying abroad, it’s important to recognise the support network that you do have. Making the most of technology such as video calling can really help if you’re starting to feel isolated in a new location. Making sure to make time for social activities can help, too, as well as immersing yourself into the local culture and forming friendships with new colleagues.

  • Look after yourself

Self-care goes a long way in helping us cope with life’s challenges. Making sure we get enough sleep, eating properly and getting enough exercise can immediately make us feel better. When we look after ourselves, we feel more in control and confident in our abilities – this will really help when you’re faced with difficulties.

  • Know your limits

We all have our limits and we need to be able to say no or take a break when things get too much. If we take too much on, we can feel overwhelmed and unable to cope. It’s much better to know our limits and prevent ourselves from getting to that point. It’ll also mean that when unexpected challenges arise, we’ll feel more able to process and find solutions because our stress levels are manageable. Be open and honest with those around you and, don’t forget, it’s ok to ask for help.

*Research conducted in February 2019 by Vitreous World. A total of 1,352 expats were surveyed (250 in the UK, France, UAE, Canada and China respectively, and 100 in Hong Kong)

AXA And CEGA Launch Travel Health Calculator For Pre-Existing Medical Conditions

In a move that empowers consumers with pre-existing medical conditions to find the right travel insurance at a suitable price, AXA has launched its ‘Travel Health Calculator’, developed by emergency medical assistance experts CEGA, a Charles Taylor company.

AXA’s Travel Health Calculator offers a quick online solution for travellers with pre-existing medical conditions. Users simply enter their conditions online and immediately receive a report which tells them how these could affect their travel insurance search. The information tool then provides them with a list of brokers and insurers who specialise in providing cover which may meet their medical needs, or directs them to price comparison sites if they have less complex medical needs.

The Travel Health Calculator uses CEGA’s specialist medical screening solution, Antidote, to determine the level of “risk” specifically related to each user’s medical history. It provides medical “thresholds” for over 3,000 conditions; from asthma and high blood pressure to diabetes and heart problems.

Importantly, the launch of the tool coincides with the Financial Conduct Authority’s current consultation on proposals designed to help consumers with pre-existing medical conditions have better access to travel insurance products. It also follows industry revelations1 that three fifths of consumers believe that the responsibility lies with insurers to make sure customers purchase the right level of cover.

Benefits offered by the tool extend beyond increasing consumer choice and reducing the risk of medical and other emergency costs abroad. They also include access to general guidelines about buying travel insurance; not least the importance of checking that a policy includes travel disruption cover and of updating ongoing cover in line with any health changes.

Nel Mooy, Travel Director at AXA Insurance, said: “As insurers, we want to help customers understand their cover options regardless of their previous or existing medical conditions. While in some scenarios certain channels such as specialist brokers or underwriters may be more appropriate than others, our aim is to empower travellers so they can find cover that is right for them. Many people see health as a barrier to finding insurance, but our new tool can help make things that much clearer.”

Angela Smith, Head of Propositions at CEGA, a Charles Taylor company, said: “The Travel Health Calculator offers consumers with pre-existing medical conditions a unique solution to travel insurance uncertainty - and we’re thrilled that AXA are leading the way in its implementation.

“By providing simple and easy-to-access medical assessments, the Travel Health Calculator increases customer choice, It is testament to our constant commitment to provide innovative new ways to support insurers and their customers alike.”

1 Figures obtained from research commissioned by AXA of 2000 UK adults. The research was carried out by OnePoll in July 2019.

Read more news from CEGA on their iPMI Magazine micro website, click here.

First Altitude Focused, Female-Owned And Operated Cost Containment And Claims Management Provider Joins The Market

Altitude Assist Alliance, the industry’s newest cost containment and claims management provider has joined the market, with a focus on improving outcomes in altitude regions that create significant business pain-points for insurers and providers.

Founded by industry veteran, Jane Hegeler, Altitude Assist Alliance is positioned to serve as the centre of an alliance for other assistance providers, enabling all partners to better serve their clients and travellers through strategic cost containment and claims management services.

Having delivered tailored solutions to the insurance and assistance industry for over 15-years, across regions including North Africa, Middle East, Latin America and S.E. Asia, Jane brings a wealth of experience, cultural understanding and specialised claims knowledge to this venture.

Jane Hegeler, Founder and Chairwoman (pictured) said, “Altitude Assist Alliance is at the beginning of an exciting journey. We have taken a new approach to cost containment and tackling the challenges that occur when a claim arises in an area of high altitude. We have seen that trekking destinations attract more visitors than ever before, resulting in an increase in high cost claims. As trekking destinations and trekker types have evolved, so must the industry and the logical progression was to establish Altitude Assist Alliance and bring together and provide specific cost containment services for these areas“

Altitude Assist Alliance (AAA) has taken a unique approach by bringing together leading global assistance companies to its alliance. The strategic alliance is focused on improving outcomes for patients, providers and payers and aims to provide a standardised and ethical method of operating in altitude regions.

AAA will act on behalf of its partner members through one single platform to provide cost containment services, while confirming the legitimacy of claims and managing high-claims costs on behalf of clients’.


Altitude Assist is a female owned and operated medical assistance, cost containment and claims management company, with a focus on improving outcomes in altitude regions that create significant business pain-points for insurers and providers.

Our goal is to enhance all aspects of the claims process by providing a single platform for all stakeholders to ensure timely assistance for travellers, while confirming the legitimacy of claims and managing high-claims costs and cost containing on behalf of clients’.

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