Menu
iPMI Magazine Is Proudly Sponsored By:
For a healthier journey.
iPMI Magazine

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.

Website URL: http://ipmimagazine.com

Substantial Sustainable Savings Requires Managing Treatments Not Claims

Forward

According to the Rx industry, global spending on medicine continues to grow. In 2021, approximately 1.42 trillion U.S. dollars had been spent on medications, up from just 887 billion U.S. dollars in 2010. That number is expected to increase to nearly 1.8 trillion by the year 2026.

The total spend on medications has increased everywhere globally however, the United States takes the lead and is expected to remain the top country for total medication spend through 2026. US industry analysts suggest that $250B of these costs, in the last year, come from medication non-adherence. Claim costs are extremely high and could be much higher if the patient does not take the medication properly. Negative drug interactions cost lots of dollars as well as human lives and no one is monitoring Rx interactions. This article focuses on the collaborations needed to move into the digital age of care that crosses borders.

New Frontier has engaged with US and worldwide Rx industry experts to create a series of 5 Always There Global Rx Care articles highlighting the importance driving innovation into the modern global economy to achieve Whole Person Health through Whole System Health.

About the Authors

All five articles in this series were co-authored by three influential representatives and experts in the global healthcare industry:

Gitte Bach, President and CEO of New Frontier Group. After gaining extensive experience in international insurance and assistance through her initial years at IHI Denmark, Gitte founded New Frontier Group in 2002. Since its inception 20 years ago, New Frontier Group has been a market disruptor and innovator in the global cost management industry, being a pioneer that provides unparalleled cost management, claims administration, pharmacy solutions, telehealth, and assistance services to their clients worldwide. Gitte is passionate about customer service and innovation and holds a B.A. in Economics from Copenhagen Business School and a B.A. in Languages from Aarhus School of Business.

John Frick, Registered Pharmacist and CEO at Innovative Pharmaceutical Services. John is an industry leader for over 35 years in all aspects of pharmaceutical care. He is an accomplished healthcare professional offering comprehensive knowledge of specialty niche markets relative to the pharmacy and home health care professions, long term care, hospice and beyond. John is focused on projects differentiating themselves from the mediocrities of the industry and is the Chairman of the Board for the New Frontier Group Advisory Board where he assists in developing global Rx strategies focused on superior concierge, expert solutions for the global market.

Johan Porto, Cofounder of PharmCare Services. Prior to co-founding PharmCare Services (PCS), the first International Pharmacy Benefit Manager (iPBM) specialized in the international health insurers industry, managed various specialty pharmacy-related businesses for the private sector which developed the experience that has been a key element for the PCS global strategic planning and cost-containment initiatives that drives many aspects of the customer engagement and business development strategies provided to its clients. PCS is the first International Pharmacy Benefit Manager with an extensive national and international network of retail and specialty pharmacies, authorized distributors and manufacturing partners bringing the highest standards in HealthCare and modern customized cost optimization planning to the IPMIs and travel industry.

Key Trends to Sustainable Savings Success

High Value Health is Whole Person Health. Medication adherence is a complex and multi-stakeholder issue with significant financial consequences. To get to a sustainable savings business model, an integrated medical and global Rx program is required. Many organizations are aware of this phenomenon and are seeking solutions that go beyond managing one claim at a time. Organizations managing a sustainable savings model are focused on the whole person.

Global patients require professionals managing their care regardless of where they are in the world, and it doesn’t stop at the border. Global patients need a team of professionals following them, so that no matter where they are, they have access to and knowledge of the medications that their doctor has prescribed. Overall, payers need to know that someone is checking the Rx, monitoring the Rx interactions and looking out for medication fraud.

However, there has been a mentality shift in global organizations to change. The numbers prove the current system is not working and waste is increasing annually. The original approach of focusing only on the lowest possible drug cost, on a claim by claim basis, is now being redesigned and reevaluated.

So how are innovators in the space making changes?

First, innovators are focusing on plan design and connecting with the partner that can assist them in sharing their appropriate data. Instead of just increasing the price of insurance policies, global companies are designing the right strategies so that increased costs in healthcare are bearable. In addition, they’re designing strategies that better the health of the global population and make it easier to receive more individualized services. Outside of COVID-19 coverage modifications, it has been years since there have been any substantial changes in the way policies have been designed. Now, organizations are crunching numbers and finding innovative ways to become the leader of the future without raising prices. The change that each payer needs is different depending on what they are trying to achieve and cover. There is no “one size fits all” plan design, and each individual payer must complete an analysis based on their data. Naturally, it is of the utmost importance to work with the right partner in this quest.

Second, organizations are adding individualized concierge, red carpet, and white glove services for their clients. The cost it takes to do this work behind the scenes is well worth the effort in terms of cost reductions and patient health. Now, organizations are coordinating in detail with patients, providers, payers, and pharmacies via an omnichannel approach (text, talk, email, facetime, telehealth, etc.), and the outcomes are showing tremendous results. In addition, today’s generation is very comfortable with technology and they are expressing new preferences on where and how they seek care. Direct to consumer care can be fully integrated with pharmacies and providers virtually, and can drive down the costs of interactions and customization for patients and payers.

Lastly, global innovators are working with pharmacy programs whose staff are well positioned to spot if global patients are falling through the cracks. These staff members may see prescriptions coming through from multiple providers and may also have more frequent touchpoints with a patient than other providers. For example, patients receiving prescriptions from more than one provider may be prescribed duplicate or conflicting medications. The pharmacy program within an insurance plan and with New Frontier Group as the conduit is in charge of managing the dispensing of the patient’s prescriptions and may be the only touchpoint with full visibility into the patient’s treatments. Overall, these organizations are helping to analyze data and drill down the impacts for the payers. The best way forward is to move to the only sustainable savings solution focused on High Value Health which is created by Whole Person Health. Allow us to help you get there!

About New Frontier Group's Global Pharmacy Program

Choosing New Frontier Group for your pharmacy solutions provides a global pharmacy concierge program with benefits such as:

  1. Exclusive medication management with hands on patient care
  2. Pharmacy solutions combined with medical and telehealth services
  3. Direct engagement with providers to obtain essential medications at time of service
  4. No burden of logistics or financial barriers for patients and no out of pocket costs
  5. Needed medications are shipped to home country and after care is coordinated
  6. White glove, cross border service is focused on medication adherence

New Frontier Group’s pharmacy solutions is an exclusive medication management program that merges hands-on patient care services with concierge medical services that crosses borders.

Our global pharmacy solution includes a review of existing data and the development of a strategy to increase patient medication adherence by removing communication gaps, defragmenting the system, and relieving the burden of logistics and financial barriers. Patients do not have to seek out pharmacy services in a foreign country, because New Frontier Group handles all of the details for them from point of care to travel home. Our superior concierge solution reduces hospital readmissions and ensures there is no out of pocket for members.

Medication Misadventures In Global Rx Care

Foreword

Patients deserve to have confidence in global healthcare delivery when they require medical treatment outside of their home country. Prescription drugs are an important part of most global treatment plans, and they should always be integrated with medical treatment. This article details the importance of a coordinated global Rx system.

New Frontier Group has engaged with Rx industry experts in the US and around the world to create a series of articles which highlight the forces driving innovation within the modern global healthcare economy. Our five-part series Always There, Global Rx Care outlines our quest to achieve Whole Person Health through Whole System Health.

About the Authors

The five articles in this series have been co-authored by three expert, influential representatives in the global healthcare industry:

Gitte Bach, President and CEO of New Frontier Group. Gitte holds a B.A. in Economics from Copenhagen Business School; a B.A. in Languages from Aarhus School of Business; and has always been passionate about customer service and innovation. After gaining extensive experience in international insurance and assistance through her initial years at IHI Denmark, Gitte founded New Frontier Group in 2002. Since its inception 20 years ago, New Frontier Group has been a market disruptor and an innovator in the global Cost Management industry. New Frontier Group has pioneered innovative strategies to provide unparalleled cost management, claims administration, pharmacy solutions, telehealth, and support services to their international clientele.

John Frick, Registered Pharmacist and CEO at Innovative Pharmaceutical Services.  John has been an industry leader for over 35 years in all aspects of pharmaceutical care. He is an accomplished healthcare professional offering comprehensive knowledge of specialty niche markets relative to pharmacy and home health care professions, long term care, hospice and beyond. John focuses on projects which differentiate themselves from the mediocrities of the industry. He is the Chairman of the New Frontier Group Advisory Board where he assists in developing global Rx strategies focused on superior concierge, expert solutions for the global market.

Johan Porto, Cofounder of PharmCare Services. Prior to co-founding PharmCare Services (PCS), the first International Pharmacy Benefit Manager (iPBM), Johan Porto specialized in the international health insurers industry, managed various specialty pharmacy-related businesses for the private sector which developed the experience that has been a key element for the PCS global strategic planning and cost-containment initiatives that drives many aspects of the customer engagement and business development strategies provided to its clients.

PCS is the first International Pharmacy Benefit Manager with an extensive national and international network of retail and specialty pharmacies, authorized distributors and manufacturing partners bringing the highest standards in HealthCare and modern customized cost optimization planning to the IPMIs and travel industry.

Medication Misadventures

Previous articles in our Always There, Global Rx Care series discussed global healthcare strategies to increase savings, enhance communication, and defragment care.

Substantial, Sustainable Savings (Article 1)
Defragment Care in Global Rx (Article 2)

In this article we examine two case studies that illustrate challenges in global Rx and discuss key elements which are critical to a coordinated Rx approach.

Case Study: The Orangutan Incident

New Frontier Group was managing a patient in Indochina who was attacked by an orangutan.

  • We coordinated the first rabies shot while the patient was still in the jungle.
  • We then needed to coordinate the final 3 injections over the next 14-days.
  • The patient was traveling from Indochina to Honolulu, Hawaii.
  • Our Rx experts knew rabies injections were NOT available in Hawaii because the state is free of rabies.
  • In order to get the proper medication to the patient, we coordinated with other US pharmacies, an international shipping carrier, and with a local Hawaiian hospital.
  • We kept regular communication with the patient to ensure that he received the needed injections.

This is not a typical global Rx case, but it does demonstrate the potential danger to a patient if Rx is not closely managed across borders.

Case Study: Not Well at Sea

New Frontier Group managed a patient from Norway who was a ship captain. He was forced to dock in Miami when he became extremely ill.

  • New Frontier Group arranged for the captain to be treated immediately in Miami.
  • The treating provider diagnosed the captain as diabetic.
  • He became insulin dependent within three days.
  • He was discharged and referred to a diabetes nurse educator.
  • New Frontier Group contacted the diabetes nurse educator and arranged for the proper medication to be prescribed and administered.
  • On the first day of his voyage back to Norway, we discovered that the treating hospital had not prescribed enough insulin.
  • There are several complex varieties of insulin, so we needed to make sure the captain had access to the correct medication.
  • We arranged for him to receive a 90-day supply that would provide him enough medication for his journey back to Norway.
  • We remained in constant contact with the captain until his care was transferred to a provider in Norway.

When we manage global patients like this captain, we must always remain forward thinking. It is important to consider the length of the trip, medication needs and availability, and the transition of care when they return home.

Avoiding Medication Misadventures

These case studies illustrate how important coordination and communication is for global patients. It is evident that focusing on the cheapest drug per claim is not the right answer. Patients need customized care that eliminates barriers. Investing in a cohesive global Rx program ensures the best possible health outcomes and reduces patient emergencies and readmissions.

A few key elements are critical to a coordinated approach:

  • Comprehension of a patient's insurance benefits
  • Eliminating patient out-of-pocket costs
  • Understanding the whole person needs versus looking at singular claims
  • Ability to transport medications across borders
  • Identifying medication equivalents between nations to avoid prescription issues
  • Coordination between treating the provider and the follow-up provider
  • Consistent and thorough patient follow-up
  • Providing access to support in the patient’s first language
  • Ensuring patient understanding of medication, to include possible drug/dietary interactions.

These key elements drive the best Global Rx programs and ensure the best possible outcome at the lowest possible cost.

About New Frontier Group's Global Pharmacy Program

Choosing New Frontier Group for your pharmacy solutions provides a global pharmacy concierge program with benefits such as:

  1. Exclusive medication management with hands on patient care
  2. Pharmacy solutions combined with medical and telehealth services
  3. Direct engagement with providers to obtain essential medications at time of service
  4. No burden of logistics or financial barriers for patients and no out of pocket costs
  5. Needed medications are shipped to home country and after care is coordinated
  6. White glove, cross border service is focused on medication adherence

New Frontier Group’s pharmacy solutions are an exclusive medication management program which merges hands-on patient care services with top notch concierge medical services across international borders.

Our global pharmacy solutions include a constant review of existing data regarding development of medication via the removal of communication barriers; defragmentation of potential breakdowns in the medical system; and, relieving the burdens caused by logistical and financial barriers. Patients need not independently seek out pharmacy services in foreign countries as we manage all details from the initial point of care to the journey home. Our superior concierge solutions reduce hospital readmission, and provide dependable avoidance of out-of-pocket costs to our members.

 

Preparing For Changing Global Care

Foreword

The international insurance market has started to analyze data beyond revenue and utilization. Carriers are focused on indicators that help them understand the impact of the coverage and the programs they offer. As this shift occurs, there is an emphasis on linking medical and Rx care. This article shares challenges in harmonizing care across borders, collecting disparate data, and enhancing communication.

New Frontier Group has engaged with US and worldwide Rx industry experts to create a series of 5 Always There Global Rx Care articles, highlighting the importance of driving innovation into the modern global economy to achieve Whole Person Health through Whole System Health.

About the Authors

All five articles in this series were co-authored by three influential representatives and experts in the global healthcare industry:

Gitte Bach, President and CEO of New Frontier Group. After gaining extensive experience in international insurance and assistance through her initial years at IHI Denmark, Gitte founded New Frontier Group in 2002. Since its inception 20 years ago, New Frontier Group has been a market disruptor and innovator in the global cost management industry, being a pioneer that provides unparalleled cost management, claims administration, pharmacy solutions, telehealth, and assistance services to their clients worldwide. Gitte is passionate about customer service and innovation and holds a B.A. in Economics from Copenhagen Business School and a B.A. in Languages from Aarhus School of Business.

John Frick, Registered Pharmacist and CEO at Innovative Pharmaceutical Services. John is an industry leader for over 35 years in all aspects of pharmaceutical care. He is an accomplished healthcare professional offering comprehensive knowledge of specialty niche markets relative to the pharmacy and home health care professions, long term care, hospice and beyond. John is focused on projects differentiating themselves from the mediocrities of the industry and is the Chairman of the Board for the New Frontier Group Advisory Board where he assists in developing global Rx strategies focused on superior concierge, expert solutions for the global market.

Johan Porto, Cofounder of PharmCare Services. Prior to co-founding PharmCare Services (PCS), the first International Pharmacy Benefit Manager (iPBM) specialized in the international health insurers industry, managed various specialty pharmacy-related businesses for the private sector which developed the experience that has been a key element for the PCS global strategic planning and cost-containment initiatives that drives many aspects of the customer engagement and business development strategies provided to its clients. PCS is the first International Pharmacy Benefit Manager with an extensive national and international network of retail and specialty pharmacies, authorized distributors and manufacturing partners bringing the highest standards in HealthCare and modern customized cost optimization planning to the IPMIs and travel industry

Changing Global Healthcare

Previous articles in our Always There, Global Rx Care series share information on the intricacies of specialized global Rx and how the landscape is changing. In addition, we detailed how to integrate and coordinate medication across borders.

Substantial, Sustainable Savings (Article 1)
Defragment Care in Global Rx (Article 2)
Medication Misadventures (Article 3)

In this article, we take a deeper dive into what is needed for the international market to move from a per claim system to a whole person system.

Global healthcare organizations realize they need to move from a transactional healthcare model to a value-based model. Countries across the world are adopting various forms of value-based care, and now it is time for cross-border care to do the same. A whole patient view is crucial to addressing and treating the global population in a holistic way, but the challenges lie in how to get there.

The US healthcare model is focused on shifting care from volume to value, and there are things the global healthcare industry can learn. We have identified four factors that international insurance programs can adopt to begin the shift to whole person care:

  1. Stakeholder Goal Alignment:  All entities who manage global patient data (brokers, payers, providers, pharmacies, administrators, case managers) need to align on a common goal of coordinated care across the value chain. The end goal should be a shared vision and purpose for all the entities involved with a complete understanding of the challenges unique to each party.
  2. A Successful and Proven Design:  A value-based care system has a program design. There is an infrastructure which allows collaboration among stakeholders in the patient ecosystem. Global healthcare stakeholders should all have input into the design of a value-based program.
  3. Access to Decision Support Data: For global healthcare programs to succeed in value-based care they need access to shared data. Medical and Rx programs that work with brokers, providers, case managers, and carriers can play a large role in improving the quality and integration of data.
  4. Program Design Delivery:  Well-organized protocols for initiating, planning, controlling, and monitoring value-based care are needed. Strategic decisions will need to be made, and key performance indicators will need to be identified. Performance will need to be evaluated and shared so a value-based system can evolve.

Stakeholder coordination can contribute to a value-based program which makes an impact on rising medical and Rx costs. Downstream costs are reduced when there are fewer unnecessary doctor visits, including emergency services. The goal is not reducing patient care, but treating the whole patient to prevent further health issues. Check out the details on how we avoided medication misadventures in the last article in our series. In that case, there was additional care coordination to manage a whole patient, but the result was avoiding high costs and even death. Innovative thinking and global collaboration is what will continue to promote positive patient outcomes. Overall, it is a crucial model for treating the whole person and not just each claim.

About New Frontier Group’s Global Pharmacy Program

Choosing New Frontier Group for your pharmacy solutions provides a global pharmacy concierge program with benefits such as:

  1. Exclusive medication management with hands on patient care
  2. Pharmacy solutions combined with medical and telehealth services
  3. Direct engagement with providers to obtain essential medications at time of service
  4. No burden of logistics or financial barriers for patients and no out of pocket costs
  5. Needed medications are shipped to home country and after care is coordinated
  6. White glove, cross border service is focused on medication adherence

New Frontier Group’s pharmacy solutions is an exclusive medication management program that merges hands-on patient care services with concierge medical services that crosses borders.

Our global pharmacy solution includes a review of existing data and the development of a strategy to increase patient medication adherence by removing communication gaps, defragmenting the system, simplifying logistics and relieving the burden of financial barriers. Patients do not have to seek out pharmacy services in a foreign place because we handle all of the details for them from point of care to travel home. Our superior concierge solution reduces hospital readmission and ensures there is no out of pocket expense for members.

 

Passenger Recovery Continues in November

Total traffic in November 2022 (measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) rose 41.3% compared to November 2021. Globally, traffic is now at 75.3% of November 2019 levels.

International traffic rose 85.2% versus November 2021. The Asia-Pacific continued to report the strongest year-over-year results with all regions showing improvement compared to the prior year. November 2022 international RPKs reached 73.7% of November 2019 levels.

Domestic traffic for November 2022 was up 3.4% compared to November 2021 with travel restrictions in China continuing to dampen the global result. Total November 2022 domestic traffic was at 77.7% of the November 2019 level.

“Traffic results in November reinforce that consumers are thoroughly enjoying the freedom to travel. Unfortunately, the reactions to China’s reopening of international travel in January reminds us that many governments are still playing science politics when it comes to COVID-19 and travel. Epidemiologists, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and others have said that the reintroduction of testing for travelers from China can do little to contain a virus that is already present around the world. And China’s objections to these policy measures are compromised by their own pre-departure testing requirements for people traveling to China. Governments should focus on using available tools to manage COVID-19 effectively—including improved therapeutics and vaccinations—rather than repeating policies that have failed time and again over the last three years,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

AIR PASSENGER MARKET
DETAIL- NOVEMBER 2022

WORLD SHARE​1 RPK ASK PLF(%-PT)​2 PLF (LEVEL)​3
Total Market
100%
41.3%
23.8%
10.0%
80.8%
Africa
1.9%
84.5%
51.7%
13.3%
74.8%
Asia Pacific
27.5%
68.4%
31.3%
17.0%
77.0%
Europe
25.0%
37.0%
19.6%
10.6%
83.8%
Latin America
6.5%
27.8%
27.6%
0.2%
82.0%
Middle East
6.6%
77.9%
41.3%
15.9%
77.5%
North America
32.6%
19.6%
13.3%
4.4%
83.2%

1) % of industry RPKs in 2021    2) Year-on-year change in load factor    3) Load Factor Level 

International Passenger Markets

Asia-Pacific airlines had a 373.9% rise in November traffic compared to November 2021, which was the strongest year-over-year rate among the regions. Capacity rose 159.2% and the load factor was up 35.9 percentage points to 79.2%.

European carriers’ November traffic climbed 45.3% versus November 2021. Capacity increased 25.1%, and load factor moved up 11.6 percentage points to 83.6%, highest among the regions.

Middle Eastern airlines saw an 84.6% traffic rise in November compared to November 2021. November capacity increased 45.4% versus the year-ago period, and load factor climbed 16.5 percentage points to 77.7%.

North American carriers experienced a 69.9% traffic rise in November versus the 2021 period. Capacity increased 45.5%, and load factor climbed 11.6 percentage points to 81.0%.

Latin American airlines’ November traffic rose 59.2% compared to the same month in 2021. November capacity climbed 55.6% and load factor increased 1.9 percentage points to 82.9%.

African airlines had an 83.5% rise in November RPKs versus a year ago. November 2022 capacity was up 48.4% and load factor climbed 14.2 percentage points to 74.3%, the lowest among regions.

Domestic Passenger Markets

NOVEMBER 2022
(% YEAR-ON-YEAR)

WORLD SHARE1 RPK ASK PLF (%-PT)​2 PLF (LEVEL)​3
Domestic
62.3%
3.4%
-3.1%
5.1%
80.7%
Domestic Australia
0.8%
190.0%
90.5%
29.0%
84.4%
Domestic Brazil
1.9%
5.1%
7.0%
-1.4%
80.9%
Domestic China P.R.
17.8%
-38.8%
-41.6%
-2.9%
64.0%
Domestic India
2.1%
11.1%
0.5%
8.4%
87.9%
Domestic Japan
1.1%
37.3%
17.7%
10.8%
75.5%
Domestic US
25.6%
5.0%
2.2%
2.3%
84.0%

1) % of industry RPKs in 2021    2) Year-on-year change in load factor    3) Load Factor Level 

Brazil’s domestic RPKs rose 5.1% in November compared to November 2021 and are now at 96.2% of 2019 levels.

US domestic traffic climbed 5.0% in November compared to November 2021, pushing it to 99% of the November 2019 level.

NOVEMBER 2022(% CH VS THE SAME MONTH IN 2019) WORLD SHARE1 RPK ASK PLF (%-PT)​2 PLF (LEVEL)​3
TOTAL MARKET
100.0%
-24.7%
-24.6%
-0.1%
80.8%
International
37.7%
-26.3%
-28.9%
0.7%
80.9%
Domestic
62.3%
-22.3%
-20.8%
-1.5%
80.7%

1) % of industry RPKs in 2021    2) Change in load factor vs same month in 2019    3) Load Factor Level 

More Than 900 Million Tourists Travelled Internationally In 2022

Based on UNWTO's forward-looking scenarios for 2023, international tourist arrivals could reach 80% to 95% of pre-pandemic levels this year, depending on the extent of the economic slowdown, the ongoing recovery of travel in Asia and the Pacific and the evolution of the Russian offensive in Ukraine, among other factors.

All regions bouncing back

According to new data UNWTO, more than 900 million tourists travelled internationally in 2022 – double the number recorded in 2021 though still 63% of pre-pandemic levels. Every global region recorded notable increases in international tourist numbers. The Middle East enjoyed the strongest relative increase as arrivals climbed to 83% of pre-pandemic numbers. Europe reached nearly 80% of pre-pandemic levels as it welcomed 585 million arrivals in 2022. Africa and the Americas both recovered about 65% of their pre-pandemic visitors, while Asia and the Pacific reached only 23%, due to stronger pandemic-related restrictions which have started to be removed only in recent months. The first UNWTO World Tourism Barometer of 2023 also analyses performance by region and looks at top performers in 2022, including several destinations which have already recovered 2019 levels.

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said, "A new year brings more reason for optimism for global tourism. UNWTO anticipates a strong year for the sector even in the face of diverse challenges including the economic situation and continued geopolitical uncertainty. Economic factors may influence how people travel in 2023 and UNWTO expects demand for domestic and regional travel to remain strong and help drive the sector's wider recovery."

Chinese tourists set to return

UNWTO foresees the recovery to continue throughout 2023 even as the sector faces up to economic, health and geopolitical challenges. The recent lifting of COVID-19 related travel restrictions in China, the world's largest outbound market in 2019, is a significant step for the recovery of the tourism sector in Asia and the Pacific and worldwide. In the short term, the resumption of travel from China is likely to benefit Asian destinations in particular. However, this will be shaped by the availability and cost of air travel, visa regulations and COVID-19 related restrictions in the destinations.  By mid-January a total of 32 countries had imposed specific travel restrictions related to travel from China, mostly in Asia and Europe.

At the same time, strong demand from the United States, backed by a strong US dollar, will continue to benefit destinations in the region and beyond. Europe will continue to enjoy strong travel flows from the US, partly due to a weaker euro versus the US dollar. 

Notable increases in international tourism receipts have been recorded across most destinations, in several cases higher than their growth in arrivals. This has been supported by the increase in average spending per trip due to longer periods of stay, the willingness by travelers to spend more in their destination and higher travel costs due to inflation. However, economic situation could translate into tourists adopting a more cautious attitude in 2023, with reduced spending, shorter trips and travel closer to home.  

Furthermore, continued uncertainty caused by the Russian aggression against Ukraine and other mounting geopolitical tensions, as well as health challenges related to COVID-19 also represent downside risks and could weigh on tourism's recovery in the months ahead.

The latest UNWTO Confidence Index shows cautious optimism for January-April, higher than the same period in 2022. This optimism is backed by the opening up in Asia and strong spending numbers in 2022 from both traditional and emerging tourism source markets, with France, Germany and Italy as well as Qatar, India and Saudi Arabia all posting strong results.

World Travel Protection Announces New EMEA Business Development Director

Kent Hendricks has been appointed the new EMEA Business Development Director for World Travel Protection, a leading travel risk management company owned by Zurich Insurance Group.

He is responsible for leading the strategic growth of World Travel Protection in EMEA and raising awareness of its full-service travel risk management solution to the travelling business community.

Mr Hendricks has over 20+ years’ international experience in the insurance and financial services industries across EMEA, as well as North and Latin America. He has led the development of products, digitalization, distribution channels and strategies for many multinational corporations including GE Capital, RSA, CHUBB, Kuehne + Nagel, MDS Group.  He also has extensive knowledge related to Risk Management (ERM), Strategic Planning, Change Management and Business Transformation.

Mr Hendricks said, “I’m joining World Travel Protection at a pivotal time as we expand our operation into Europe, the Middle East and Africa. I’m excited to be joining a world class provider of robust travel risk management solutions and look forward to contributing to the organisation’s over-arching vision of providing the best-in-class solutions globally.

“Our London Command Centre will be fully operational and integrated into our existing Command Centres in Brisbane and Toronto, providing 24-hour emergency assistance to travellers via location-enabled smartphone apps and mobile connectivity. We aim to have a diversified distribution strategy across the EMEA region that will allow us to reach our desired target market in segments where we can provide solutions and add value to our customers,” said Henricks.

Michael Nole, Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing, World Travel Protection, said, “We’re delighted to announce this appointment. Kent’s experience, expertise and absolute focus on the customer’s experience will drive our business forward successfully in EMEA.”

 

Sanlam-Allianz Venture Set For Completion In 6 Months

International private medical insurance and global healthcare analyst, and report author, Ian Youngman, takes a look at the joint venture between Allianz SE and Sanlam, and what it means for the international health insurance market in Africa.

The joint venture between Allianz SE and Sanlam LTD is set to be completed by June 2023, launching a partnership that will last for at least a decade.

Regulatory approvals for the proposed joint venture are progressing according to plan and are expected to be complete by mid-2023.

The joint venture will bring together the multinationals’ interests in their local subsidiaries across various markets.

Sanlam will own a 60% stake, while Allianz will hold a 40 per cent interest with an option to buy an additional nine per cent ownership in the future.

The agreement is subject to certain conditions precedent that Sanlam and/or the Allianz Group would be required to fulfil for each jurisdiction.

The completion of the transaction is expected for the first half-year of 2023.

Allianz will contribute its ownership in its African subsidiaries, including majority stakes in Jubilee general insurance businesses in Kenya, Uganda, and Burundi that it recently acquired in cash transactions.

Sanlam will contribute its interests in Sanlam Kenya (57.1%) and other operations. The multinational’s operations in South Africa, India, the Middle East, and Malaysia are excluded from the deal.

It is still not clear whether the joint venture will move beyond asset transfers to take full ownership or merge the businesses in which the parties have controlling stakes in the various markets.

Keep calm and carry on

The war in Ukraine, high food and energy prices, the fight against inflation, the looming recession, the transition to renewable energy, and China’s uncertain post-pandemic path present just some of the entangling challenges that will preoccupy the global economy in the following years, according to Allianz Research’s recently published Economic Outlook 2023-2024 report. 

Tucked away in a small corner of the report is a prediction that global growth will be 1.9 % in 2023 and 3.1% in 2024

The 2023 figure for Africa is 3.1% and for 2024 it is 3.5%. This alone explains why Allianz and others are keen to promote IPMI in Africa.

To read Ian Youngman's reports on iPMI and international health insurance, click here.

3 Key Workplace Trends For 2023 With Anthony Cabrelli, Managing Director, Bupa Global

For business leaders, navigating the turmoil of the past several years has been nothing short of a herculean task. Even as the impacts of the pandemic have lessened, tough economic conditions have taken their place and executives have had to stay vigilant to keep their organisations on a strong footing.

This sustained period of turbulence has had an impact on the wellbeing of staff, and the ways that we view the role of the workplace. It has never been more important to ensure that everyone within an organisation feels supported and secure, and that businesses are able to retain and recruit for the best talent.

Based on data from Bupa Global’s Executive Wellbeing Index, here are some key workplace trends that will business leaders need to be aware of in order to create the best possible working environment for their teams in 2023.

A greater emphasis on employee health

Forecasts suggest that the current economic difficulties being faced by the UK are set to continue well into 2023, impacting a large proportion of the population. With financial concerns often come health concerns, with mental health often most acutely impacted, and it’s likely that many employees will continue to feel the pressure.

One of the most effective ways to meet this issue head on and demonstrate to employees that they are valued in the workplace, is to make good health benefits available to them. Compared to other, softer work perks, health and wellbeing support offers a tangible benefit to employees, giving them a straightforward way to access healthcare professionals if they need to.

At a time like this, knowing there is help available can take a huge weight off current employees, and serve as an attractive proposition for talent looking for a new role.

Ensure senior leaders don’t get left behind in the mental health conversation

Senior leaders can often put the health of their employees and organisations ahead of their own, but a lack of inward focus can have a negative knock-on effect for those at the top.

Findings from the latest Bupa Global Executive Wellbeing Index showed that mental health among senior leaders is declining with one in six (17%) experiencing burnout in the past 12 months, and 95% admitting to feeling symptoms of poor mental health. Worryingly, nearly half of board directors are planning major career changes as a way to reduce stress.

These figures demonstrate how critical it is that organisations ensure that their mental health programmes and initiatives encompass every employee, from the most junior all the way to the top of the boardroom and keeping senior leaders happy and healthy should be a consideration for businesses as we move into the new year. Similarly, by leading by example and accepting support, leaders will be helping to build a company culture where everyone has the foundation they need to work to the best of their ability and look after their wellbeing.

Recognising the value of hybrid working for health and productivity

After two years of hybrid working, 2022 was the first year that businesses were in a position to make autonomous decisions about how and where their employees should work. For many organisations this has been a complicated process, with varying opinions on the benefits of hybrid working versus being in the office full time.

As we reach 2023, it should be clear that most workplaces and most employees benefit from a hybrid work approach. Not only does greater flexibility give employees the opportunity to improve their work-life balance, but it also has a positive impact on productivity and health. The key for business leaders will be finding a balance between office culture and hybrid working, and ensuring that employees feel connected, committed, and purposeful about their organisation, even when they are not in the office.

 

Passportcard's Innovative ASO Solution For Large Customers

International health insurance provider enables full cost control.

PassportCard's payment processing and administration of medical services (ASO solution) is now also used by Lufthansa. More than 20,000 members of its flight staff already benefit from it.

The large company enjoys a comprehensive cost control solution without the need to take out insurance.

The ASO solution enables claims management, cost savings, app usage and PassportCard's innovative card solution - around the clock and around the world.

Eithan Wolf, CEO PassportCard EUROPE told iPMIM, “PassportCard is incredibly proud to service 23000 air crew members of Lufthansa. At the same time it gives us the ultimate proof that we are on the right track on our journey to become the leading IPMI provider in Europe.”

Advantages of the ASO solution

ASO (Administration Services Only) solutions are ideal for large clients where the risk is self-sustaining from an actuarial perspective. In this case, it is more advantageous for companies to be considered "self-pay" in order to receive the full benefits of the insurance but save the insurance margin and the insurer's profit.

In an ASO solution, the claims fund, i.e. the account from which claims are paid, is topped up by the customer. This means that the company itself pays.

On average, the cost saving of an ASO solution compared to full insurance is about 20 per cent.

PassportCard has been managing ASO solutions for government agencies and large corporations for many years.

Effect of ASO solutions

ASO solutions unite the client and the provider. The ASO partner analyses the data every month to track the results and behaviour of the portfolio. Optimising changes can then be made to the performance table, which can be adjusted with the client's approval to achieve better cost containment results.

After one year, there is sufficient data to enter into either the continuation of the ASO solutions or the provision of a full insurance mechanism.

PassportCard is a member of the DavidShield and White Mountains group of companies (NYSE: WTM), which has been a leader in international health and travel insurance since 1999 and serves over two million customers worldwide. The Hamburg-based company has focused on the German market since 2015 and works with Allianz, MGEN and TK. The company is a winner of the German Innovation Award 2021 and belongs to the Leading Employer Top 1%.

Further information: www.passportcard.de

 

International Citizens Insurance Announce Promotions and New Hires

Gregg Manning promoted to COO and Marco Sweeney joined ICI as VP of Sales.

International Citizens Insurance (ICI), the leading international insurance broker, is excited to announce the promotion of Gregg Manning to the position of Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Manning has previously served as Vice President of Operations since joining the firm in 2015. Under Gregg’s leadership, the company has become the leading international insurance brokerage in the USA for individual international health insurance plans. More recently, he has helped move the company into new lines of business, including international life insurance and global group benefits. Previous to joining ICI Mr. Manning worked for a variety of companies, most significantly at Edvisors as Vice President of Product. 

We are also happy to welcome Marco Sawrey as VP of Sales. Marco is charged with leading our growing sales teams to improve service to our global clientele while improving the team's overall performance.  Previous to joining ICI, Mr. Sawrey was VP, Latin America and Global Retail Development with Syndigo. His experience also includes various roles at Amazon and Fortis Investors. 

“Our team continues to grow and get better. Mr. Manning has earned a long overdue promotion.’ said Joe Cronin, President of ICI. “He has been the number one reason for our growth over the last seven years, including three years in the Inc. 5,000 list of Fastest Growing Companies. Marco is another strong addition to our team and is already making a positive impact on performance and client satisfaction.”

 

Subscribe to this RSS feed

Medical, Travel And Technical Assistance

 

A guide to leading international medical and travel assistance companies and providers, operating within leisure, expatriate and corporate business travel markets globally.

  •