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UPMC Health Plan Wins Excellence In Analytics Award

UPMC Health Plan was recognized for excellence in analytics by the International Institute for Analytics (IIA) at its annual Chief Analytics Officer Summit held in Las Vegas, Nev., last month.  

UPMC Health Plan was awarded the IIA's annual Excellence in Analytics Award, which acknowledges trailblazing companies that go above and beyond to develop advanced analytics capabilities. UPMC Health Plan was chosen for its "Learning Engine" tool, which provides continuous improvement of the analytics that optimize the quality of care for UPMC Health Plan members.    

"UPMC Health Plan is delighted to receive this honor and humbled to be in the company of the other outstanding finalists," saidPamela Peele, Ph.D., Vice President, Health Economics and Chief Analytics Officer for UPMC Health Plan. "It is rewarding to be acknowledged for an innovative tool that helps our members and enables our clinicians."

Other finalists for the award included Dignity Health, Dow Chemical, Enova International, and XL Catlin. Past winners of the award have included the Ford Motor Company, Proctor & Gamble, UnitedHealth Group, and Intermountain Healthcare.

"UPMC Health Plan is a shining example of how to advance analytics and derive measurable impact," said Jack Phillips, Co-Founder and CEO of IIA. "We salute Dr. Peele and her team and congratulate them on winning."

Head of the judging panel was the notable Tom Davenport, the President's Distinguished Professor of Information Technology and Management at Babson College who has been named one of the top three business/technology analysts in the world and one of the 100 most influential people in the IT industry. He has written or edited seventeen books and over 100 articles for Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review, the Financial Times, and other publications and writes a weekly column for the Wall Street Journal's Corporate Technology section.

All award contenders were nominated by IIA's community of analytics experts and practitioners who recognized each organization's use of analytics to drive measurable business impact. IIA, which is based in Altamonte Springs, Fla., is an independent research and advisory firm for organizations committed to accelerating their business through the power of analytics. 


Clements Worldwide Announces Launch Of International Disability Coverage For Expats & Organizations

Clements Worldwide is now offering high-limit, loss-of-income coverage for professionals abroad. Clements International Disability insurance has no exclusions for acts of political violence including civil unrest, riots, or war and terrorism, providing the right protection for expatriates living in today’s complex geo-political climate. This borderless coverage, offered in collaboration with Lloyd’s of London, is specifically designed for the unique risks of individuals working abroad and protects their income if an accident or illness prevents them from performing their occupation.

In developed nations, statistics show that 25% of professionals face disability at some point in their career. For expatriates, government workers, contractors, non-profit or international organization employees working challenging jobs in high-risk countries, this number is likely to be much higher.

“Too many people underestimate the chances of becoming disabled during their professional careers,” stated Chris Beck, President of Clements Worldwide. “Most global executives, high-income professionals and international workers have become educated about the importance of having life insurance to protect their beneficiaries, but a disability during prime working years can be more crippling to individuals and their families, and many are not protected against that likely eventuality. Our best-in-class coverage provides for lost wages and the costs of the medical treatment, even if the disability was caused by political violence, war or terrorism.”

Sixty-nine percent of private sector employees have no long-term or permanent disability insurance, according to the U.S. Social Security Administration. “Particularly for high-wage earners, securing disability insurance must be a part of proper financial planning to ensure peace of mind for them and their families,” explained Beck.

In addition, the difference between any coverage an individual may be entitled to receive from their employer or local government and an individual’s current income can be significant, highlighting the challenge in maintaining a quality lifestyle in the event of a disability. For high-wage earners, this gap can be particularly large and might be especially challenging for people working outside of their home country.

“We have heard from our customers working in Africa, Asia and the Middle East that they are turned down when they apply for high-limit disability insurance because of their location,” said Beck. “This product was specifically designed to cover the unique needs of professionals working outside of their home country.”    

The International Disability insurance program offered by Clements features both temporary and permanent options. Both options offer high-limit benefits to address the needs of internationally-based individuals, ensuring protection and a safeguard that guarantees their lifestyle is secure should anything happen.


Expats Vote Singapore Best Place To Live And Work

Singapore takes the top spot in the eighth Expat Explorer country league table, with expatriates praising the opportunities for career development, appealing salaries and an excellent quality of life.

Over a quarter (28%) of expats in Singapore earn more than USD200,000 per annum compared to 13% of expats globally. Fifty-nine per cent say the city-state is a place for career development and 79% are confident about the Singapore economy. Overall, 67% of expats say Singapore offers a better quality of life than their home country and 65% of parents say their children's health and wellbeing has improved since moving there.

The Expat Explorer survey is commissioned by HSBC Expat and conducted by YouGov. Now in its eighth year, it is the largest and one of the longest running surveys of expats, with 21,950 respondents sharing their views on different aspects of life abroad including careers, financial wellbeing, quality of life and ease of settling for partners and children. A total of 39 countries qualified for the league tables in this edition.

    Expat Explorer overall country league table
1. Singapore 2. New Zealand 3. Sweden 4. Bahrain 5. Germany 6. Canada 7. Australia 8. Taiwan 9. United Arab Emirates 10.Switzerland

Expat Explorer also reveals that: 

Expats today look beyond just financial rewards 

A better quality of life and the desire to take on a new challenge are the main reasons for making a move abroad. In both cases, 37% of expats say these are the reasons why they moved, compared to just over a quarter (26%) who say they did so to improve their job prospects. In fact, 61% of expats haven't benefited from an immediate salary increase since moving.

Expats are dedicated to experiencing as much as possible during their time abroad and only 11% say they haven't immersed themselves into their new culture. Destinations where expats are the most likely to have moved to improve their quality of life are New Zealand (71%), Spain (61%) and Portugal (56%).

Expat entrepreneurs blossom in the world's financial hubs 

The vast majority of expats living in the world's financial hubs of Singapore, Dubai, Hong Kong or London agree they are good places to start a new business (87%, 86%, 85% and 85% respectively). This is much higher than the global average of 56%[2].

A high level of confidence in the local economy is another reason why these economic hubs suit the entrepreneurial spirit: 78% of expats in Singapore and 60% in Hong Kong feel confident about the local economy.

The opportunity to broaden their skillset is a further upside for expat entrepreneurs who have settled in one of these cities: 64% of expats in London have acquired new skills since moving, compared to 43% globally.

Most generous expat packages are found in the Middle East 

Besides high salaries and strong economic prospects, expats living in the Middle East can also enjoy unrivalled benefits packages. Health and medical allowances (70% of expats in the region benefit from these), annual trips home and airfare allowances (67%), and accommodation allowances (60%) are all far more likely to be offered as part of expat contracts in the region than in any other part of the world.

For example, in Oman, 80% of expats receive airfare allowances for trips home, compared to just 33% globally. In Qatar and theUnited Arab Emirates, 75% and 55% of expats respectively receive an accommodation allowance (compared with 33% globally).

The top countries to live for expats focused on economics, experience and family are revealed as: 

           Economics            Experience           Family
    1. Switzerland          1. New Zealand     1. Sweden
    2. Singapore            2. Spain           2. New Zealand
    3. Germany              3. Singapore       3. Singapore
    4. United Arab Emirates 4. Australia       4. Spain
    5. Qatar                5. Taiwan          5. Germany

#1 in the Economics league table - Switzerland attracts career-driven expats 

Switzerland comes first in the rankings as the best expat destination for career success and financial wellbeing. Seventy-seven per cent of expats feel confident about the local economy, and 53% say it is a good place to progress careers. These compare to only 48% and 41% of expats globally. A majority (63%) also thinks their work is more fulfilling in Switzerland than it was at home. On average, expats in Switzerland are more likely to enjoy more disposable income (65%), earn higher salaries (63%) and be able to save more (60%) as a result of moving to the country.

#1 in the Experience league table - New Zealand is the hotspot for a fulfilling expat experience 

New Zealand leads the way for a satisfying expat experience. Almost eight in 10 (77%) expats there find their quality of life is better than at home and well over half (63%) say making friends has been easy. Settling in is relatively quick, with 35% who felt at home instantly or within six months. The country's great outdoors is a particular draw and 57% of expats have become more physically active since moving there.

#1 in the Expat Family league table - Sweden is the most family friendly country 

A new country in the league tables, Sweden takes the top spot as the best destination for expat family life, whether that is with or without children. Expat parents in Sweden praise the childcare available - with 79% finding it better than in their home country - the ease of arranging children's education (67%), and its affordability (77%). Overall, 79% of parents say their children's quality of life is better since moving. Sweden also has a lot to offer to single expats looking to start a family: 39% say they have found a long term partner there.

Dean Blackburn, Head of HSBC Expat, comments, "Living abroad allows people to realise a whole range of ambitions. Learning new skills, enjoying a different culture or growing closer to loved ones through a shared adventure: these are just some of the rewards expats tell us they have enjoyed through their time in another country. As global mobility continues to increase, expat life is more attainable than ever before. Expats need services that keep up with their changing needs, as managing money overseas remains a challenge. Indeed, 74% tell us their finances have become more complex in some way since moving, which highlights the value of seeking help with this aspect of life."



Security Risk Management Experts Join Forces To Address Safety Concerns of Business Travelers

In response to a growing global demand for travel risk management services, AFIMAC Global and FocusPoint International have joined forces to introduce unique products and services and penetrate the underserved global travel security market. The combined company will track business travelers and assets worldwide and help manage all types of health, safety, and security-related crises across all points of the globe.

“While demand for travel risk management has continued to skyrocket as executives, international assignees and expatriates increasingly have to travel to and operate in less safe areas worldwide, organizations have had nothing more than paper insurance policies and reports on risks to address their global security concerns,” said Peter Martin, Group President & CEO of U.S. Crisis Inc., the holding company for AFIMAC that recently acquired FocusPoint. “As industry leaders and noted experts in global security, asset tracking and crisis response, the teams at AFIMAC and FocusPoint will work together seamlessly to provide advanced TRM solutions for organizations looking to meet their duty of care obligations and eliminate the cost of response.”

Key TRM products developed by FocusPoint include MyTrac, a location-based asset-tracking solution, and Crisis Assistance Plus, a fully funded travel assistance membership program that guarantees assistance for health, safety, and security-related crises that affect members during travel. “These products are the missing link in all security-provided programs to the travel and corporate industry and align perfectly with our overall growth strategy of seizing the tremendous market opportunities within our core competency of global travel risk management,” Martin added.

Traditionally, security programs have focused on the C-suite and upper executive management levels, but the combined company will serve all business travelers regardless of their positions in their organizations, genders and ages. The companies expect demand for these services to continue to increase. Studies show that business travel contributed more than $1.8 trillion to the global economy in 2014, with spending expected to grow almost 9% in 2015 and more in coming years.

During the past 30 years, Miami-based AFIMAC has built a strong presence throughout most of the United States, Latin America, and parts of Africa. FocusPoint, with headquarters in San Diego, has expanded into portions of Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. The acquisition immediately doubles the footprint of both companies beyond their core geographic areas, expands their global reach, and brings additional services to their customer base.

Greg Pearson, President & CEO of FocusPoint International, added: “This transaction capitalizes on the natural synergies between AFIMAC and FocusPoint and provides FocusPoint with access to new distribution channels, infrastructure, and technical talent. We are thrilled to work with the top-notch professionals at AFIMAC.”


India Travel Warning: Flood Warnings For Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Assam And West Bengal

A flood warning has been issued to Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Assam and West Bengal due to the possibility of heavy rainfall in the foothills of the Himalayas over the next few days. The rainfall will also lead to swelling of rivers Kosi, Gandak and Ghaghara, tributaries of Ganga and all tributaries of Brahmaputra.

You should monitor local and international weather updates from the Indian Meteorological Department and follow the advice of local authorities and your travel company.

Over 800,000 British nationals visit India every year.

Before you travel to India, take out comprehensive medical and travel insurance and read the India specific health information and advice published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre. Be sure to speak with a professional insurance intermediary and check the coverage and small print. If you are taking the time to travel, you need to protect yourself and family financially if your holiday goes wrong. 

An emergency abroad can be extremely expensive. Your credit card accident cover, home insurance or private health cover is not always sufficient. If travelling within the European Economic Areas you will need an European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) as well as medical and travel insurance.


APRIL UK Appoints Healix To Streamline PMI Claims

APRIL UK is set to make significant changes to the way their private medical insurance claims are handled, which they believe will offer policyholders an improved claims experience and faster access to policy benefits.

The Bristol based provider has announced that from 1st September 2015, Healix will take over as the claims handler on their range of private medical insurance plans, including their inSpire PMI Plan.

One of the key enhancements that Healix will offer is a telephone based claims service. APRIL UK policyholders will no longer have to complete a claim form. Instead they can provide details of their claim over the phone to Healix, who can provide immediate authorisation for the initial consultation to take place.

Furthermore, Healix will also adopt a ‘direct to diagnostic’ approach, which aims to provide policyholders with faster access to hospital tests and scans. Where appropriate, Healix will grant authorisation for a hospital test or scan following a GP referral, without the need for an initial consultation with a specialist first.

Isaac Lam, Business Development Director at APRIL UK commented, “For us, it’s paramount that our policyholders get fast access to their healthcare benefits, without unnecessary delay and paperwork. We are delighted to have Healix on-board, their reputation in the market speaks for itself. Not only will they streamline our process, but ensure a smooth customer journey once a claim is underway.”

Bruce Eaton, Managing Director at Healix Health Services commented, “Having claims managed by nurses means we have skilled people on the telephone who are able to evaluate the claim and provide authorisation there and then, avoiding unnecessary delay. At the same time they are able to provide the claimant with informed advice and support if needed.

“We are very excited about working with April UK and are looking forward to helping them provide a superior claims experience for their policyholders.”

Oliver Jones, Broker Development Manager at APRIL UK commented, “Working with brokers on a daily basis, one of the constant feedback points I get is regarding our paper-based claims process. With Healix, we can finally remove this archaic process and become paperless which will really show our statement of intent.”

APRIL UK remain optimistic about continued growth as they embark on a series of investments this year, designed to improve broker experience and their overall proposition.


International SOS Clinics In Tianjin And Tianjin TEDA Remain Open

The fire at a logistics facility in the Binhai Port area of Tianjin Municipality resulted in two large explosions on 12th August at around 11.20pm. 

Immediately after the explosion International SOS staff provided triage and first aid treatment for the seriously injured. In addition, International SOS sent a team to Tianjin to ensure continued support to our clients and members. 

Both International SOS clinics in Tianjin and Tianjin TEDA remain open.

The authorities have given the following travel advice:

• Avoid the vicinity of the fire and explosion in Binhai until the situation has normalised.
• Follow all directives issued by the authorities, and observe any exclusion zones and road closures established around the site of the explosion.
• Anticipate traffic disruption in coming hours in Tianjin, particularly in and around the Binhai area, due to road closures and related safety measures.
• International SOS clients are encouraged to monitor travel security alerts for further developments.

For additional information or support, International SOS clients please call the Beijing Assistance Centre on (0)10 6462 9100.


Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. Reports Second Quarter 2015 Results

Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. announced financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2015. 

Second Quarter 2015 Consolidated Financial Highlights

  • Revenue was $22.7 million, an increase of 8.6% over $20.9 million in the second quarter of 2014.
  • Total collections from customers, which our industry refers to as premium equivalents, was $38.5 million, an increase of 3.5% over $37.2 million in the second quarter of 2014.
  • Adjusted EPS was $0.08, compared to $0.09 in the second quarter of 2014. EPS per diluted share was a net loss of $0.04, compared to net income of $0.05 in the second quarter of 2014.
  • Adjusted EBITDA was $1.8 million, compared to $2.1 million in the second quarter of 2014.
  • Record policies in force as of June 30, 2015, totaled 113,000, a 14.1% increase from 99,000 as of June 30, 2014.

"By the end of the second quarter 2015, our sales were in line with our growth expectations, and we expect this trend to continue for the remainder of 2015. Our overall sales results for the quarter reflect the adverse impact of the government's annual enrollment period and the one-time special tax enrollment period for ACA plans, which ended on April 30th. We now have better knowledge and data of sales trends during the open enrollment period that will reflect in future forecasts. In addition, the next ACA open enrollment period is expected to be 90 days shorter, and we expect additional growth as a result. I am pleased with the investments and progress that HII is making in building the leading innovative, consumer- and technology-centric platform in the affordable individual health insurance market," said Michael Kosloske, HII's Chief Executive Officer.

Pat McNamee, HII's President, commented, "I am excited by the opportunities available to HII to meaningfully penetrate the large market for affordable health insurance products. Since my joining the company two months ago, we have been rebuilding the team at HII to support our growth strategies with a focus on core execution, distribution and product expansion. In the second quarter, we have already expanded and diversified our distribution network, adding two new key components including a brokerage distribution network and a new direct-to-consumer network, We now have four distinct channels of distribution: owned call centers, non-owned call centers, brokerages, and online direct-to-consumer via"

Mr. McNamee continued, "We are setting the stage for 2016 by layering new opportunities over our core business, including, our brokerage distribution channel, new and expanded products, and leveraging our technology solutions to meet the consumer needs of the vast and growing base of customers in need of affordable health insurance alternatives. We believe we are making the right investments at the right time for the long-term benefits of all our stakeholders – our shareholders, partners, employees and customers."

2015 Full Year Guidance

For the full year 2015 we expect revenue between $97 million - $103 million and adjusted earnings per share between $0.18 - $0.25.

Second Quarter Financial Discussion

During the second quarter of 2015, we changed the structure of our operating segments to a single reportable segment. HealthPocket is no longer a separate reportable segment. We believe one segment is more appropriate as a result of our anticipated internal fulfillment of HealthPocket's client referral leads by HII's owned call centers and the launch of

Second quarter revenues of $22.7 million and premium equivalents of $38.5 million increased by 8.6% and 3.5%, respectively, as compared to the second quarter of 2014. The increases were primarily due to the increase in the total number of policies in force as a result of our continuing expansion of our distribution network and continued success in providing quality ancillary insurance products as supplements to our individual and family plans ("IFP"). We have consolidated short term medical and hospital indemnity policies which have a similar financial profile as IFP. Going forward we will report two categories: IFP and ancillary products. By policy type, the 2015 second quarter mix of revenues was as follows: 71% IFP and 29% ancillary products. A reconciliation of premium equivalents to revenues for the three and six months ended June 30, 2015 and 2014 is in the financial supplement included in this press release.

Adjusted gross margin, which is calculated starting with revenues and then adjusted for third party commissions, and credit card and ACH fees, increased to $11.0 million or 28.6% of premium equivalents for the second quarter of 2015, compared to $10.1 million of adjusted gross margin and 27.2% of premium equivalents in the same period in 2014. A reconciliation of premium equivalents to revenues and adjusted gross margin for the three and six months ended June 30, 2015 and 2014 is included within this press release.

Selling, general and administrative ("SG&A") expenses were $10.4 million in the second quarter of 2015, compared to $8.6 million in 2014. The increase in SG&A expense was primarily driven by the impact of acquisitions and investments in innovations to drive sustainable growth in 2015 and beyond, as well as restructuring costs in our continued effort to control future SG&A costs.

EBITDA was $0.6 million in the second quarter of 2015, compared to $1.6 million in the same period in 2014. Adjusted EBITDA is calculated starting with EBITDA, which is then further adjusted for items that are not part of regular operating activities, including acquisition costs and other non-cash items such as stock-based compensation. Adjusted EBITDA was $1.8 million in the second quarter of 2015, compared to $2.1 million in the same period in 2014. A reconciliation of net (loss) income to EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA for the three and six months ended June 30, 2015 and 2014 is included within this press release.

Cash and short term investments totaled $8.8 million at the end of the second quarter of 2015, and the Company has no debt. Cash decreased by $1.7 million during the quarter primarily due to a $2.0 million increase in advanced commissions that we provide to our distributors. As of the end of the second quarter of 2015, our advance commissions totaled $10.0 million.



Interpace Diagnostics Announces Additional Coverage in Top Managed Care Health Plans for Their Thyroid and Pancreas Molecular Diagnostic Tests

PDI, Inc. subsidiary Interpace Diagnostics announced today that both the ThyGenX™ Thyroid Oncogene Panel and ThyraMIR™ Thyroid miRNA Classifier, its molecular diagnostic tests for indeterminate thyroid nodules, are now covered by one of the largest independent Blue Cross Blue Shield plans that insures 3.3 million lives. 

This medical policy update, covering both ThyGenX and ThyraMIR, represents the first large commercial plan to cover ThyraMIR, a novel microRNA gene expression classifier launched earlier this year. Furthermore, it follows the recent announcement of coverage by Aetna for ThyGenX, Interpace Diagnostics' genetic mutation panel used to improve risk stratification and surgical decision-making when standard cytopathology does not provide a clear diagnosis of thyroid cancer.  The combination of all plans, including Medicare coverage of ThyGenX, represents a total of 80 million covered lives for Interpace Diagnostics' molecular thyroid diagnostic tests.

Coverage of PancraGen™, Interpace Diagnostics' test for pancreatic cyst cancer risk stratification, was also recently extended to an additional 1.3 million lives by a contracted top national plan, bringing this plan's total covered lives for PancraGen to 10 million.  Additionally, one of the country's largest Blue Cross Blue Shield plans renewed PancraGen contract coverage for their 5.9 million lives. These plans recognize the value in identifying patients at risk of progression to pancreatic cancer and those at a lower risk with a high degree of accuracy, by ensuring their members have access to this technology.  The combination of all plans, including Medicare coverage of PancraGen, represents over 70 million covered lives for this molecular test.

"Coverage by these additional plans provides further validation of our tests' value to their members," said Nancy Lurker, CEO of PDI, Inc.  She adds, "We continue to advance discussions with other plans to increase coverage for our tests, efforts which will both benefit patients and further accelerate the current growth taking place at Interpace Diagnostics, our molecular diagnostics business."


Healix Opens New Office In Houston, Texas To Support Oil & Gas Market

HX Global, the US arm of Healix International, has appointed John Hankamer as Senior VP of Sales to head up its new sales office in Houston, with a focus on supporting companies operating in the global oil & gas market.

Hankamer has over 25 years’ experience providing product and service solutions to organizations in a variety of industries including Oil & Gas, Engineering, Construction and Mining. Having previously worked at International SOS, FrontierMEDEX and most recently Remote Medical International, the bulk of his career has been in the medical and security assistance and medical staffing business, supporting clients headquartered in the south central and western US.

Gregory Cain, President of HX Global commented, “Having known John since 1998 when we previously worked together at AEA International, I have long sought his joining us and am delighted that he will be spearheading our growth in the oil & gas market. His wealth of experience will be invaluable in assisting our clients, many of whom operate in some of the most challenging and remote environments.”

In addition to Texas, John’s remit will also cover organizations headquartered in the neighboring states of New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and Alabama.

HX Global® is the US subsidiary of Healix International Ltd, a global leader in international medical, security & travel assistance and international occupational health services. Working on behalf of multinational corporations, governments, NGOs and insurers, Healix is entrusted to look after the welfare of millions of expatriates, travelers and local nationals in every country of the world, 24 hours a day.

John can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on +1 281 547 8891.

Or for more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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