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iPMI Magazine successfully rebranded to iPMI Global in 2023 and has moved to a new home on the internet. To visit the brand new international private medical insurance business intelligence platform, please go to www.ipmiglobal.com

Bupa Launches New International Private Medical Insurance (IPMI) Products For Businesses

Bupa Global has launched a new range of tiered international private medical insurance (IPMI) products available to UK businesses. The new Business Health Plan range is designed for companies that need to offer premium international cover for specific areas of their workforce or need a richer offering for key employees. 

The four new products - called Business Select, Business Premier, Business Elite and Business Ultimate - are tiered on coverage and price based on the findings from extensive customer insight. They offer rich cover and benefits to meet the needs of globally mobile and globally minded businesses and their employees. Customers will also have access to Bupa’s global network of international healthcare professionals. 

Sheldon Kenton, Managing Director, Bupa Global said: “The demands of both companies and their employees are changing as businesses are becoming more global and their employees are travelling more often. We also know that no two businesses are the same and some need a richer offering for key employees. That is why we worked closely with our customers to develop this new range of products and ensure that they meet the needs of globally mobile and globally minded businesses. With the new tiered range, it is now easier for companies to choose the right health plan for their employees’ specific needs.” 

The new Business Health Plans are designed to cover all-round health protection for the mind as well as the body. The Business Health Plans provide employees with 24/7 cover, wherever they are in the world*.

The range of benefits includes:

  • In-hospital care
  • Evacuation – if emergency treatment isn’t available locally, an employee will be evacuated (and when medically necessary their relative or partner) to where they need to be for treatment
  • Treatment for cancer and other serious illnesses, for as long as needed 
  • Hereditary, congenital and chronic conditions
  • Transplants and rehabilitation

Commenting on employee health and wellness, Kenton said: “This has become an important way for businesses to look after their people, for two main reasons. First, employees now increasingly expect their employer to play an active role in their health and wellbeing. Companies in turn are looking to their health insurance providers to help deliver programmes and initiatives.

“Secondly, in a particularly competitive market, businesses are looking at how they can differentiate their offer to employees. Providing rich, global healthcare cover can help a business in attracting and retaining key talent.”

Bupa Global’s new plans offer a range of health and wellness features and enable businesses to offer a richness of international cover for key employees. At the same time companies can provide other employees with domestic cover from Bupa UK. Together, Bupa can meet the healthcare needs of an entire business. 

For more information on the new Business Health Plans, visit https://www.bupaglobal.com

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Empire Life Signs Agreement with MetLife Expatriate Benefits

The Empire Life Insurance Company (Empire Life) announced it has signed an agreement with MetLife Expatriate Benefits to administer its new Voyageur Global Benefits program for expatriate medical, disability, and life insurance.

"We're delighted to be launching Voyageur Global Benefits and working together with MetLife. With nearly 60 years in the market, they have vast experience when it comes to expatriates benefits," said Steve Pong, senior vice-president, Group Solutions at Empire Life. "MetLife administers the employee benefits of thousands of expatriates around the world. They have the breadth and depth of experience required to deliver the service excellence that both of our organizations are known for."

The number of Canadians living abroad has increased substantially in the past two decades, which has increased demand for expatriate benefits. Recent reports estimate 2.8 million Canadians are living abroad.1

Voyageur Global Benefits will offer world-class benefits for Canadians working abroad.2 A key feature of this new suite of benefits is the MetLife Regional Service Centre model. Located in key areas around the world, this puts local resources closer to members while on assignment. Experienced staff provides local expertise and understanding of regional differences, making it easier to obtain quality medical care, get services paid, and receive local support.

"Working abroad can be both exciting and challenging for expatriates and their families," said Dan DeKeizer, senior vice president, Global Employee Benefits, MetLife. "With Voyageur Global Benefits, customers will have access to more than a million healthcare providers in over 180 countries, which helps deliver peace of mind no matter where they are in the world. We are very pleased to be working with Empire Life, and together, look forward to bringing innovative solutions to the Canadian market."

(1) Courtesy APF Canada 2011.

(2) Voyageur Global Benefits will be available in Quebec at a later date.

(3) The Globe and Mail Report on Business Magazine, June 2015, based on revenue.

(4) As at May 19, 2015.

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WellAway Limited Now Offering ACA Compliant (Obamacare) International Health Programs To Expats Relocating To The USA

WellAway Limited is proud to announce the launch of its latest expatriate healthcare programs – La Vie à l’Etranger and the New American.

La Vie à l’Etranger and the New American both offer Affordable Care Act (ACA/Obamacare) compliant healthcare plans coupled with innovative wellness and support tools for expatriates coming to the USA. This program is designed to offer more than just health insurance, by assisting incoming foreign nationals and their families in establishing their new life in the USA with confidence and peace-of-mind.

This program contains the only expatriate health plan to receive approval as ACA compliant in the market.  La Vie à l’Etranger and the New American provide medical services through an open-access provider network of over 1.1 million healthcare professionals.

The program also includes expatriate support tools such as access to a personal ConciergeCare counselor, provider search assistance with appointment scheduling, an online Personal Health Record with medical record retrieval, e-consultations, and second medical opinions.

WellAway Limited offers member services in a variety of languages via its multi-cultural, multi-lingual call-center. WellAway Limited is a leading advocate of expatriate support for individuals, families, and employees. Having an ACA compliant plan will help expatriates living in the USA in avoiding to pay a tax or substantial penalties, as well as to ensure them that their health is in good hands.

La Vie à l’Etranger and the New American are now open for enrollment and interested individuals can obtain a quote and complete an application online at www.wellaway.com or via one of our selected brokers.

Brokers seeking to offer this innovative expatriate healthcare program are advised to contact our Broker Management department at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

About WellAway Limited

WellAway Limited is a company headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda with global office locations which include France, Belgium, and the UK. The company specializes in health and travel insurance for expatriates with an emphasis on unique health programs for foreign nationals living throughout the world. Interested parties in the above press release should contact our Press Officer at +1 (441) 296 0651 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Self-Insured Funding – Is This The Right Option For Your Company?

With rising premiums and reduced benefits to employees, many employers are deciding to self-fund their healthcare benefits, in order to avoid costly healthcare reform mandates, taxes, and inflated insurance carrier profit margins.  Nearly 60% of employers in the USA, of all sizes, self-fund their healthcare plans, states the Employee Benefit Research Institute.  The question remains, “Is self-funded the right option for your company?”  The question is sure to be answered upon conclusion of this piece.

Self-insured funding is one of the most effective ways employers can control the rising costs of healthcare coverage.  What is a self-insured funded plan?  First of all, it is a healthcare plan in which the employer assumes the financial responsibility for providing healthcare benefits to its employees.  In practical terms, under this type of healthcare plan, the employers pay for claims out-of-pocket as they are presented, instead of paying a predetermined premium to an insurance company under a fully insured plan.  For employers who have employees working in and outside of the USA, WellAway Limited has a myriad of viable healthcare solutions and services for today’s international company.

WellAway Limited has plans available for employers with as few as 50 employees.  While it is true that larger employers tend to utilize self-funded plans more often, smaller employers are increasingly turning to self-funded plans, by utilizing innovative stop-loss insurance and cost management solutions.  This option can be quite advantageous to all employers because it allows greater savings and provides sustainable cost control for years to come.

Benefits of self-insured funded healthcare plans include:

  • Avoidance of state mandatory benefits
  • Cash flow benefits
  • Control and flexibility of plan design
  • Enhanced cost reporting and management
  • Lower administration costs and premiums

A breakdown of suitable plans for employers with varying amount of employees follows:

Small Businesses (50-300 Employees)

WellAway Limited offers small businesses health insurance options that assist its owners to achieve fast and viable budget control.  Additionally, WellAway Limited can design a product for a self-insured funding solution intended to meet the particular needs of companies with less than 300 employees.  Small businesses understand the need to control expenses and the opportunity to save money.  WellAway Limited’s self-insured funding plans offer the flexibility and financial predictability to know what is owed on a monthly basis.  Some perks of this option are:

  • Selecting a plan that fits your needs
  • Provide employees with online tools
  • Employee retention

Medium Businesses (301-2,500 Employees)

Employers need to keep their healthcare expenditures in check, in order to run a sound business model.  WellAway Limited has developed incentive programs to motivate employees to improve and lead a healthier lifestyle.  WellAway Limited’s Disease Management Team is dedicated to help employees make better decisions about their health, by guiding them on prevention and medical services, such as:

  • Wellness culture awareness
  • Health improvement and productivity
  • Personalized health coaching
  • Employee disease management

Large Businesses (301-2,500 Employees)

Large corporations require specific goals when selecting health insurance benefits for employees.  WellAway Limited focuses on identifying the exact needs of each employer, and works towards a tailored solution.  Whether your employees are in the USA or worldwide, WellAway Limited has the right plan for your company’s needs.  Employers that sign up with WellAway Limited are provided with a strong customer service team, which allows you to:

  • Track and report healthcare expenditures with reporting tools and online resources
  • Improve health and wellness behaviors of employees
  • Connect with an outstanding provider network
  • Empower employee health

WellAway Limited provides a solution-based approach to your healthcare benefits needs.  They are dedicated to assist employers with evaluating their healthcare plan options and guiding them to a self-funded solution.  If you would like a risk-free analysis and evaluation to determine the possibility of self-funding for your organization, contact WellAway Limited at +1 441 296 0651, www.wellaway.com, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and a customer service representative will contact you.

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The IRS Moves Towards Implementing The Cadillac Tax

Regardless of the opposition of congressmen, brokers, and employers, on July 30th, the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued another notice on the Cadillac Tax, which will go into effect in early 2018.  Notice 2015-52 Section 49801 – Excise Tax on High Cost Employer-Sponsored Health Coverage addresses additional topics and issues related to the Cadillac Tax, which will seriously impact most employer-sponsored group health plans.

In February, the IRS issued Notice 2015-16. That notice brought into light the preliminary ideas for the reason of developing future proposed Cadillac Tax rules and regulations dealing with excess benefits, determining costs of coverage, and defining applicable coverage. Notice 2015-52 continues where Notice 2015-16 left off, and addresses such issues as who is responsible to calculate and pay the tax, how the tax should be paid, when the tax is to be paid, and detailing the types of challenges the employer aggregation rules may pose.

The purpose of this tax is to reduce excess healthcare spending by both employees and employers, and to help finance the continual expansion of healthcare coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).    The IRS points out that these types of notices should not be construed as official guidance.  The following is a brief summary of some of the issues addressed in this notice. 

To view the full notice visit this link from the IRS: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-15-52.pdf.

Who will be liable to pay the excise tax?

Each “coverage provider” must pay the tax on its share of excess benefits for the applicable tax period.  Even if the plan year is not, the applicable tax period will be the calendar year.  Depending on the type of plan, the liable coverage provider varies.  The excise tax is not a deductible expense.

What is applicable coverage?

In general, applicable coverage is coverage under any group health plan that is made available to the employee, former employee, surviving spouse, retiree, or other primary insured individual which is excludable from gross income.

Who determines the cost of applicable coverage?

The employer will be responsible to calculate and determine the amount the excess benefit provided to an employee during any month during the calendar year.  All employers must notify both the IRS and all coverage providers of the exact amount of the excess benefit, and then, the tax must be paid by the coverage provider (not the employer).

The guidance in the notices issued by the IRS, so far, should be used to give employers an idea of how the IRS is intending to implement the Cadillac Tax.  Employers should also note that after 2018, the inflation adjustment to the dollar limit amounts will be indexed to CPI, an index typically lower than healthcare inflation.  Further, employers should pay very close attention to the forthcoming regulations in order to adequately prepare for the implementation of the Cadillac Tax.

Wrapping things up, you may ask, how may the Cadillac Tax affect expatriates and international employers?  Employers who hire expatriates and international employers may be subject to the Cadillac Tax, unless certain measures and changes take place to balance the coverage between domestic and expatriate members.  WellAway Limited specializes in plans designed and in compliance with the USA Government for expatriates and employers, in general.  For more information as to how WellAway Limited can help you with solutions that can accommodate both your domestic and expat employees, as well as complying with the Cadillac Tax, please contact them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or +1 441 296-0651.

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What Are The Key Differences Between An iPMI And A Local Insurance Plan?

In a recent International Private Medical Insurance Magazine executive round table business forum, we spoke with leading C-Level executives about the major differences between international private medical insurance plans and local insurance plans.

As expatriate hot spots around the world continue to mandate insurance cover for expatriate employees, under various visa and employment laws, questions from the business community continue to be raised. Issues focus around how new laws will help and assist expatriates and what levels of cover they may expect from local insurance plans.

GREGOR SCHULTE Globality Health: At their heart, international health insurance plans are designed to cover all costs of high quality medical care regardless of the location of the insured person and the standard of local health services. Whereas a local plan is designed to provide cover primarily in a single country, taking into account the insurance practice and requirements of that country, access to state healthcare provisions and treatment costs in local hospitals only.

Of course international plans offer cover that transcends borders and generally include benefits specifically applicable to expatriates, such as repatriation and evacuation cover, assistance services and benefits, portability and freedom to choose the healthcare provider. The result is that iPMI usually provides far higher levels of benefits than those available from ‘local’ schemes, although this is dependent on which country is considered.

ANDREW APPS ALC Health*: Superficially there are many similarities between a local and international private medical (iPMI) plan. The fundamental difference is the target audience for each of these two very different products.

An iPMI plan is designed to cover a policyholder, usually an expatriate, for practically any health-related matter they may encounter, a local scheme does not have the same mandate, being designed with the local population in mind and most often acting as a support to local, often staterun facilities. This means that the features of each of these plans are markedly different.

The most noticeable difference is that an international plan usually offers a wider, more comprehensive range of benefits and with much higher benefit limits. For example, with an iPMI plan there can be generous cover for items such as GP visits, full chronic conditions cover, routine pregnancy and childbirth cover, evacuation and repatriation cover, and usually overall sum insured amounts that can be ten or twenty times higher than those of a local scheme.

Typically, an iPMI plan will also be portable, and not restricted to their country of residence, allowing the geographically mobile policyholder full access to all of their benefits wherever they are, in their chosen area of cover. Some iPMI plans also do not require their insured members to seek treatment within a network. The policyholder has the freedom to choose where they wish to receive treatment.

Naturally local schemes are usually less expensive than international plans, but correspondingly, the benefits are far less comprehensive, with low benefit limits (sometimes the benefits are blatantly only a contribution towards the total cost of treatment), out-of-network penalties, co-pay benefits, none or very limited out-of-country coverage. Most local schemes also do not offer 24 hour support.

Similarly by their very nature, local schemes are very much tailored to the local population with policy documentation available only in the local language and the benefits tailored to the audience the plan is designed for. The unwary expatriate with local cover may well find that he either has to make do with low levels of cover, or more likely will have to self-pay at least part of his treatment.

PHIL AUSTIN Cigna: International Health Insurance plans by their nature are better suited to expatriate life than local plans. They usually provide cover worldwide, meaning that wherever the individual happens to be in the world, they will be able to receive treatment.

Local plans on the other hand will normally only provide cover in a single country. This means that when the expatriate is making a trip back home, or is spending time in another country, they are potentially ineligible for treatment.

Moving to a new country often brings about basic challenges like language barriers and cultural adjustments. An international health insurance plan helps the expatriate remove a lot of this uncertainty as they will be dealing with a provider with experience in working with expats and experience in global healthcare. This means that often a language barrier can be removed by speaking to the insurer who can communicate directly with the hospital, and the expat can seek advice about local customs and peculiarities.

Finally and perhaps most importantly, expatriates who are not permanent residents or citizens of the country they are moving to may be ineligible for a local plan.

SHIRLEY PUCCINO GeoBlue: Local plans are designed to deliver coverage and services inside the host county and tend to incorporate underlying government health programs, networks, and delivery systems reflecting local languages, customs, business practices and provider relationships. International health insurance plans strive to provide more comprehensive global cover and an optimal experience globally, while to the extent possible, allow for local nuances in plan administration, delivery and practices.

READ THE COMPLETE ROUND TABLE, CLICK HERE.

*At the time of round table publication Andrew was working at ALC Health.

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India Network Health Insurance Program Announces Visitor Health Insurance Coverage to Canada, US, and Mexico Bound Visitors

India Network announced today that all policy holders of India Network Health Insurance programs would be automatically covered for accidents and medical problems during their travel from the home country to the United States, Canada or Mexico. Policy holders must purchase the insurance on or before they embark on their journey to avail this coverage. Typically, visitors traveling from India start the coverage one or two days before their arrival in the United States, Canada or Mexico to avail this benefit.

India Network offers comprehensive insurance plans that limit individual exposure by availing network negotiated rates for services and pay 80% for such covered service. The second set of plans are known as scheduled benefit plans or fixed benefit plans that reimburse policy holders or provides a predetermined amount for each covered service. A special feature of India Network Health Insurance programs is that they also cover pre-existing conditions for both inpatient services and outpatient services.

Dr. KV Rao, President, India Network Foundation, said that the travel insurance coverage is very important for visitors traveling to the United States or Canada. Recently, an elderly person insured by India Network Health Insurance was injured during travel. ACE American Insurance Company, the underwriter ofIndia Network programs is helping the policy holder just because they choose to purchase the plan covering the travel date.

Life Expectancy in India is slowly increasing. Life expectancy at birth for women was 67.7 years and it was 64.6 years for men. Longer post retirement time creates several health problems for elderly visitors. Several health conditions such as diabetes, blood pressure, etc. go undetected for years. India Network today offers plans to cover pre-existing conditions to help those elderly with medical conditions that they may or may not know. Many other insurance plans often reject any claims for these elderly visitors under pre-existing medical coverage exclusions.

India Network advises everyone traveling to the United States to take the best medical coverage. Only proper medical insurance with pre-existing conditions coverage can help visitors with any unexpected medical problems during their overseas stay. It is very important to understand the definitions and exclusions in various plans. India Network Health Insurance is the only that treats pre-existing conditions on par with new problems and accidents and premiums are bit higher than other plans due to this improved coverage.

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Potential Expatriate Retirees Fear Political Violence & International Health Insurance Coverage

With a growing number of Americans retiring abroad, a poll released by Clements Worldwide indicates that international political instability and terrorism top the list of worries among would-be expatriates.

The survey by Clements, a global insurance provider with 68 years’ experience covering individuals living and working outside of their country of citizenship, also found strong concern but lack of information about the availability of appropriate health care insurance overseas. Asked to choose the risks of overseas living they feared most, 92 percent of respondents selected political or economic upheaval, while 86 percent picked terrorism. Eighty-nine percent expressed concern about a health crisis, while 79 percent said they were concerned about a natural disaster. When asked which factor they were “extremely concerned about,” the largest share, 18 percent, chose terrorism and 15 percent political upheaval.

“Americans appear to be forgoing retirement abroad due to fears of terrorism and potential political upheaval,” said Sergio Sanchez, chief marketing officer at Clements Worldwide. “And that’s unfortunate because our international claims data show that such risks, and the costs associated with them, pale in comparison to those created by insufficient health care coverage, or by having the wrong auto or personal accident insurance while abroad.”

In all, 24 percent of 1,179 people over age 50, and with household income over $100,000, said they are considering expatriate life within the next 15 years. Respondents planning to retire outside of the United States were somehow less worried about the more commonplace threats of traffic or personal accidents, with just one percent saying they were “extremely concerned” about such mishaps.

Europe was the top destination considered by 59 percent, followed by the Caribbean (40 percent) and Central and South America (32 percent). Less than nine percent of those likely to relocate are considering a new life in Asia, while fewer than three percent are looking at Africa and less than two percent at the Middle East, suggesting concern about instability in those regions.

“Risks vary based on location,” said Mr. Sanchez. “Those considering a move abroad should begin with the basics, such as comprehensive international health and automobile coverage. Then they should consider factors specific to their destination, such as personal property insurance for theft or vandalism and political violence insurance including coverage for emergency evacuation. Regardless of nationality, it’s critical for would-be retirees, and even currently employed professionals planning to or already living outside their home country, to reach out to a specialized international insurance broker who is familiar with their needs and the regulations that affect expatriates around the world. Having the wrong coverage can be as harmful as having no coverage.”

For instance, while access to affordable health care was the second biggest relocation concern among those planning to live abroad -- at 68 percent, second only to the cost of living (72 percent) -- a majority of respondents were not clear about what their health coverage needs abroad would be, or if expatriate coverage with access to U.S. medical facilities would be available.

Respondents were also unclear as to whether they will have to become a citizen of their destination country to receive health coverage. Nearly half were unsure about this, while 22 percent said that is the case.

“Finding a suitable international health policy should not stand in the way of expatriate retirement planning,” said Mr. Sanchez. “At Clements we offer programs like GlobalCare® for individuals and organizations that include unsurpassed benefits in hard currency, allow access to western-style facilities worldwide including coverage for doctor visits in the US, and Englishlanguage support. Designed to meet the healthcare needs of expats, contractors, and travelers, Clements' core plans automatically include the benefit of emergency medical evacuation at no extra cost.”

The survey was conducted online from March 19 to March 23.

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Canadians Unaware About The Full Cost Of Health Care

According to the findings from the 2014 Canadian Health Index issued by Sun Life Financial, nine out of 10 Canadians (89 per cent) believe they are fully covered for all costs associated with hospital stays and psychiatric treatment. Additionally almost four out of five Canadians say that they do not expect to pay out of pocket to cover costs associated with:

  • nursing home/long-term care residence (79 per cent)
  • hearing aids (78 per cent)
  • home care (76 per cent)

In fact, it is common for patients to pay some amount personally for these and other health care expenses.

To help Canadians understand what governments, employee benefit plans and personal insurance cover, Sun Life Financial has released a series of provincial healthcare funding guides. These comprehensive guides outline and detail coverage options, personal costs and other key considerations for six common health events or services:

  • Disability
  • Home care
  • Long term (nursing home) care
  • Palliative (end-of-life) care
  • Prescription drugs
  • Travel emergency medical

The provincial healthcare funding guides are found at: www.sunlife.ca/whopaysforhealthcare

"Canada's health insurance system was set up to respond to people's need for it, rather than for their ability to pay for it. However, our research revealed that a large majority of Canadians are not aware that not everything is covered by their provincial health insurance," says Brigitte Parent, Senior Vice President, Individual Insurance & Wealth, Sun Life Financial Canada.  "We hope that our new healthcare funding guides will help Canadians in understanding what's covered and what's not."  

Though government and employer health plans provide complementary coverage for many health related expenses, there are common, necessary medical services that are not fully covered.

The healthcare guides are organized by province and contain practical, informative and easily accessible information with links to other authoritative websites for more detail. 

For more key findings and results on the 2014 Sun Life Canadian Health Index, visit www.sunlife.ca/CanadianHealthIndex.

About the Sun Life Canadian Health Index survey

The Sun Life Canadian Health Index measures the attitudes of Canadians towards healthy lifestyles and reports these in the form of an index.

The fifth annual Sun Life Canadian Health Index is based on the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between June 19, 2014and July 2, 2014. A sample of 2,799 Canadians from 18 to 80 years of age from the Ipsos Canadian panel was interviewed online.

Ipsos Reid employed weighting to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe.

The precision of Ipsos Reid online surveys is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the survey is accurate to within + 2.1% at 95% Confidence Level had all Canadian adults been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to methodological change, coverage error and measurement error.

About Sun Life Financial
Celebrating 150 years in 2015, Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of protection and wealth products and services to individuals and corporate customers. Sun Life Financial and its partners have operations in key markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines,Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda.

As of December 31, 2014 the Sun Life Financial group of companies had total assets under management of $734 billion. For more information please visit www.sunlife.com.

Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.

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PA Insurance & Health Departments Issue Consumer Alert on Tobacco Cessation Coverage

Acting Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller has issued a consumer alert to inform customers that tobacco cessation programs are free under the Affordable Care Act.  This alert followed a PA Insurance Department reminder issued to all insurers offering health insurance policies through the ACA marketplaces that they are required to provide tobacco cessation at no cost to policy holders.  A recent American Lung Association report indicated some insurers were not complying with the tobacco cessation coverage mandate of the ACA.

"Though the American Lung Association report showed Pennsylvania insurers are doing a better job than those in most other states of covering tobacco cessation treatment, most health plans did not provide coverage for the full range of programs that should be available under preventive care," Acting Commissioner Miller said.  She noted most Pennsylvania insurance plans, according to the American Lung Association report, are not covering all seven FDA approved tobacco cessation medications.

"Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death," added Acting Health Secretary Dr. Karen Murphy. "An estimated twenty-one percent of the 2.1 million adults in Pennsylvania continue to smoke. We know that a combination of counseling and medication is the most effective treatment. Pennsylvanians covered under ACA should have access to the broad range of cessation programs available."

Pennsylvanians attempting to quit smoking who have purchased health insurance through marketplaces created by the ACA are mandated, by this law, to have access to tobacco cessation treatments without any cost-sharing. 

"My department is working with insurers to help them understand the ACA, but I also want to educate consumers who have policies under this law so they can get the coverage to which they are entitled," Miller said.  She noted that approximately 472,000 Pennsylvanians have insurance through the Affordable Care Act.

Pennsylvania has resources available in all 67 counties to help residents quit smoking. The ACA guidance for insurers includes providing a benefit to cover screening for tobacco use. Eight Regional Primary Contractors are responsible for offering evidence-based training to clinicians and healthcare systems to implement an effective screening intervention with every patient to identify and document tobacco use status.

The ACA guidance for insurers includes covering two quit attempts per year consisting of counseling and coverage for all FDA approved medications. Information on individual, group and telephone cessation counseling programs throughout the commonwealth is available at http://www.health.pa.gov or by calling 1-877-724-3258.

For more information on insurance products and protections go to www.insurance.pa.gov or call 877-881-6388.

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Expatriate Health Insurance

Compare Expatriate Health and Medical Insurance Plans, Coverage, Quotes and Companies, with iPMI Magazine. iPMIM represents leading providers of expat medical, health and travel insurance plans. Find the right and most appropriate Expatriate Health Insurance for overseas travel, global mobility and relocation