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iPMI Magazine Round Table: International Medical Cost Containment Strategies 2022

This Closed Door Executive Round Table Business Forum Takes A Look At International Medical Cost Containment Strategies, In A Post Covid-19 World.

A lot has changed since global lock downs grounded flights, halted travel and screwed up business. What a 2 years it was. Emerging from the other side, we speak with international healthcare leaders about what has changed since the pandemic, and the journey the global health insurance market is navigating to insure against future risks. As always, the dialogue and debates were highly educational.

Round Table Executives

Elena Donina Glukhman

AP Companies

Nicole Perreault

AXA Partners US

James Walker

Charles Taylor Assistance

Dr Peter Mills

Cigna Europe

Susan Yates

Falck Global Assistance

John Speers

Global Excel

Monica Rummelhoff

GMMI

Gitte Bach

New Frontier Group

Mike Rizo

Pharmcare

Sumit Gaurav

Roy Medical Assistance

Alerah Turner

World Travel Protection

How To Download International Medical Cost Containment Strategies 2022

CLICK HERE to view or download the round table in PDF format.

For the best reader experience we recommend downloading the PDF and viewing in Adobe Acrobat.

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We hope you enjoy reading this RT report, as much as we enjoyed pulling it together.

LEGAL: © 2009-2022 All rights reserved. iPMI Magazine is protected by copyright and may not be copied, distributed, republished or used in any way without the express written permission of the publisher. By using iPMI Magazine you agree to the terms and conditions of use.

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Allianz Partners Announces Enhanced International Health Insurance Options For Customers

Allianz Partners has announced three significant enhancements to their suite of international health plans, aimed at providing more options to customers with health insurance policies.

Firstly, the new Allianz Summit plan – designed and sold through the company’s international health brand, Allianz Care – offers SMEs increased flexibility when designing their employee health insurance benefits. Secondly, the addition of moratorium underwriting offers faster onboarding when purchasing health insurance for both individuals and SMEs. Thirdly, all customers can now access the hugely popular Wysa app for immediate, confidential and high-quality mental health support, at no additional cost.

Allianz Summit 

The Allianz Summit health plan is a comprehensive international health plan designed for SME groups of up to 100 employees. This product was developed following Allianz Partners’ preferred partnership agreement with Aetna International earlier this year and is modelled on Aetna’s popular Summit product, with a number of enhancements.

Its modular structure and pre-set options offer flexibility, allowing clients to tailor a health plan to the needs of their employees. Members enjoy access to a host of support services, including a 24/7 multilingual helpline, a network of over 1 million medical providers globally, and a range of digital health and wellness tools.

Allianz Summit has launched in English initially, with other languages to follow early next year, and locally compliant plans are available to SMEs across countries in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Moratorium underwriting

Individuals and SME customers at Allianz Partners can now opt for moratorium underwriting, or the traditional Full Medical Underwriting (FMU) terms.

With Full Medical Underwriting, customers provide their full medical history and, based on an assessment of that information, there may be specific surcharges applied to their cover from the outset. This form of underwriting is particularly beneficial for those with existing medical conditions.

Moratorium underwriting is a generally faster process than Full Medical Underwriting, as there are no medical forms to complete. Moratorium also takes the recurrence of an illness into account, allowing for more flexibility in the application. It offers the reassurance that as long as the person is symptom-free and has not needed any treatment or medical advice for a pre-existing condition for two consecutive years, cover will begin in the third year of their policy. This is expected to be a popular option amongst SMEs, as the onboarding of employees is much faster.

Moratorium underwriting is available to individuals and small groups with between three and nine members, but is dependent on geographical location and local country regulations.

Wysa Mind Coaching App

The Wysa Mind Coaching App, a chat buddy and human coaching service, is also now available to all Allianz Partners health insurance customers. This is a new support service, following the preferred partnership deal with Aetna International earlier this year.

This app is currently used by 4 million users globally and provides immediate, confidential mental health support at no additional cost. Its aim is to provide early support and intervention for those not yet ready to talk by phone or meet a specialist.

The app centres on Wysa, a conversational chatbot that’s available day and night to listen and chat about whatever’s on someone’s mind in a fully confidential environment. This creates a non-judgmental safe space to vent and be heard, anytime, anywhere. The app also provides a self-care library with over 150 tools and exercises to develop mental strength and resilience to help deal with issues ranging from body image to breakups. All tools are backed by science and handpicked by experts. Additionally, users will have access to a professionally-trained human coach to support them via in-app, text-based chat sessions. If additional support is needed, this will be provided through a 12-week coaching program with a dedicated coach.

Paula Covey, Chief Marketing Officer Health at Allianz Partners, said: “Our new Allianz Summit product and the provision of the Wysa app are both testament to the success of our preferred partnership agreement with Aetna International from earlier this year. Allianz Summit offers increased flexibility for SMEs and enables them to manage costs more efficiently as different options can be selected for different groups of employees. The Wysa app is a multi-award-winning solution, and its availability to all customers at no additional cost highlights the importance that we as a company attach to mental fitness and wellbeing. Meanwhile, the new moratorium underwriting health insurance option we’re providing allows for greater flexibility and a faster onboarding process when buying health insurance. These three new offerings each demonstrate Allianz Partners’ commitment to innovating with purpose, continually improving the range and flexibility of our services to customers.”

To learn more about Allianz Care international health plans, visit:

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iPMI Magazine Speaks With Michael Nole, Executive Vice President Sales And Marketing At World Travel Protection

In this exclusive iPMI Magazine interview, Christopher Knight, CEO, iPMI Magazine, met with Michael Nole, Executive Vice President Sales And Marketing At World Travel Protection. They discussed in detail the range of travel risk management services on offer from World Travel Protection, and how they provide vital support for business travellers and expats.

Please introduce yourself and background in the international private medical insurance market:

I am Mike Nole, Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing, at World Travel Protection. I am based in North America. I joined WTP in March 2022 from Cigna Global, where I spent 12 years, most recently as the Head of Business Development for the Americas. I was responsible for growing the global IPMI business through broker distribution and strategic partnerships.  During my time at Cigna, I worked as a Business Development Manager for the Western US and Canada with Global IPMI and as a New Business Manager for the Individual and Family Plan Segment from 2009 to 2013.  Before my time at Cigna, I worked as an insurance broker at Health Benefits Direct and was a school teacher prior to that.

In March 2022, you were appointed as Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing at World Travel Protection. Congratulations! What does the role involve?

I lead a rapidly expanding marketing and sales team across Australia, North America and EMEA, providing the best in-class class travel risk management solutions to businesses, governments, scholastic travellers and NGOs. 

As travel returns in 2022, it is our job to prepare and support organisations in the changed travelling landscape since the pandemic. Travellers face increased risk globally, from personal health and wellbeing concerns to a rise in criminal activity and terrorism as well as growing incidences of climatic and natural disasters.

World Travel Protection’s expertise and world-class technological solutions allows us to protect and keep travelling teams safe. Our over-arching vision is to provide the best possible service to our customers and this is what gets me out of bed every day.

Who is World Travel Protection?

World Travel Protection is a leading global travel risk management company - part of the Zurich Insurance Group. We deliver world class technological solutions to organisations, supported by our 24/7 emergency assistances, which help and support over 20 million travellers a year via our Command Centres in London, Brisbane, Toronto, and Buenos Aires (via our sister company Universal Assistance),

We provide travel assistance to both leisure and business travellers, giving them access to 24/7 emergency medical, security and travel assistance services. Emergency assistance encompasses medical case management, evacuation and repatriation together with providing access to virtual care services (telehealth) and security intelligence. Our Global Care Network gives our customers access to over 20,000 providers worldwide.

In addition to support services for medical, travel, and security emergencies, World Travel Protection educates and trains businesses before travel to limit the risks associated with travelling abroad.

Can you walk us through the core service offerings World Travel Protection provides to international private medical and travel insurance markets?

Travel risk management companies go above and beyond traditional travel insurance providers to provide vital support for their business travellers and expatriates.

Our global medical, travel and security assistance services can be split into eight core offerings as detailed below:

Medical and Travel Assistance: Our global services provide travellers with access to 24/7 medical and travel support using the best-in-class medical personnel, resources and procedures.

Security Assistance: Our security experts continually monitor global threats to help prevent or mitigate risks and keep our travellers safe. In the event of a security incident, we will evacuate travellers.  

Travel Risk Management Tools: Our Travel Assist App and Travel Assist Portal help to keep travellers – and those responsible for them – safe and informed using real-time global updates and alerts on their destination.

24/7 Emergency Assistance: Our Command Centres help travellers in need 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. When an emergency arises, our team of practising medical professionals and security experts are immediately on hand.

Trauma Counselling: In the event that a traveller is exposed to a traumatic incident while travelling, we are here to provide counselling and care through our sister company Benestar who offer telephone trauma counselling and access to experienced clinicians.

Telemedicine: Our telemedicine service helps travellers resolve non-urgent medical issues from the privacy of their hotel bedrooms, if they choose. We connect travellers with doctors who can provide medical support via phone or video call or help locate a suitable nearby medical facility if required.

Medical Cost Containment: Thanks to our pre-negotiated discounts and global buying power, we can provide quality medical care and pass on savings.

Inbound Assistance Services: Other medical and security assistance providers often use us to deliver their assistance services because of our established capabilities, global footprint and over three decades’ experience.

World Travel Protection is seen as a leader in Travel Risk Management. But what exactly is Travel Risk Management?

When it comes to corporate travel, there are a lot of moving parts, many of which are out of a traveller’s control, and unfortunately things can and do go wrong. It doesn’t matter if it’s a broken leg or a cancelled flight to being caught up in a terrorist attack or a natural disaster, unforeseen issues can adversely affect even the best planned business trip.

Travel risk management companies offer services and care that go beyond traditional business travel insurance policies, which often only cover costs in the event of an accident or incident. They also take on the responsibility of foreseeing where incidents may occur in addition to providing medical, travel and security assistance in case of an emergency.

For companies or institutions with a culture that goes beyond basic duty of care, corporate travel risk management companies help provide vital support for their business travellers, expatriates and employees.

Our travel risk management solutions support, protect and keep travellers safe on the ground, and the risk managers responsible for their safety and wellbeing. Travel risk management companies help reduce stress for both risk managers and travellers by supporting them pre-, during and post-travel.

How can technology and digitisation improve the Travel Risk Management journey?

For companies and institutions with travelling employees or personnel, it’s incredibly important HR or risk managers know exactly where their travellers are at all times. If they don’t provide this duty of care, it’s hard for them to know if their travellers are in imminent danger should a security threat or natural disaster happen.

World Travel Protection’s geo-location technology allows travel risk managers to know exactly where their travellers are. Using our Travel Assist Portal and App, risk managers and their travelling personnel can communicate with each other as well as our team to help ensure they receive the support they need.

Our travel risk management app gives travellers 24/7 access to our emergency assistance Command Centres and location-specific travel alerts. The Command Centres are constantly monitoring international threats and will alert travellers of any potential risks based on their uploaded itinerary and geo-location feeds, helping them to travel safely. Also, by simply pressing the ‘emergency’ button, travellers can reach our team immediately if they feel in danger.

We also provide organisations with pre-travel information, using our intelligence on a country or specific location, allowing informed assessments to be made of whether its people are safe to travel there in the first place and what preparations should be taken if they do.

As we return to travel in 2022, what are the major risks travellers and organisations are facing?

Perhaps the greatest take-away from the pandemic is how quickly situations can change. Receiving accurate and timely information is more important than ever to ensure traveller safety. At World Travel Protection, we can help travellers and their risk managers make wise and confident decisions.

COVID has altered the risk profile for many parts of the world, particularly those suffering economically. It’s important this is identified during a general and COVID travel risk assessment – especially for business travellers – so the appropriate travel safety precautions can be put in place.

One risk, for instance, that has risen exponentially is cybercrime. A UK-based fraud awareness leader, Crowe, estimates that cybercrime has risen by 90% during the pandemic. For instance, we are advising our travellers to take extra care to reduce the threat of cyber-crime, to not use Wi-Fi hotspots, and to be very careful about giving away personal data. Vigilance is more important than ever to ensure that travellers are not scammed or fall foul of more sinister online attacks.

COVID 19 has had an unprecedented impact on travel and global mobility? How do we live with COVID 19?

For travellers, it’s essential that they know and understand the rules on COVID-19 in the area they are visiting, as they can differ even within a country. Travellers need to know, for instance, the entry rules and requirements as well as the rules around mask wearing and social distancing. It is important that travellers act lawfully as well as respectfully, as some countries have suffered greatly during the pandemic.

We describe this as the ‘COVID culture’ of a country, whereby depending on its own experience of dealing with COVID new social norms have developed. It’s essential to follow this new etiquette to ensure that no offence is given to locals and business associates while travelling. For instance, not maintaining social distance could be perceived as rudeness as well as extending a hand to shake in greeting.

It’s also important to remember that COVID-19 hotspots can still emerge very quickly and restrictions introduced with little or no notice. Last-minute travel amendments may become the norm for all travellers.

We had a case not long ago where one of our business travellers was mid-flight when their destination country announced new quarantine measures for people arriving in the country. We were able to reach the traveller before they had exited the transit area and book them on another flight. If they had exited, they would have been put in quarantine. Having the support of an emergency travel assistance organisation, like World Travel Protection, allows travellers to stay ahead of potential issues during this ever-changing environment.

Are Governments and Organisations prepared for the next pandemic or global catastrophe?

Very few organisations were prepared for COVID and those who were caught out need to learn from their mistakes.

Two years ago as the world started to be impacted, many organisations dusted off their business continuity plans only to realise they hadn’t been tested in years and they didn’t work. Leadership who had steadily ignored the need to test themselves in a crisis situation opted to bury their head in the sand and hope that the Corona Virus would go away. Those same companies that struggled to manage the response to COVID are no better placed now.

Those organisations who did manage their response to COVID well had a system in place. They had a defined process to follow and leaders who could make informed decisions. The successful companies engaged subject matter experts to inform their decisions and developed recovery plans to help them return to business as usual when the opportunity presented.

Many have referred to COVID as a 1 in 100-year happening. If that is to be believed then the next catastrophic event is likely to be a natural disaster or a manmade event such as terrorism or a major economic downturn. With the myopic nature of many organisations, all future events (in the short-med term) will be seen through the prism of their response to COVID and they will find that the response they used to a global health crisis won’t be sufficient.

For many governments their key metric for how well they managed COVID was how popular their decisions were. It became the hallmark of conservatives to follow the "freedom" model, whilst progressives went with much tighter measures. No one country got it right.

Some of the infrastructure developed during COVID can be used by governments, should we be exposed to another global pandemic, but any event other than this type will feel like a fresh set of challenges. Governments move slowly and learn selectively, the focus on economics will also hamper any response in the short term.

Now from a healthcare perspective, yes governments and organisations are more prepared due to the global pandemic nature of COVID. Previous outbreaks of Coronavirus SARS (e.g., swine or bird flu), Ebola were geographically localised epidemics, rather than global.

COVID has affected the healthcare spectrum namely:

  • Vaccine development speed;
  • Public Health directives e.g. PPE / Testing / Isolation and Quarantine / Disease tracking with Tech (mobile Apps);
  • Hospital surge capacity / different ways of working (virtual care) / rapid field hospital establishment;
  • BAU while battling the pandemic, albeit with cancellation of elective surgery / outpatients etc.;
  • Novel follow-up ways and virtual wards;
  • Multi-national / International co-operation re vaccines, healthcare strategies and treatment guidelines.

Finally: if you could live anywhere in the world, on land or at sea, where would it be? 

Vancouver, I just love it there. 

 

 

 

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Global Excel Achieves SOC 1 & 2 Type I Certification

Global Excel Management Inc., a leader in Healthcare Risk Management, today announced that it is now officially SOC 1 & 2 Type I compliant across the organization.

The SOC 1 Type I report provides organizations with assurance that internal and connected external reporting controls are properly designed and in place. The SOC 2 Type I report examines a consistent set of parameters around third party IT services,
including Privacy, Confidentiality, Processing Integrity, Availability and Security.

“Healthcare data is highly sensitive and personal by nature and protecting that information for our clients and their members has always been a top priority for Global Excel. Achieving SOC 1 & 2 Type I certification reinforces our continuous commitment to data security and confidentiality. This type of stringent, independent auditing provides detailed assurances about the controls and safeguards that we have in place, as well as ensuring that any third-party vendors or partners meet our security standards” said Paul Anderson, Director, Information Security & Compliance at Global Excel.

The Global Excel SOC 2 Type I report is available to clients upon request.

Global Excel is a full-service cost containment, claims management and medical assistance company offering a complete range of services to international, Canadian and U.S. domestic clients.
With over 365 corporate clients located in more than 90 countries around the world, Global Excel manages approximately 360,000 inpatient, outpatient and non-medical cases and files per year and processes over $1.9 billion in claims annually.

For more information please visit www.globalexcel.com

 

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iPMI Magazine Speaks With Janette Hiscock, CEO Of Global Solutions Europe, United Healthcare Global

In this exclusive iPMI Magazine interview, Christopher Knight, CEO, iPMI Magazine, sits down with Janette Hiscock, CEO of Global Solutions Europe for United Healthcare Global. They discuss in detail the newly formed European division of UnitedHealthcare Global (UHCG) including what makes UnitedHealthcare Global’s offering different, the new benefits and services added to insurance plans, member access to the best possible healthcare and what we can expect from UHCG in the future.

Please introduce yourself and your role at UnitedHealthcare Global:

My name is Janette Hiscock and I am the CEO of UnitedHealthcare Global Solutions Europe, leading the newly created European Division of UnitedHealthcare Global (UHCG) which launched its European insurance business last year. We provide in-house solutions for international medical insurance, wellness, security, assistance and remote medical services. Our range of solutions makes our offering unique in the European market.

Prior to this role, I oversaw the company’s remote medical services division based in the U.K. I continue to run this business, but I am now responsible for leading the insurance entity in Europe, which creates alignment under one European market.

I have more than twenty years industry experience managing health insurance, medical, assistance and security services businesses, and have held a variety of senior roles in sales, client management and proposition development.

Can you explain the changes that have been announced to UnitedHealthcare Global’s European operations?

We are very excited about UnitedHealthcare Global’s evolution in this market. UnitedHealthcare Global has combined its medical services and insurance businesses, enabling our European-based teams to bring a solution to clients with unparalleled in-house capabilities. This will provide a continuum of care for our members across insurance, assistance, security, wellness, clinical and medical services.

The launch of our iPMI business last year ensured we were able to align with our US-based business, leverage our Latin American businesses and develop products and services to meet the needs of globally mobile workforces.

Why have these changes been made?  

Since the launch of the European iPMI business, we’ve been investing in our products to ensure we meet the evolving needs of companies with globally mobile populations. Our solutions address our members’ needs at every stage of their deployment and there are a number of complementary services that sit in our medical services business that we can offer to iPMI clients.

It made perfect sense to integrate these two highly complementary divisions of our business under one single leadership in Europe, making it simpler for brokers and clients to access these services.

What makes UnitedHealthcare Global’s offering different?

At UnitedHealthcare Global, we see the many different interactions across the entire health care system – in a way no other organisation can. We are uniquely positioned to address global health care challenges for members and create real value for clients.

We understand that comprehensive and cost-effective health and well-being plans, aimed at companies with globally mobile workforces, are not just about managing illness. That’s why our offerings include proactive and preventative benefits to help employees actively manage their own health care while abroad.

Our aim is to support members to look after their health through innovative products and services. Simplifying the digital experience is hugely important to us, as we know it is something our members want. Through our apps and portals, our members can make a claim within 90 seconds or access a wellness coach. Our highly personalised service for both brokers and clients helps us to deliver the best solutions for globally mobile populations, and puts health care in the hands of the member.

As part of the world’s largest health care company, UnitedHealthcare Global employs 74,000 people, half of which are clinicians and health care professionals. This means our global reach as a health care company is unparalleled, providing better outcomes for all who we serve  

Since your launch in September 2018, have you added any new benefits/services to your plans based on the changes made to the business?

UnitedHealthcare Global is continually using our in-house capabilities to research, innovate, and provide new services and technologies to make the health care system easier to navigate for our members. A strong tenant of our business is based on preventative care. Since our launch, we’ve added a number of new services and benefits including Virtual Visits and our Global Health Management programme.

Virtual Visits is a secure telemedicine service that makes it simple for employees and their dependants to speak with a health care professional through their mobile or desktop devices while on assignment. From treating colds and fevers, to caring for migraines and allergies or getting a referral letter, it makes connecting with a doctor easy and free while on the move.

The Global Health Management programme is a proactive health management service available to all of our insurance members, to help them access the resources they need to manage their health, including chronic conditions. It focuses on an employee or their dependants’ specific needs, wherever they are in the world. Our clinicians provide targeted support to help expatriates and their families overcome the challenges of accessing care and resources for complex, high risk conditions. They create an action plan for addressing urgent needs and also work with the member’s schedule and location to ensure members can have a healthier, more successful assignment.

Using the breadth of capability from our medical services business and our in-house team of doctors, we have developed a new solution called Virtual Health Assessments (VHA) to help mitigate risks for employers sending people abroad. VHA is a specialised medical screening service which employers can use to screen their employees and their family’s at any point prior to, during and after their assignment. This is a standalone service from the iPMI plan and can be purchased with or without the iPMI offering.

Many of the illnesses and conditions faced by employees and their dependants when abroad are predictable and preventable. Our services help to ensure that any medical conditions which may impact a trip are identified well in advance of departure and actively managed with our clinical teams.

All of our programmes have been designed to help ensure, globally mobile populations thrive, by giving access to employers, employees and their dependants to the most cost effective, innovative, real-time and comprehensive health care.

How can you guarantee that your members will be able to access the best possible care?

UnitedHealthcare Global is part of UnitedHealth Group, the largest and most diversified health care company in the world. Because of this, clients and members benefit from our global networks, clinical insight, data analytics and innovation.

We work with local health care providers and clinicians who have the knowledge and expertise needed to ensure employees receive the best possible health care at every stage of their assignment overseas, no matter how complex their needs might be. We do this by providing access to high-quality, compliant and cost effective benefit programmes, helping employers mitigate risk and making their employees’ health and safety our priority.

Ultimately, our mission is to help people live healthier lives and help make the health care system work better for everyone.

What’s coming up next for UnitedHealthcare Global?

Following the successful launch of our iPMI services in Europe, we’re looking forward to making further exciting announcements, and discussing in greater detail our new proposition for the oil and gas market.  

Related: iPMI Magazine Speaks With David Powell, CEO Global Solutions, UnitedHealthcare Global And Claude Daboul, Managing Director, UnitedHealthcare Global Europe

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UK Advisers Fear Economic Uncertainty And Market Volatility As BREXIT Looms - But Income Is Up As Firms Plan Expansion

  • More than twice as many advisers as last year say economic uncertainty is a key concern for the coming year
  • Nearly 4 in 5 (78%) fear market volatility leading up to Brexit
  • But over 30% report annual income of over £1m, compared with 26% this time last year
  • 45% are planning to recruit in the next year,  up from 40% a year ago, and 31% in March 2013
  • Despite the challenging macro environment and concerns around political upheavals, advisers see growing opportunities in retirement planning (75%), financial reviews driven by low interest rates (51%), and increasingly through employer clients (only 24% don’t advise vs 41% last year).
  • Financial stability of platforms is a growing factor for main platform choice – one third of advisers would consider changing platforms because of concerns about financial stability, compared with 24% in May 2015.

Aviva’s new Adviser Barometer shows a doubling in the number of advisers who say that economic uncertainty is a key concern, up from 21% this time last year. The same number also cited the impact of Brexit as one of their biggest concerns, and 39% also thought the Trump victory in the US election had a worrying potential for the future of the advice industry.

However, other indicators show that the financial advice market in 2016 continues to show signs of healthy growth. Over 30% of advisers report their firms’ income is over £1m, compared with 26% at the same time last year, and the number of advisers intending to recruit additional staff in the next year is the highest since the survey began. 45% say they intend to do this, compared with 40% a year ago, and only 31% in March 2013.

Tim Orton, CEO Aviva Adviser Platform, says, “It is no surprise that the sentiment reflected in our latest Adviser Barometer reflects the general uncertainty we’ve seen since the UK vote for Brexit and the Trump victory in the US election. In both cases we are stepping away from the status quo which inevitably invites speculation as to possible outcomes. The good news is that despite all this the advice market in the UK is continuing to thrive, with increasing incomes and plans for expansion reported, and of course the FTSE is at record levels which is good news for investment returns.”

However, there has been little actual change, in adviser or client behaviour, since the June 23rd vote.

84% of advisers report no additional demand attributable to the Brexit vote, and where this has been seen it is largely from clients requiring assurance only (77%). Of the others, 30% were looking to turn cash into investments with almost equal number (27%) doing the reverse (investments into cash).

But 78% of advisers say their main concern about Brexit is potential market volatility, and a further 35% say changes in regulation concerns them.

Only 2% of advisers have reviewed their providers following the Brexit vote, with advisers saying the main reason for staying put is wanting to use firms with more stability (46%), wanting to use UK-based firms (18%), and using firms with a diversified business (16%).

Concerns about the financial advice market, whilst continuing to reflect ongoing issues such as regulatory fees and levies (a concern for 54%) and PI costs (46%), have coalesced around macro factors. Although one in four are still concerned about staying profitable, this has shown a significant lessening of importance from a year ago, where 45% cited this as a key concern.

Tim Orton commented, “The most concerning factors for advisers in the next six months are the ramifications from Brexit and Trump’s presidency, but factors which advisers can control, such as remaining profitable, have become less of a concern for them. I think this is also a reflection of the way the market has grown and strengthened since our survey began back in December 2011. “What is coming through strongly is advisers saying they are putting measures in place to make sure they are in as good a place as possible to meet whatever challenges occur in the coming year – by sticking with financially strong, secure, diversified UK-based companies.”

OPPORTUNITIES

75% of advisers see growth in the retirement market as a main area of opportunity (up from 58% a year ago), and with 51% (vs 30% in November 2015) seeing the increasing need for regular financial reviews as key, there is now a definite focus on these areas in the coming year.

In contrast, growth in protection is cited by 18% of advisers as an opportunity this year, compared with 28% last year, and attracting orphaned customers is mentioned by fewer advisers, down to 19% from 24%.

Tim Orton says, “What is striking in this year’s survey is the polarisation of opportunities within the market. A large majority of advisers now consider retirement planning to be the best opportunity they have, but it is noticeable as well that advisers said frequent financial reviews are now more important than ever, with the low-interest rate environment driving a need for regular reviews to ensure clients are making the most of their investments.”

PLATFORMS

The number of advisers considering changing their main platform is slightly up from last year, with 14% saying they are considering this. However, this level has barely changed since September 2013.

Functionality remains the main reason for advisers considering change, but is relatively less important than previously, with 59% of advisers saying this is the main reason compared with 72% a year ago. Value for money, and cost, are both cited by 48% of advisers as a key reason which shows the importance of balancing these two related factors.

Perhaps as a reflection of the general sentiment of uncertainty, ‘financial strength’ has become more important as a factor behind wanting to change a main platform provider – 33% said this in November 2016, compared with 30% in November 2015, and 24% in May of that year.

Nearly all advisers (98%) conduct due diligence at least annually, with 4% saying they do it more often than that. 13% conduct due diligence with every new client.

Tim Orton commented,“It’s encouraging for us to know that due diligence is an integral part of BAU for advisers. In line with the survey findings we are seeing an increasing number of advisers concerned about the financial stability of their platform as part of their due diligence. At Aviva we’re here to stay and committed to investing in our proposition for the future, enhancing efficiency and functionality for our advisers and their clients.”

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AA Adds Another Layer Of Protection With Health Care With nib

The AA enters the health insurance market with the launch of AA Health, in partnership with nib, offering a suite of insurance products designed to provide additional layers of protection for Members and the public alike.

AA’s Membership and Brand General Manager Dougal Swift says AA Health is a natural fit for the Association.

“We’ve broadened our range of services significantly over recent years as we look for new areas where we can offer value for our Members and the public. We’ve offered home, car and contents insurance for many years as well as life insurance products and travel insurance and these have proved very popular,” Mr Swift says.

The initiative complements the existing offerings from AA Insurance and AA Life, both holders of the Reader’s Digest most trusted brand award in their categories for four years. AA Insurance also holds Canstar Blue Most Satisfied Customer Awards for both home and contents and car insurance categories. The AA also offers AA Travel Insurance.

“The free eye exam for AA Members at Specsavers has also been very successful so it made sense to expand our insurance offering into health where we can give customers the high level of care they expect from the AA,” Mr Swift says.

Since the launch of the Specsavers benefit in 2012, more than 450,000 free eye checks have been provided to AA Members, who are eligible for one every two years.

“We’re in the business of helping people and we want to be there when we’re needed the most. That’s been the core function of the AA for more than 113 years and AA Health is an extension of that thinking.”

The AA has partnered with nib to deliver three core products that provide customers with the ability to select a cover that suits their lifestyle and budget:

  • AA Health Everyday Cover
  • AA Health Private Hospital Cover
  • AA Health Private Hospital and Specialist Cover

Mr Swift says he expects one popular option will be private hospital cover. It comes with a range of excess options – up to $10,000 – which enables lower premiums while offering insurance against expensive procedures.

“It’s a good option for those who want the cover for major procedures but may find the cost of private health insurance prohibitive.”

nib New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Rob Hennin says the health fund is excited to join forces with one of New Zealand’s most trusted organisations to offer Kiwis private health insurance under the well-known AA brand.

“This relationship with an iconic Kiwi brand is an example of how we are bringing new thinking to the New Zealand private health insurance market in an effort to grow the industry,” Mr Hennin said.

As an added benefit, AA Members will receive a 5% discount on the cost of any AA Health product.

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Understanding PMI And IPMI Market Size Per Country

One of the most frequently asked questions we get asked at iPMI Magazine is what is the size of market for PMI and iPMI by country, and globally?

Before we answer that, answer the following 2 questions:

If a Frenchman living in London buys an IPMI policy from a French broker who uses an Irish insurer that is part of a German group for cover in a Gulf state where insurance has to be fronted/shared by a local insurer; Which or how many of these 5 countries do you book the premium into? Which currency do you measure it in?

If an American living in Cuba buys an IPMI policy from a Bermuda broker for a job in Trinidad and uses a UK insurer that works from a local office in the USA but pays claims from a global claims centre in Romania, how many of the 6 countries do you book premium and claims to?

It isn't so simple is it?

Coupled with the following facts breaking down the market size for PMI and IPMI is a complex if not impossible task:

Back-in-the-day Insurers would publish detailed by product or by country info but now they try to avoid it, as it is competitive gold dust.

Many country figures only cover onshore health insurance and not offshore so can mislead you when looking at the market value in countries that do not demand local cover.

Some big European and American global insurers only publish on a vague regional basis, or on types that lumps health in with life and accident covers.

In many smaller countries the offshore IPMI market is far bigger than any onshore PMI or IPMI market - and in some countries there is no domestic health insurance at all.

Few countries demand annual insurer returns by product and those that do ask for vague health, accident and protection figures. The definition of protection is so vague, it is open to interpretation. 

Currency conversion is a huge problem too - 2015 figures from various big insurers show that income and profit figures can vary by plus or minus 30% depending on what currency and what conversion rates are used.

Internet Facts

In the complex world of IPMI there is no space for "Internet Facts".

Facts from a country, insurer or trade body, are generally reliable but even "official" figures have to be watched as within Health there can be hospital cash or top-up covers and other non full PMI or IPMI figures.

Where governments demand returns on health insurance or there are official competition enquiries then there are some excellent numbers to crunch.

Understanding The PMI And IPMI Report Market

Unfortunately in 2016 there are so many sub-standard boiler plate healthcare, insurance and expatriate reports. They claim to have health insurance country figures, but when you shell out thousands of pounds of R & D budget, and look for yourself, they mix accident and health and protection together; and strangely they all seem to predict growth for the next five years of 20% a year.

We have seen reports that profile the top ten insurers' and base the country figures just on the rough claimed figures- where the top ten miss out more than half the market.

There are reports which show insurers country market share but the total always seems to add up to well over 100%!

So, how can we understand the size of the PMI and IPMI market?

International And Expatriate Healthcare And Insurance 2016 is the only reliable source of information that can be trusted to answer your question and even then there are still some gaps. But this is critical: this report deals in facts, not crystal balls.

The 2016 edition is the result of over a decade of specialist research and report writing and is the answer for insurers, brokers and corporations who struggle to break the market down.

Where there is decent data available, it is included and all data has been carefully researched, checked and verified with no outlandish or generic claims made. Past performance is not always a representation of future results.

2016 IPMI Report Facts And Features That Will Help You Size The Market:

Download the 2016 report information kit, click here.

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AXA Appoints Thomas Buberl Chief Executive Officer

After 27 years in the Group, and close to 17 years as Chief Executive Officer, Henri de Castries, Chairman and CEO of AXA, has announced his decision to retire and to step down from the Board of Directors on September 1st, 2016.
Following a comprehensive succession planning process led by AXA's Compensation and Governance Committee under the leadership of Jean-Martin Folz, AXA's Board of Directors unanimously decided at a special meeting held on March 19th, 2016 to separate the functions of Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer, and approved the following appointments effective upon Henri de Castries’ retirement on September 1st:

  • Denis Duverne as Non-Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors,
  • Thomas Buberl as Chief Executive Officer of AXA and a member of AXA's Board of Directors co-opted to replace Henri de Castries.

From March 21st, 2016, Thomas Buberl joins the Group Head Office in Paris and is appointed Deputy CEO (“Directeur général adjoint”). He will work closely with Henri de Castries and Denis Duverne to finalize AXA’s new strategic plan, expected to be released on June 21st, 2016, and to ensure an effective leadership transition.

HENRI DE CASTRIES.
CHAIRMAN AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF AXA

It has been a privilege to succeed Claude Bébéar and lead AXA over all these years, and I want to express my gratitude to the 166,000 women and men who are the face of AXA for our 103 million clients across the world - their professionalism and engagement have been a driving force and a fantastic motivation for me. The succession planning process initiated by the Board upon my request in October 2013, confirmed the breadth and the quality of AXA’s teams and helped us identify a new generation of leaders. Denis and I are extremely proud of the team we have been able to build and develop.

In the wake of our success in achieving our Ambition AXA plan, and before we enter into a new strategic cycle, I considered, with the support of the Board, that it was the best moment to begin the transition to a new management team who I know will very successfully lead AXA through the next stages of its development. While I will leave the Group with great emotion, I am very happy and confident to see Thomas take over the executive management of AXA. He has the experience, leadership skills and values to seize the opportunities offered by a rapidly changing world, and to make AXA a company that is always closer to its clients - which will be the key of our long term growth.

NORBERT DENTRESSANGLE
VICE-CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND LEAD INDEPENDENT DIRECTOR

The Board of Directors agreed that the best combination for AXA is to associate Thomas Buberl’s clear strategic vision, his deep knowledge of the insurance sector, as well as his energy and leadership skills, with Denis Duverne’s great experience and knowledge of the Group as well as his understanding of corporate governance practices and of the regulatory environment.

The Board is extremely grateful to Henri de Castries for his invaluable contribution to the success of AXA since 1989. Under his leadership, AXA has become a leading global insurance brand, significantly strengthened its footprint in emerging markets, notably in Asia, and has successfully withstood several years of severe crises while keeping its commitments to its clients, delivering positive results and continuing to pay a dividend to its shareholders. In 2015, while progressing on the execution of an intense digital transformation, AXA successfully achieved its 5-year strategic plan, and delivered record underlying earnings, which represents an eightfold increase during Henri de Castries' tenure as CEO. The Board of Directors would like to pay him a strong and well-deserved tribute for his actions, and extends its very warm thanks to Denis Duverne who, as Deputy CEO, has been instrumental in AXA’s strategic decisions and strengthening the Group’s solidity. Together, they leave to the new leadership team a very well-managed, extremely resilient Group, with high quality and engaged employees.

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Apollo Hospitals Group, The Leading Healthcare Provider In India, Has Been Accredited As Preferred Provider Of International Assistance Group

International Assistance Group (IAG), the world’s largest alliance of independent assistance companies recently accredited Apollo Hospitals Group as Preferred Provider for all clients in need of emergency medical care in India.  

As India’s first corporate hospital, the Apollo Hospitals Group has a robust presence across the healthcare spectrum and has emerged as one of the foremost integrated healthcare providers in Asia.

Starting in 1983 with a 150-bed hospital, the Group now operates 9,200 beds across 64 hospitals and has the distinction of receiving the country’s first Joint Commission International (JCI) Accreditation in 2005 and this year the company has been accredited as Preferred Provider Hospital for International Assistance Group (IAG).

The Group’s legacy of ‘touching lives’ stems from the four pillars of their philosophy – excellence, expertise, empathy and innovation. It has touched the lives of over 45 million patients from 121 countries. This focus on quality has become one of the group’s strongest credentials. It is the one of the building blocks in the trust of Apollo brand.

“We are honored to count with five Apollo Hospitals (in Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and New Delhi), which are now accredited as the IAG Preferred Providers in India. Over the past years we have seen an increase in tourism in India; in consequence our clients need medical services that adhere to the highest international standards. Apollo Hospitals has proven to be the healthcare system in India that our Partners can rely on,” mentioned Cécile Hermetz, General Manager, International Assistance Group.

Apollo has set up an International Patient Services Division to ensure that the experience of overseas patients is safe, comfortable and hassle-free. Apollo’s International Patient Services offer a host of additional services such as: airport pick-up & transportation, accommodation, direct admission arrangements, scheduling of appointments, language assistance, liaison services with insurance companies and travel related assistance.

The Group has dedicated Centers of Excellence for several key specialties. They are unique and state of the art facilities spread across several of the Apollo hospital location and each Centre of Excellence stands out as a citadel of quality.

Apollo considers as their prime responsibility to provide high quality clinical care to all patients, putting the patient at the core of their operations. The Group has developed robust quality standards, used expert diagnoses and treatment plans and enhanced infection and safety protocols to render patients the most appropriate treatment. Centers of Excellence include: Heart Institutes, Cancer Institutes, Spine Surgery, Institute of Neurosciences, Critical Care, Institute of Robotic Surgery, Institute of Orthopedics, Institutes of Transplant, Nephrology & Urology, Institutes of Gastroenterology, Institutes of Robotic Surgery, Preventive Medicine, and Institute of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Technology driven

At Apollo, healthcare systems leverage technology to build integrated healthcare delivery models, which facilitate seamless electronic medical records, hospital Information systems and telemedicine-based health outreach initiatives, for enhanced access to medical care.

Another critical manifestation of widespread technology has been the amazing advancement in medical equipment and Apollo has repeatedly pioneered the introduction of such innovations in India – Robotics, Cyberknife, Novalis TX, 320 Slice CT Scanner, TrueBeam, PET Suite, Proton Beam.

International Assistance Group is proud and pleased that its network of Partners is able to rely on the excellence of Apollo Hospitals, a pioneer of modern day emergency care in India.

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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