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New AMII Executive Chairman Appointed

David Middleton has been appointed as the new Executive Chairman of the Association of Medical Insurers and Intermediaries (AMII).

He was elected at the Association’s AGM yesterday (Thursday), replacing Stuart Scullion who announced last month that he was stepping from the role after six years at the helm.

David was CEO of Employment Benefit Consultancy, Portus, until the sale to Aon in 2017 after which he integrated both clients and colleagues into Aon.

During his time at Portus, David sat on the committees of both GRiD and AMII, the former as Chair of the ‘Raising the Profile’ Committee and he has a strong interest in developing AMII’s education and training offering to members.

He told the online AGM: “I was particularly proud that during my Chairmanship we developed the GRiD training academy which is still going strong. I believe that strong industry bodies are vital for the future of our industry and think that we should look at how we develop and train the next generation of AMII membership.”

David has subsequently taken on roles as Executive Director of Benefits Advisory Services (BAS) and as a Consultant at CWB – both in the EB space – and is also a Trustee of charities Smile for Joel and Sporting Minds UK.

In calling for a more integrated approach to the PMI offering in a post-pandemic environment, he said: “Mental health and wellbeing are top of most of our clients’ objectives. I am currently a trustee of a mental health charity that supports athletes and I have been staggered by the amount of young people seeking help particularly in the last 12 months.

“Yet as an industry in both healthcare and risk we are still very much working in silos and are still product driven. We really need to work more closely as physical, financial, mental, and social wellbeing cannot and should not be treated separately.”

David takes on his role after an unprecedented year where the PMI industry has had to respond to the wide-ranging impact of a global pandemic and a new post-Brexit reality. In praising the response of the industry to COVID-19, David said: “We have all had to find ways to engage with our customers whoever they are and on the whole I think the industry has done this well and shown itself to be flexible and innovative.

“Insurers have responded well, with a willingness to help and support Intermediaries and the end customer, with telemedicine and additional support services. It is also commendable that PMI insurers made a pledge to not profit from the pandemic and some have already made appropriate premium refunds to clients in this respect.”

After thanking Stuart Scullion for his leadership and major contribution to the development of AMII over the last six years, David outlined a consultative approach to creating extra value in AMII membership.

He added: “It is testament to the good work of the everyone concerned that AMII now has a healthy cash position, and this must continue to be an objective by engaging further with you our existing members to retain your membership and attracting new ones from all sides.

“To do this we need to continue to be the voice of the industry, lobby parliament and the regulator as together we are a force that can drive innovation and improvement in all that we do and are involved in.”

A video of thanks and appreciation for the role Stuart Scullion has played in developing AMII over the last six years was played at the virtual AGM, which heard that the Association now has 108 intermediate members and six corporate members.

Alongside the election of David Middleton as new Executive Chairman, six new members were also elected to the Executive Committee.

 

 

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Cigna Europe Signs Up To Industry-Wide Personal Data Initiative

Global health service company Cigna Europe has announced it is joining the AMII’s (the Association of Medical Insurers and Intermediaries) Transfer of Personal Data Initiative, the landmark agreement to adopt the electronic transfer of underwriting direct between insurers in the UK.

As of this week, the agreement will allow Cigna Europe to electronically transfer all customer data in relation to company-paid schemes, and will send all required underwriting data for its insured membership to any new provider or vice versa, should customers want to transfer between insurers.

The initiative streamlines the underwriting process for advisers and reduces the need for face-to-face visits to collect physical copies of membership certificates, helping to further support partners and the industry to stay safe as UK businesses work towards reopening. The move means Cigna Europe can more effectively target new customer groups, both for large corporates and SMEs, following the company launching its new Whole Health proposition across Europe earlier in the year.

Amy MacKay, Sales and Commercial Effectiveness Director, Cigna Europe, said: “We’re thrilled to join this pioneering scheme and to be part of an industry that continues to innovate to ensure that our customers can continue to access the very best care possible. This is a hugely critical time - employees are beginning to return to thDave Middleton, Executive Chairman, AMIIe office after more than a year working from home, and there’s an increased demand from businesses for a Whole Health partner to support employees during this stressful transition, with well-being firmly on the return to work agenda. The pandemic has changed nearly every facet of people’s lives. It’s more important now more than ever for providers to find the right strategy that supports their customers’ business objectives and every part of their employees’ Whole Health.”

, added: “We’re delighted to welcome Cigna Europe to this historic scheme which benefits everyone – from insured members and employers, to intermediaries and insurers. I continue to be immensely proud of our industry’s response to the pandemic, and our ability to come together and create new and innovative digital processes to streamline underwriting between insurers.”

Cigna Europe has set up systems to ensure that customer data continues to be secure at all times, including the training of employees and the creation of new processes to ensure compliance with GDPR and the new Data Protection Act. 

For more information about Cigna Europe’s Whole Health strategy and how it places a greater emphasis on putting the care back into healthcare, please visit: https://comms.cignaglobal.com/wholehealth-europe.

 

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AMII Initiative Leads To Landmark Agreement For Electronic Transfer Of Underwriting

The Association of Medical Insurers and Intermediaries (AMII) has announced that the UK PMI industry has reached a landmark agreement to adopt the electronic transfer of underwriting direct between insurers.

The move follows an industry-wide consultation led by AMII Executive Chairman Stuart Scullion who described the breakthrough as “an immensely proud moment.”

Announcing the news, Mr. Scullion praised the “vision and determination” of insurers for enabling the change – which had previously been “deemed too difficult to achieve” by others but, led by AMII, has taken just 12 weeks to be agreed and implemented.

The new pan-industry arrangement will start on July 1, 2020, for business transferring between insurers for company schemes, both SME and corporate. It will involve a number of new protocols for intermediaries and insurers, irrespective of whether they are AMII members or not.

The processes being adopted, for which training of operational and customer-facing staff at a number of major health insurers of is currently taking place, will involve the transfer of encrypted data files to nominated email addresses at each insurer as a secure data transfer.

For larger insurers, the process will be automated, with greater manual intervention for smaller firms. A five working day industry-wide service level has also been agreed.

Mr Scullion said: “The Covid-19 Coronavirus has forced all of us to adopt working practices and processes to meet Government social distancing and self-isolating guidelines.

“It makes no sense for intermediaries to visit their offices to collect membership certificates and underwriting to facilitate policy transfers to another provider when there is a readymade solution at our fingertips.

“I am immensely proud of what we have been able to achieve as an industry in adopting a digital process to exchange personal data and underwriting directly between insurers.

“It’s an agreement which has no doubt been accelerated by the once-in-a-lifetime circumstances created by the Coronavirus, and the challenges faced by the PMI industry driven by GDPR and the new Data Protection Act.

“There have been many challenges to overcome as we sought to agree a process and establish a protocol, and I want to extend my personal thanks to the representatives of all those insurers who have shown the vision and determination which has enabled this to happen."

For more information on AMII, visit www.amii.org.uk.

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Association Of Medical Insurers And Intermediaries Welcomes 'More' New Members

The Association of Medical Insurers and Intermediaries (AMII) is expanding with the addition of its newest intermediary member, Morehealth Limited.

A leading team of experts, Morehealth was established in 2009 with a core aim of keeping clients insured at a lower premium.

Based in Warwickshire, the Morehealth team provides impartial advice to its customers on all matters relating to medical insurance. Morehealth has national coverage and specialises in individual PMI with a wealth of knowledge and understanding of the underwriting of all major insurers.

Stuart Scullion, AMII Executive Chairman, said: "We're delighted to welcome Morehealth as our newest member. Our membership continues to expand, further cementing AMII's position as the voice of the industry.

"As a body, we're committed to raising standards and pushing the industry forward. We use our collective capacity to shape the sector for the better, and we look forward to Morehealth joining us on our journey."

AMII represents more than 90% of the UK PMI market and over 60% of the UK Health Cash Plan market*.

Leanne Moreton, Managing Director at Morehealth, said: "Navigating the health insurance market is never an easy task for anyone, whether they're an individual, a small company, or even a huge corporation.

"By joining AMII, we hope to help thousands more people make sense of all the complexities and jargon to get the right and most cost-effective cover for them personally, no matter who they might be or what their needs are."

Morehealth is the latest AMII member following Pacific Prime Consultants Limited who earlier this year joined the leading trade association for intermediaries, insurers and service providers in the health and wellbeing sector.

Further announcements are expected in the coming weeks with companies signing up for membership benefits including participation at national conferences, technical regulatory compliance support, parliamentary and regulatory lobbying, Preferential Professional Indemnity Insurance cover, online technical advice and professional support, an education events programme, and network opportunities.

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'Compliance Isn't So Scary Now!' – Insurance Expert To Host Second Industry Masterclass

The Association of Medical Insurers and Intermediaries (AMII) has announced a second Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD) masterclass with an industry expert following a well-received compliance workshop earlier this year.

Senior Consultant on FCA Compliance, Chartered Insurance Practitioner, and Accredited Advanced General Insurance Trainer, Branko Bjelobaba will lead the second workshop called "IDD: What you should have in place now – or do you know how to sell legally!"

Aimed at specialist healthcare insurance intermediaries and providing a detailed overview of the final IDD rules which required implementation from 1 October 2018, the half-day event follows positive feedback from attendees at the first session, including "Compliance isn't so scary now!", and "This was my first compliance event and I found it really good at breaking down the requirements."

The half-day workshop on 25 June will cover areas such as compulsory training, marketing materials, conduct of business, product oversight and governance, conflicts of interest, systems and controls, PII (professional indemnity insurance) cover and client money, ancillary insurance intermediaries.

There will also be a bonus update on GDPR to clarify what clients should be told and what marketing can be done lawfully, as well as a brief overview of the forthcoming Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR), which replaces the FCA's Approved Persons Regime from December 2019.

Stuart Scullion, executive chairman of AMII, said: "Since IDD and GDPR were implemented, the changes within the sector have been significant. Although this can be a challenging and long process for businesses, the benefits are extensive.

"Branko is a hugely engaging and informed speaker who will lead a masterclass with a simple breakdown of key information and advice delivered in his easily understandable way."

A limited number of places are available for the workshop from noon to 3:30pm at Bupa, 102 The Quays, Salford Quays, M50 3SP.

As part of AMII's commitment to supporting members to meet their regulatory obligations, the course has been subsidised by AMII so delegates from member firms will only pay £99 inc. VAT per person to attend (the charge for non-members is £299 inc. vat). The cost includes all course materials, copy of the training presentation, and refreshments.

For further details and to book your place visit https://bit.ly/2IlmTub.

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Association of Medical Insurers And Intermediaries (AMII) To Host Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD) Workshop

The EU’s landmark Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD) will come under the spotlight at a special workshop being hosted by the Association of Medical Insurers and Intermediaries (AMII) later this month.

A limited number of places are still available for the special half-day event which is being delivered by AMII’s compliance expert Branko Bjelobaba in Milton Keynes on Thursday 14 March.

The workshop is aimed at specialist healthcare insurance intermediaries and will explore the changes that intermediaries should have put into place from 1 October 2018. It will cover areas such as compulsory training, marketing materials, conduct of business, product oversight and governance, conflicts of interest, systems and controls, PII (personally identifiable information) cover and client money, ancillary insurance intermediaries, as well as provide an update on GDPR and lawful marketing.

Branko will also be joined by William Leigh, senior compliance manager at Vitality UK, who will provide delegates with an update on the impact that IDD has had on healthcare insurers and outline how IDD has affected insurer relationships with intermediaries.

Stuart Scullion, chairman of AMII, said, “IDD is designed to ensure appropriate levels of protection for insurance customers across the EU and has already started to have a significant impact on the sector.

“Following the introduction of the new legislation, this is a must-attend event which will provide a comprehensive overview of the final rules that required implementation from October last year.

“It affects retail and commercial customers - insurance and reinsurance companies, intermediaries, insurance market customers, representative groups as well as any professional bodies conducting insurance distribution activities.

“Now the legislation is here, this event will support firms to take action and implement all the necessary changes to be compliant with the new regulations.”

The event takes place from 10am to 1pm at Stadium MK, Bletchley, Milton Keynes.

Tickets are available at £99+VAT for AMII members or £299+VAT. The price includes all course materials, refreshments, on-site parking, networking opportunities and a buffet lunch.

For further details and to book your place visit the AMII event page.

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AMII Summit Addresses 'Prominent Issues' Of AI And Mental Health

Some of the 'most prominent issues in healthcare' and 'stories of hope and recovery' were all on the agenda at the Health and Wellbeing Summit held by the Association of Medical Insurers and Intermediaries (AMII).

Opening the Summit, AMII Chairman Stuart Scullion talked of 'continuous change and advances in healthcare' before introducing the themes of the 2018 flagship event: Mental health, Artificial Intelligence, and improving quality in the industry.

Stuart said: "Each of us deals with change in a different way, and I am minded of eminent psychiatrist Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, who created her theory on the anatomy of change with the creation of her Change Curve. A knowledge and appreciation of the Change Curve will hold us all in good stead – as constant and continual change is with us to stay!"

Introducing the first keynote speaker of the day, Dr Umang Patel, Stuart said: "I believe the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be the next big thing to hit healthcare, and we are seeing signs of that already."

Addressing the delegates about how AI is shaping the healthcare sector, Dr Umang Patel, Partnerships and Clinical Director at Babylon Health, said: "We believe it's possible to make healthcare affordable and accessible and put it into the hands of everyone on earth.

"We're creating an artificially intelligent doctor built to mimic and augment a doctor's training with the knowledge equivalent of 10+ years of medical training and decades of practical experience.

"To build an AI doctor we first need to capture human knowledge on modern medicine and encode it for machines. The AI doctor needs to understand billions of statements and continuously learn from new statements, for example.

"We also need to look at perception, so an AI doctor can understand the unique ways humans' express symptoms, comprehend different language we use and read facial expressions in the way a real doctor would.

"Developing these areas further we are increasingly able to solve a range of healthcare challenges using AI and we expect to build this even further in the next six to 12 months.

"We're resetting the standard of care and we want to ask everyone who joined us at the AMII Summit to come along for the journey."

The Summit, held at One Great George Street in London, was attended by more than 200 representatives of healthcare businesses and organisations from across the country.

Branko Bjelobaba, AMII Compliance Partner who has worked across the insurance sector for over 30 years, spoke on the latest and upcoming regulatory changes such as GDPR and IDD.

Matt James, who established the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) in 2012, provided an update on the network's progress in bringing transparency to the sector and discussed the joint project with NHS Digital.

Matt talked through the integration of data on privately funded healthcare into NHS systems and standards for the first time through the Acute Data Alignment Programme (ADAPt). As well as highlighting the various stages needed to create one standard and one system collecting data for measuring quality for all care, he also discussed how best this data can then be used.

Matt said: "There will be practical challenges in achieving this, but the principles are being accepted, the intention is right, and direction of travel is moving forward. There are many ways we can then use this data to improve healthcare – publishing facts and figures on private healthcare, providing informatics for members and producing information for GPs to name a few."

The final keynote speech of the day was given by Rethink Mental Illness ambassadors Jonny Benjamin MBE and Neil Laybourn. As an award-winning mental health campaigner, writer and film producer, Jonny Benjamin shared his journey through mental illness and his campaign to track down the stranger who talked him down from suicide attempt – Neil Laybourn.

Jonny said: "We want to tell a story today which has some really key messages around mental health and suicide, and we hope by sharing our story we can make a difference.

"Although people are starting to raise awareness of issues around mental health, there's still a massive stigma and a huge difference in how mental and physical health are treated.

"We need more people to come forward and talk more openly and we need to start having the conversation from a younger age. Early intervention and prevention tools are so important and what is offered currently is just not enough by any means."

Neil was described by Jonny as one of the "silent heroes" – one of many who go unrecognised but have saved a life by helping someone to overcome a suicide attempt.

Jonny continued: "We need more stories of hope and recovery. We need to focus on the positive aspect that isn't reinforced enough."

Talking to delegates about how companies can better support their employees, Neil highlighted their recent This Can Happen Conference – the largest ever gathering of companies to discuss employee mental health. More than 750 delegates from 120 companies shared solutions to everyday issues that their staff face.

Neil said "This Can Happen was a chance for us to look positively at the spectrum of workplace mental health and it was the biggest conversation we've had around this area of mental health that we've had so far.

"We know that in the near future legislation will play a role in how companies address mental health, but we also want employers to understand the business case as well as how it is the right this thing to do for staff. Companies should want to be at the forefront of this conversation, leading the way.

"There is huge scope when it comes to what insurers and intermediaries can do to help. Not only in enabling companies to provide better provision and support, but also in improving transparency of healthcare and helping people to find the right doctor for the right treatment. We need this guidance, not just for physical but for mental health, too."

AMII's Stuart Scullion concluded the conference by thanking Jonny and Neil for sharing their 'inspiring, interesting and compassionate story'.

He said: "We've had an excellent line up of informative and inspiring speakers and this might be one of our best Summits."

Fore more information please visit: https://amii.org.uk/

 

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