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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

Top 5 International Private Medical Insurance (iPMI) Magazine Global Medical Insurance Providers And Companies 2015

Congratulations to Globality Health, the most popular iPMI (international private medical insurance) provider of iPMI Magazine in 2015. 

Globality Health is the international health insurer with a special focus on expatriates. People who study, live or work abroad.

Special mentions also go to our runner ups including Cigna Global iPMI, Integra Global, Expatriate Group and ALC Health. 

Globality Health 

Cigna Global iPMI

Integra Global

Expatriate Group

ALC Health

 

 

 

 

 

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Turkey Travel Warning: Reports Of An Explosion At Sabiha Gokcen Airport

Reports of an explosion at Sabiha Gokcen airport in Istanbul at around 2am on 23 December 2015; the circumstances of the incident are currently under investigation; the airport remains open.

Over 2,500,000 British nationals visit Turkey every year. 

Visas

British nationals need a visa to travel to Turkey, except for cruise ship passengers with ‘British Citizen’ passports who arrive at sea ports for tourist visits to the port city or nearby cities, provided that the visit doesn’t exceed 72 hours.

If you’re visiting Turkey as a tourist or on business, get an e-Visa online before you travel. Only use the official Republic of Turkey e-Visa website. Avoid unauthorised websites as they may charge an additional fee. Some unauthorised websites have issued fake e-Visas.

If you don’t have an e-Visa you can still get a visa on arrival for £20 in cash, although the visa on arrival service is due to be phased out. Getting an e-Visa from the official website before you travel will avoid possible problems or delays at the Turkish border, or when boarding your flight in the UK.

International Private Medical Insurance For Turkey

Take out comprehensive international private medical insurance before you travel to Turkey, to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad or emergency repatriation and evacuation. Be sure to read the small print of all iPMI policies before you purchase. 

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Tunisia Travel Warning: State Of Emergency Has Been Extended For 2 Months

State of emergency has been extended for 2 months from 24 December until 21 February 2016. Further attacks remain highly likely, including against foreigners. Security forces are on a high state of alert in Tunis and other locations. You should be especially vigilant and avoid crowded places over the holiday period, including around Mouled (24 December), Christmas and New Year.

If you choose to travel to or remain in Tunisia then you should check that your insurance policy provides adequate cover. You should be especially vigilant and follow the advice of the Tunisian security authorities.

There are no direct flights between the UK and Monastir or Enfidah airports. There are daily Tunis Air flights from Tunis Carthage airport direct to London, and indirect daily departures with European carriers. Contact your airline or travel company directly if you have an enquiry about your travel plans.

If you need consular assistance (above and beyond travel information) you should contact the British Embassy in Tunis.

The Tunisian presidency announced on 22 December 2015 that the state of emergency imposed after a suicide attack on a police bus on 24 November would be extended for a further 2 months from 24 December until 21 February 2016.

The threat from terrorism in Tunisia is high. Further attacks remain highly likely, including against foreigners. Security forces are on a high state of alert in Tunis and other locations. You should be especially vigilant over the holiday period, including around Mouled (24 December), Christmas and New Year. Avoid crowded places and follow the advice of the Tunisian security authorities and your travel company, if you have one.

A terrorist attack took place at Port El Kantaoui near Sousse on 26 June. Thirty eight foreign tourists were killed, including 30 British nationals. Further terrorist attacks are highly likely, including in tourist resorts, and by individuals unknown to the authorities whose actions may be inspired by terrorist groups via social media. On 17 November the Tunisian authorities announced they had foiled a major plot to attack ‘hotels and vital installations’ in Sousse. On 24 November a number of security personnel were killed in a suicide attack on a police bus on Avenue Mohammed V in central Tunis. A state of emergency was declared for 30 days from 24 November 2015. 

Since the attack in Sousse, we have been working closely with the Tunisian authorities to investigate the attack and the wider threat from terrorist groups in Tunisia. Although we have had good co-operation from the Tunisian government, including putting in place additional security measures, the intelligence and threat picture has developed considerably, reinforcing our view that a further terrorist attack is highly likely. On balance, we do not believe the mitigation measures in place provide adequate protection for British tourists in Tunisia at the present time.

On 8 July, the Tunisian Prime Minister stated publicly that further attacks were likely. The Tunisian authorities have increased their security measures but have also acknowledged the limitations in their ability to counter the current terrorist threat.

International Private Medical Insurance (iPMI) For Tunisia

Take out comprehensive travel and international private medical insurance before travelling to Tunisia, to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad or emergency repatriation and evacuation. Be sure to read the small print of all iPMI policies before you purchase. 

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Accessing Medical Care Abroad: More Expatriates Look Locally

Cigna Global Health Benefits® (NYSE: CI) and the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) recently surveyed more than 2,700 expatriates working in 156 countries to better understand how they and their families experience, perceive and value various elements of assignment terms and programs.

While many surveys tell the global mobility story from the perspective of the employer, this survey is unique because it gathers candid feedback from the globally mobile themselves—information employers are rarely able to gather on their own.

Expat profile

Among people who work outside of their home country, three things are true: they are male (81%), middle-aged and have a family. Beyond that, all bets are off.

The globally mobile are growing older; Gen X is entering its peak earning years and Baby Boomers are remaining in the workforce longer than did previous generations. According to the survey results, many expats are leaving their families at home for various reasons. Today, many assignment locations are in emerging markets or a remote location, which is one reason expats might leave their families at home. In recent years, there has also been a dramatic increase in business and technology-related assignments with shorter durations; generally between six and 12 months. Thirty-eight percent of respondents reported that they did not bring their children with them during assignment.

Although most expats still hail from the U.S., their numbers are down by 10% from just two years ago (and down 24% from the 2001 survey). Globalization is likely a factor with more companies having operations across the globe with access to qualified local talent. The U.S. tax regulations may also be a reason for the decline, making expatriation of U.S. nationals more expensive than expatriates from other countries.

Accessing medical care abroad: more expats look locally

The proportion of expats accessing medical care on assignment stayed consistent from 2013 at 79%. Seventy-five percent of expats said they access local providers for routine medical care.

Gender appears to play a role in which type and where expats and their families access care during assignment. While the rate at which men accessed care stayed about the same (78% this year versus 77% in 2013), the share of women accessing care rose five percentage points to 83%. Even though a larger percentage of women are accessing care while abroad, they are slightly less likely than men to seek care locally. However, more women (47%) said they were much more likely to seek treatment locally for serious medical care than they did in 2013 (38%).

Mobility benefits packages: Flexibility and customization

Greater flexibility in plan design was a common theme when employees were asked what employers might change or add to their global mobility assignment packages to make them more useful.

“Similar to what we saw in the 2013 results, a one-size-fits-all approach to mobility program services can lead to potential dissatisfaction, or worse, an unexpected end to a global assignment,” said Leah Cotterill, vice president, North America Client Management, Cigna Global Health Benefits. “Global mobility directors have to be cognizant of striking a balance between the needs of the business and those of the expats and their families. While the trend toward managing costs through benefits reduction might save companies money in the shorter term, the approach may not lead to longer term satisfaction, loyalty, trust or success.”

Support and communication

Results from this year’s survey indicate that certain gaps – whether real or perceived - still exist between the resources employers say they provide to expats in comparison to what employees say they need.

Communications – before, during and after assignment – are critical to expats and the success of their assignment. Survey responses indicate that employers shouldn’t be worried about over-communicating.

  • 38% of respondents received only one communication prior to departure and nearly a third received two to three.
  • More than 75% received information about their global mobility program benefits during assignment. Of this group, one in four received messages on a quarterly basis.
  • Email and phone calls with HR/global mobility representatives were the top two forms of communication with 90% and 70%, respectively.

Overall, the support employers have traditionally made available aligns with what expatriates say is needed. More than three-quarters of respondents said their employer provides help with moving household goods; setting up utilities and other settling-in needs, as well as help with finding doctors and getting vaccinations. Yet, globally mobile employees say they need more, particularly related to local culture and lifestyle.

Only 20% of information sent to expats before assignment covered local lifestyle resources such as grocery stores, child care, etc. “Prepare employees better for the cultural shock they will experience, particularly for newcomers,” said one respondent.

The use of digital communications, particularly social media, increased dramatically since the 2013 survey. More than twice as many expatriates chose Facebook this year than they did in 2013, which reflects the increasing use of social media as a human resources portal by employers.

There also appears to be a dramatic change in the perceived usefulness of digital resources. Nearly twice as many expatriates in 2015 said their employer intranet is an effective communication tool. Interestingly enough, almost half (44%) said that they either didn’t know or their employer didn’t offer online access to information concerning their mobility benefits program.

“Globally mobile employees and their families want reliable and consistent communication from employers from preparing them for assignments before they depart and ensuring they feel appropriately supported and connected while away,” commented Cotterill. “While many employers are making strides in this area, more can be done to better facilitate communication concerning global mobility program features and services for employees and their families.”

“As businesses continue to expand and compete in today’s global marketplace, the importance of global mobility has never been greater,” said Bill Sheridan, NFTC Vice President of International Human Resources. “This year’s survey results not only reflect this, but also reveal key insights into how global mobility and the expectations of expats have changed since 2013 – insights that should influence how employers meet the needs of their expats going forward.”

Expatriation: A lifestyle choice, not just an economic obligation.

This year’s results demonstrate that global mobility is no longer just an economic obligation, but is instead a lifestyle choice evolving into a career unto itself. The spirit of adventure, the potential to hone one’s qualifications and the appeal of living abroad remained the greatest influences on the decision to accept a first assignment.

One key difference to note is the proportion of expats who indicated they went abroad because they wanted to versus feeling they had to—down by 12.5% since the 2013 survey. Additionally, the number of expats who have been on five or more international assignments increased sharply to 25% from 18% in 2013. This may indicate that global mobility is becoming an occupation in its own right.

Repatriation: Just as difficult as expatriation.

Slightly more than half (54%) of expats who responded to the survey say their employer has a formal repatriation program – and yet most employers report they offer one. In fact, many respondents expressed that repatriation is effectively as difficult as expatriation.

Expats find a return home can result in culture shock. Changes in finances and taxes for the household were a big concern, as was finding new employment. “My family and I will probably need as much (if not more) help repatriating than we have needed on assignment,” said a respondent.

Many expats recommended beginning repatriation arrangements at least three months before departure. Commenting on a return home after assignment, one respondent said, “I’d like to see a repatriation program in which we are given news of the return home at least three months prior to the move so we can prepare.”

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OUT NOW: International Private Medical Insurance Companies and Providers V1.3 - Adds NEW Wellaway Advertising Campaign

Version 1.3 of the International Private Medical Insurance Provider Directory is out now.

Medical insurance underwriters and providers are represented and International Private Medical Insurance Magazine would like to take this opportunity to say a warm thank you to all of the guide sponsors including ALC Health, Antaé, Cigna Global iPMI, Expatriate Group, GeoBlue, Globality Health, Healthcare International, Integra Global and Wellaway.

GET LISTED

List your company in the iPMI Magazine iPMI company guide. Working hand-in-hand with your own company micro website on iPMIM, this guide can land-your-brand on the desk of an eclectic worldwide readership.

 

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OUT NOW: International Private Medical Insurance Companies and Providers V1.2

Version 1.2 of the International Private Medical Insurance Provider Directory is out now with the addition of Antaé, a leading employee benefits firm based in Switzerland.

Based in Lausanne in Switzerland, Antaé is specialised in advice, design and distribution of international mobility solutions: private medical insurance, travel health insurance, assistance and security, protection, kidnap and ransom, pension. Our clients are international corporate businesses and organisations, NGOs, international private schools and international students in Switzerland. Antaé is FINMA registered – N° 28246

Medical insurance underwriters and providers are represented and International Private Medical Insurance Magazine would like to take this opportunity to say a warm thank you to all of the guide sponsors including ALC Health, Antaé, Cigna Global iPMI, Expatriate Group, GeoBlue, Globality Health, Healthcare International, Integra Global and Wellaway.

GET LISTED

List your company in the iPMI Magazine iPMI company guide. Working hand-in-hand with your own company micro website on iPMIM, this guide can land-your-brand on the desk of an eclectic worldwide readership.

 

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OUT NOW: International Private Medical Insurance Companies and Providers V1.1

Underwriters and providers are represented and Team iPMIM would like to take this opportunity to say a warm thank you to all of the guide sponsors including ALC Health, Cigna Global iPMI, Expatriate Group, GeoBlue, Globality Health, Healthcare International, Integra Global and Wellaway.

GET LISTED

List your company in the iPMI Magazine iPMI company guide. Working hand-in-hand with your own company micro website on iPMIM, this guide can land-your-brand on the desk of an eclectic worldwide readership.

iPOLICY Magazine Issue 004 June 2015 Powered By International Private Medical Insurance Magazine (iPMIM) from iPMI Magazine on Vimeo.

CONNECT

To get in touch with and contact International Private Medical Insurance Magazine (iPMIM) simply send us an email. You can write to the team on: ipmiATipmimagazine.com and we will get back in touch right away. (replace AT with @)

The new directory is also featured in our Medical Broker and Intermediary report, iPolicy.

Issue 4 is out now and can be found at: https://ipolicymagazine.com/read-ipolicy/item/274-ipolicy-issue-4

iPolicy Issue 4 kicks off with an executive interview with the new Managing Director @ Cigna Global iPMI.

About the iPMI Company Directory

Delivering pertinent company information to worldwide insurance brokers, intermediaries and agents the International Private Medical Insurance Magazine iPMI Provider Network Directory is the definitive global resource featuring international medical insurance underwriters and providers.

Identify, select and source the most appropriate insurance partners that may assist you expand your product portfolio range and coverage. Designed by iPMI providers for iPMI brokers, the directory works hand-in-hand with iPMI Magazine company micro web sites. Follow the interactive links throughout the directory for more company intelligence and content.

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Defensive And Strategic Deals Boost M&A In Insurance

Merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in the insurance industry is rising although the number of deals still remains well below levels seen before the financial crisis, says Swiss Re's latest sigma study M&A in insurance: start of a new wave?

After declining sharply in 2009, overall M&A activity in the insurance sector remained relatively subdued in the ensuing years. In recent months activity has picked up again, while the pipeline of future deals has also increased: total M&A announcements in the second half of 2014 rose to 359 from 295 in the first half, and this momentum continued into 2015. Survey evidence also indicates that sentiment towards M&A is turning as confidence about the economic outlook gradually improves and market participants look to acquisitions or mergers to boost profitability as well as bolster their balance sheets.

Defensive and strategic deals come to the fore
Key themes in insurance M&A transactions include divestments of closed blocks and run-off operations. Such disposals can be an effective way to achieve an early exit from business in run-off so that capital may be redeployed to new or expanded lines of business. There has also been more activity in the specialty re/insurers sector as incumbent firms respond to heightened competitive pressures. The emergence of alternative risk-absorbing capacity from hedge funds, investment banks and pension funds has put downward pressure on prices in some property and casualty lines, prompting some specialist re/insurers in Bermuda and Lloyd’s to combine their operations to take on wider and emerging corporate risks and reduce operating costs.

"What's happening, is a squeezing out of the middle-tier specialist re/insurer," says Kurt Karl, Swiss Re's Chief Economist. " Some firms do not have the scale or the breadth of services to differentiate their offering from more commoditised reinsurance capacity. Going forward, we expect to continue to see a certain shakeout in the sector as companies join together in search of revenue and cost synergies."

Beyond the specialty re/insurance sector, there have also been strategic deals to expand expertise, distribution capabilities and geographical reach. There has been a pick up in M&A activity in the emerging markets, particularly Asia Pacific and Latin America, with advanced country insurers continuing to focus on expansion in high growth markets. Increasingly too, emerging market insurers are eyeing acquisitions in advanced markets as a way to diversify geographically and across business lines.

The intermediaries sector has also experienced increased M&A activity. Brokers in the wholesale segment have been actively pursuing expansion overseas in response to growing demand from large corporates wanting to partner with firms with an international footprint. Consolidation in domestic markets has also accelerated, the motivation for agents and brokers being economies of scale and the ability to provide a full range of analytical services to their clients.

Upturn to remain sector specific
Despite the upswing in M&A activity in insurance, the overall number of transactions today remains well below levels prior to the financial crisis. Globally, there were 489 completed deals in 2014 compared with 674 in 2007. Moreover, the increase in activity is not an industry-wide surge, and is unlikely to become one. The still considerable uncertainty about the global macroeconomic and regulatory outlook makes selecting value-enhancing deals challenging, which will restrain firms' appetite for M&As.

Instead, there will likely be a continuation of recent trends of increased M&A activity in certain segments as firms respond to cyclical and structural changes in the industry. The introduction of regulations such as Solvency II will encourage some insurers to restructure in pursuit of capital efficiencies and/or economies of scale or scope. Similarly, the influx of alternative capital will continue to stimulate deals, especially if financial investors become active sellers as well as buyers. Access to digital distribution technology is another M&A driver that will likely carry increasing weight.

Achieving M&A success is challenging
The track record of M&A success in insurance, as in other industries, is mixed. Empirical analysis of share price developments of insurers involved in an M&A over the past decade suggests positive returns for buyers in the long run but there is a wide variation across transactions.

"Those deals that seem to most consistently create value are ones where companies are from the same country and those that combine firms on different parts of the insurance value chain," says Darren Pain, co-author of the report.  

The task of mitigating operational and business risks to achieve M&A success ultimately rests with the managers of insurance companies. Reinsurance solutions can help strengthen or relieve pressure on insurers' balance sheets both prior to and after a transaction. In reality, however, reinsurance is underutilised as an M&A capital management tool.

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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Reports 2014 Results

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota and its family of companies (Blue Cross) today announced audited financial results for 2014. Blue Cross closed out the year with net income of $61.5 million, reflecting positive investment portfolio performance that offset slight operational losses. The organization reported a net operating loss of $8.2 million on full-year revenues of $10.1 billion, for a negative operating margin of one-tenth of one percent (0.1%).

Blue Cross reported more than $9.1 billion paid in medical claims for the year, representing 90 cents of every premium dollar collected going directly to cover health care costs. Additionally, Blue Cross paid more than $205 million in taxes, assessments and surcharges for the year. Overall year-end 2014 enrollment of 2.6 million members represents a slight decrease from year-end 2013.

“Our operating performance for 2014 was favorable to projections, amounting to a near break-even year for the organization,” said Michael Guyette, president and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. “We knew 2014 would be a challenging year, as the market continued to go through significant transition related to health reform. We continue to engage with multiple stakeholders in order to explore ways of bringing additional cost and coverage stability for both the short- and long-term.”

During 2014, Blue Cross celebrated several successes in communities across the state. Among them:

  •     Collaborated with Allina, Entira, Minnesota Community Health Network (MCHN), Northern Health Alliance and Sanford Health in support of innovations that promote advancements in health care affordability and quality.
  •     Opened the company’s first health insurance retail store, where Minnesotans can receive health plan information, service and claims support.
  •     Raised more than $1 million in employee donations through the annual Community Giving Campaign to benefit more than 700 nonprofits statewide.
  •      Supported efforts of Minnesota communities to enhance access to health coverage and improve health, including:

o    Southern Prairie Community Care, an Accountable Community for Health, focused on improving the health of residents of 12 southwestern Minnesota counties.
o    Access to coverage grants, helping low-income Minnesotans enroll in insurance.
o    Act on Alzheimer’s, helping foster dementia-friendly communities.
o    Increasing access to various dental care programs in Mankato, Bemidji, Duluth and Rochester.

Audited results include the consolidated financial statements for businesses operating under Aware Integrated Inc. (AII), a non-profit corporation and parent organization. AII serves as the holding company for all affiliates and subsidiaries, including the following regulated businesses associated with Blue Cross:

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota — A nonprofit health insurance company and independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

Blue Plus — A nonprofit health maintenance organization (HMO) that offers health plans and contracted provider networks throughout Minnesota to individuals and local, state and national groups.

SelectAccount — A third-party administrator of medical spending accounts included in consumer-directed health plans throughout the country.

Blue Cross provides all information, reports and audited details as required by the State of Minnesota for both commercial and public program products. Detailed financial statements for the organization’s regulated businesses are filed with the Minnesota Department of Commerce. A consolidated earnings statement for 2014 results is available at https://www.bluecrossmn.com/2014Results.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, with headquarters in the St. Paul suburb of Eagan, was chartered in 1933 as Minnesota’s first health plan and continues to carry out its charter mission today as a health company: to promote a wider, more economical and timely availability of health services for the people of Minnesota. Blue Cross is a not-for-profit, taxable organization. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, headquartered in Chicago. Go to bluecrossmn.com to learn more about Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.

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Marsh Canada Acquires Kocisko Insurance Brokers Inc.

Marsh Canada, a subsidiary of Marsh, a global leader in insurance broking and risk management, announced today the acquisition of Kocisko Insurance Brokers Inc., a full-service commercial insurance brokerage based in Montreal, Quebec.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Kocisko focuses on providing commercial insurance and risk management solutions to construction and surety operations throughout the province of Quebec. The Kocisko team will join Marsh Canada’s National Construction and Surety Practice, and will be based in Marsh’s Montreal location.

“I’m delighted to welcome Terry Kocisko and his talented and experienced team of construction and surety specialists to Marsh,” said Alan Garner, president & CEO, Marsh Canada Limited. “This addition enables us to offer greater resources and a broader platform to serve the needs of construction clients in Quebec.”

“Becoming a part of Marsh Canada Limited is a terrific evolution for Kocisko,” said Terry Kocisko, CEO of Kocisko. “Our clients will benefit from the tremendous service and broader array of capabilities and resources that Marsh has to offer.”

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Medical, Healthcare, Expatriate And Travel Insurance

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

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