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Healthcare International

GBG Introduces New Brand and Website

Global Benefits Group (GBG), a specialty insurance organization administering international health, life, disability, and travel insurance today announced the launch of its new brand and newly designed website, gbg.com.

The redesigned site brings together their regions and divisions all under one holistic site.

The new website provides visitors and partners with a simpler way to learn about GBG’s capabilities on a cutting-edge platform. 

Chris DiSipio, Chief Executive Officer, Global Benefits Group, comments, "We are proud to introduce the new GBG brand as it aligns with our continued dedication to serve customers around the world."

GBG has nearly 40 years of experience providing support and guidance around the world.  The new brand demonstrates the passionate team of experts that handles the intricacies of international insurance so clients can live their life no matter where their lives take them…Go, we’ll be there!

Learn more by watching our latest corporate video, then come explore the new GBG at gbg.com.

ABOUT GBG: Global Benefits Group (GBG) is a global insurance group that administers and underwrites international health, life, disability, and travel insurance. With a client base that spans multinational corporations, expatriates, international students, high net-worth individuals, international schools, and non-profit organizations, GBG is committed to delivering outstanding customer service to the globally mobile population.

Global Benefits Group (GBG) is the marketing name for GBGI Limited and its subsidiary and affiliated companies. 

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MetLife Enhances Proposition With Launch Of EverydayProtect

MetLife UK has enhanced its Individual Protection offering with the launch of EverydayProtect. An innovative customer-led proposition, EverydayProtect is a flexible and cost-effective protection policy, tailored to suit individuals’ evolving lifestyles.

One of the key enhancements to the new offering has been designed to ensure people are protected for longer. Life expectancy has increased.* Our lifestyles have changed, and we are now living and working longer. Understanding this shift in working patterns, MetLife has increased the entry age up to a client’s 65th birthday and the policy can continue until their 75th birthday.

For the self-employed, who can find themselves excluded from other protection policies, EverydayProtect doesn’t require any proof of income and claims payments are made quickly in order to account for any impact on household finances, as a result of an accident or hospitalisation.

EverydayProtect has been designed for the day-to-day realities of family life, with no health questions asked. Policyholders can continue to protect those that matter the most from just £1 a month. Child Cover, for example, protects children until they reach 18**, The ability to protect children under the same policy shows how the offering can change with customers based on their needs and personal circumstances.

Cost continues to be a significant barrier for people to seek advice or help with their finances. Our research shows that more than a fifth (23%)*** of people cite cost as the biggest barrier to seeking advice, even at key life moments such as purchasing a home or starting a family. MetLife understands the financial pressures many face, which is why EverydayProtect policies start at just £9 per unit per month, allowing more clients to begin their protection journey.

Amidst the ongoing uncertainty that people find themselves in, protection can offer a level of safety and peace of mind. Advisers play a critical role in helping customers understand their current – and future – protection needs and finding a policy that best suits their needs.

Rich Horner, Head of Individual Protection at MetLife, comments: “What the past 18 months have shown us is that you never know what is around the corner. Whether it’s our health or our finances, for many it can feel like they are currently being presented with more questions than answers. While we can’t predict the future, having the right protection in place can empower individuals to live their life should life take an unexpected turn.

“EverydayProtect has been developed with individuals and advisers in mind and can be tailored to meet changing needs and lifestyle stages. Similarly, if the amount of disposable income should change, cover can simply be reduced, or additional cover taken out based on affordability and personal priorities. Advisers have a pivotal role to play in helping to show their clients the benefits of having even greater protection in place alongside more traditional protection, so that their cover can grow with them. Protection shouldn’t be a once and done exercise, it should be reviewed regularly to ensure it continues to meet changing needs - all the while providing peace of mind for the everyday.”

*Research from the Office for National Statistics, National Life Tables – Life expectancy in the UK: 2018 to 2020, published September 2021, https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/lifeexpectancies/bulletins/nationallifetablesunitedkingdom/2018to2020

** Or 23 (if in education, an unpaid traineeship/apprenticeship or with dependency on the policyholder due to mental and/or physical disability).

*** Research was carried by Censuswide among a UK representative sample of 2,000 homeowners, or those currently purchasing a property. The survey was completed in March 2021. 

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iPMI Magazine Speaks with Antony Brown MBE, Head of Africa, Aetna International

In this exclusive iPMI Magazine interview, Christopher Knight, CEO, iPMI Magazine, met with Antony Brown MBE, Head of Africa at Aetna International. They discussed in detail the international private medical insurance market in Africa, and the Sanlam Pan Africa and Aetna International Global Health Plan.

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

After 10 years with Her Majesty’s UK Foreign Office, I started the African subsidiary of InterGlobal Private Medical Insurance in 2008, as a member of the Executive Management team, and with overall responsibility for the Africa region as Regional General Manager, I later accepted the role of Head of Business in Africa for Aetna International following the acquisition of Interglobal by Aetna.

I have traveled extensively across the continent and I have a thorough understanding of the key insurance services required in local markets. I am also very well-versed in the regulatory requirements needed by insurers looking to operate stand-alone insurance businesses or partner with local insurance entities, in the region.

Sanlam Pan Africa and Aetna International have joined forces to deliver Africa’s “most comprehensive health care solution”. Can you walk us through the features and benefits of the new IPMI plan for Africa?

This offering has been created in partnership with Sanlam Pan Africa to address the healthcare needs of both local and expatriate nationals, on an international basis, across all market segments in 20 countries in Africa. Global Health offers a broad range of benefits, an extensive direct billing medical network and an enhanced member experience with local in-country service. The Global Health Plan reflects the needs and concerns of our clients and members across Africa, by giving them access to quality health care in a cost-effective way.

Through this partnership, we bring together the Africa-specific experience of Sanlam Pan Africa with the global expertise of Aetna International to deliver Africa’s most comprehensive and locally compliant health care solution with broad international access.

The Global Health proposition provides four plan levels — Value, Essential, Plus and Premium — with coverage ranging from US$100,000 to US$5,000,000. Depending on the tiers, the plans offer a host of health and well-being benefits, including cancer care, inpatient psychiatric treatment or psychotherapy, HIV or AIDS, terminal care, dental, optical and emergency treatment outside the area of cover.

With pre-authorised inpatient care across all of Africa and outpatient direct billing across the 20 Africa markets, Global Health offers members access to one of the widest medical networks locally and globally, as well as a 24/7 multilingual call centre for emergency and evacuation immediate assistance.

Who is the target market for the Global Health plan and why?

The Global Health Plan addresses the needs of the local market in 20 countries across Africa, for all employee levels: administrative, management and executive. Depending on the choice of cover, it offers access to health care in the country of residence but also abroad, for cases where medical expertise is not available locally or where the member is travelling. 

Geographically speaking, which countries does the new Global Health Plan cover?

Global Health is sold in 20 countries across the continent including Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville*, Gabon, Guinea Conakry*, Ivory Coast, Mali, Madagascar, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Togo, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia and Tanzania. Members in these countries can choose one of four variants of area coverage:

Area 1: Worldwide Inc. US

Area 2: Worldwide Excl. US

Area 3: Europe Inc. Africa, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Lebanon & Bangladesh

Area 4: Africa, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Lebanon & Bangladesh

* Subject to OFAC regulations

Regarding access to healthcare across Africa, and the medical network, what are the options?

Members have access to an extensive direct billing medical network across the continent and beyond with more than 8,000 directly contracted providers in Africa and over 1.3 million health care professionals globally.

Emergency and non-emergency evacuation remain a critical feature of any IPMI plan. What options are available?

All four variants of the plan — Value, Essential, Plus and Premium — offer medical evacuation and in-patient cover as standard, but the coverage limits vary depending on the plan tier. For members under the Platinum plan, the cover is 100% of the medical evacuation costs.

What currency and billing options are available for insureds seeking access to healthcare under the Global Health plan?

Whether it is choice of medical provider or level of benefits, flexibility is a key value proposition of the plan and the same is true for billing.

For plan sponsors, premiums can be invoiced centrally in USD, or in the local currency of each respective country, subject to local laws and regulations.  

For members, Global Health offers outpatient treatment from within the available network on a direct billing basis in each of the 20 countries — the medical provider invoices us, as the insurer, directly without the need for the member to pay at the point of service. Inpatient treatment is required to be pre-authorised beforehand, and arrangements will be made by us, as the insurer, for the medical provider to bill us directly without the member having to pay. 

Can you please give us some more background on Sanlam Pan Africa?

Sanlam Pan Africa is the Sanlam Group’s business cluster that manages financial services in the emerging markets in Africa (excluding South Africa). Africa is a fundamental component of the Sanlam Group’s vision, which is the strategic mission of Sanlam Pan Africa — to build a leading pan-African financial services group.

Founded in 1918 as a life insurance company, Sanlam has become the largest non-banking financial services group in Africa, through its global diversification strategy and an unmatched

Pan-African footprint in more than 30 countries. Over the years, Sanlam has established itself as a financial services leader in the emerging markets in Africa and Asia.

What opportunities exist in the African market for international private medical insurance? Africa is a challenging geography – what issues on the ground, are expats and travelers facing when it comes to accessing high quality healthcare?

Africa is certainly challenging; its sheer size and diversity means that it is impossible to make broad generalisations on healthcare across the continent. Each country has its own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to accessing healthcare in any situation. For example, while coverage of healthcare can be patchy in rural areas, the quality of service in urban areas is certainly improving and often the challenge can be in arranging and funding care. In this respect, many parts of Africa are leading the way technologically when it comes to seamlessly booking appointments and minimising the use of cash, and Kenya is a great example of this.  We expect this capability to expand and, as the use of technology becomes a norm, insurance companies and medical providers will have to be ready with digital offerings, like telehealth services, to meet the demands of their members. 

The diversity of the countries in terms of language, currencies, cultures, and service expectation is also a challenge. We believe we have managed to address these aspects by making our plans as locally relevant as possible — the plans offer cover to local nationals, all documentation is available in the primary language of the country, we offer local invoicing and currency payment options, access to primary care on a direct billing basis, and local in-country representation. 

In 5 years’ time how will the international private medical insurance market look in Africa?

In recent years we have seen employers across Africa pivot from traditional offshore international medical insurance providers to local ones. However, few local providers have the capacity to offer international cover, which in Africa, where certain forms of treatment are not always available locally, is essential. Combining the expertise and capabilities of Aetna and Sanlam not only solves for such issues but offers access to a world-class comprehensive healthcare service. 

Furthermore, as a result of the global pandemic, we are seeing employers across the globe re-think their strategies when it comes to sending their staff on expat assignments, meaning that we expect a pivot towards more local hiring. Africa is no exception, particularly as the local workforce becomes more skilled and self-sufficient. What this means is potentially less demand for the traditional, high-cost fully international plans, which are the norm today, and an uptick in demand for plans that are more focused on regional cover, with comprehensive yet affordable benefits. This is exactly where we position Global Health; fit for today’s market and yet future-proofed for the changes ahead.

 

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Pacific Prime Acquires CXA Group's Brokerages

Insurance brokerage Pacific Prime has solidified its foothold in Asia Pacific by acquiring the Hong Kong and Singapore brokerage arms of CXA Group, an insurtech company that has exited this sector to focus on its cloud-based enterprise SaaS business. The acquisition deal took place on February 4th, 2021.

CXA's insurtech business is backed by HSBC, Singtel Innov8, the Singapore Economic Development Board's investment arm EDBI and B Capital Group, the venture firm of Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin.

The acquisition of CXA Group’s brokerage arms in Hong Kong and Singapore is a breakthrough, as Pacific Prime seeks to continually expand in the Asia Pacific region and globally. The acquisition gives Pacific Prime the technology to offer full-flex and simplified flex solutions to all of its clients around the world.

Neil Raymond, CEO of Pacific Prime, welcomed this move, “CXA Group has expertise that we can benefit from, particularly in using technology to transform the employee benefits landscape. I believe this makes us the third biggest employee benefits broker in Singapore and Hong Kong after the mergers of Aon-WTW and Mercer-JLT. This acquisition propels us towards our long-term objective of being the leading global employee benefits specialist.”

Rosaline Chow Koo, CEO of CXA Group, said, “We’re confident to leave our Hong Kong and Singapore brokerage arms with Pacific Prime, as we share the same commitment to being technology-driven.”

Historically, Pacific Prime has built all of its own insurtech in-house; 15% of its 600 staff are IT-focused. This insurtech approach has been largely responsible for Pacific Prime's growth over the past decade. The technology it is acquiring as part of the CXA deal is extremely complementary to Pacific Prime's in-house technology, and will allow Pacific Prime to offer employee benefits flex solutions to large multinationals, as well as smaller SMEs.

The acquisition will serve to bolster Pacific Prime’s employee benefits and compensation technology, enabling global HR teams to simplify plan administration across multiple jurisdictions and leverage valuable insights from data, as well as streamline total rewards management.

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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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