iPMI Magazine Is Proudly Sponsored By:
For a healthier journey.

iPMI Magazine Has Moved

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

Medical Insurance Plan Launched For International Contractors

Specialist global insurance intermediary Bellwood Prestbury have, in partnership with APRIL international, launched a new international medical expenses plan specifically designed for the international contractor sector.

The plan has been designed to fill an important void for the many self-employed and small groups of employees who are often faced with a combination of high premiums and insufficient cover when trying to arrange cover.

Whether onshore or offshore, the International Contractors Health Plan offers a range of tailored medical insurance solutions for people working in the Oil & Gas, Energy, Telecommunications, Technology and Associated sectors

Offering a choice of three levels of cover available for periods of 3, 6, 9 or 12 months, every policy includes as standard 24/7 Emergency Medical Evacuation (CEGA Assistance), 24/7 Crisis Management Assistance (Red24) and Global Blood Transfusion support (Blood Care Foundation), making it particularly ideal for anyone working in difficult or remote areas where medical treatment may be limited or hard to access.

Andrew Apps, Head of Global Healthcare at Bellwood Prestbury International commented “By bringing together a choice of comprehensive cover benefits and affordable premiums, this unique programme recognises the demands and requirements of the global contractor by packaging each element under a single proposition.”

The International Contractors Plan is ideal for anyone looking for either short or long-term cover, and has the advantage of providing cover between assignments, so removing the need to reapply for cover and facing potential underwriting issues every time a new job comes along”.

With a dedicated web site at, instant quotes available online and fast moratorium underwriting acceptance, the International Contractors Plan has been designed to be easy to understand, straight forward to buy and simple to use.


Cigna Global Health Benefits Expands Sales With New Expatriate Health Insurance Plan

Designed for expatriate employees of multinational companies with offices in Africa, Cigna Global Health Benefits® is now offering its new Cigna Africa product. Expats in regions of Africa will benefit from Cigna's local experience and facilities, global medical network, and ongoing commitment to investments in this region.

Cigna Africa has been designed specifically for multinationals’ globally mobile, key local and third-country nationals (TCN) staff in Africa. The product has been tailored to the needs and local practices of the region, making the plan affordable and giving multiple options to individual preferences such as area of cover, cover levels and supplementary coverages. It includes health benefits, dental and vision cover, evacuation and health management services.

“Africa is an emerging economy, with significant growth of almost 1,000 billion US$ over the last decade1. This trend makes it an attractive expansion target for us. With our already existing infrastructure and experience in Africa, we are in a good position to give regional expats and key nationals a premium service,” says Bart Jordens, General Manager International Organisations and Africa at Cigna.

Currently, Cigna Global Health Benefits already supports the health, well-being and sense of security for numerous customers in Sub-Saharan Africa, employed by multinationals, non-profits and intergovernmental organizations (IGOs). It employs local communication officers and medical consultants in key hubs and claims intake office in Kenya.

Africa is emerging as a significant point of growth, making it an attractive expansion target for companies in search of new markets. The EY attractiveness index 2013 for Africa shows that Africa’s growth is real and sustainable, with the economic output of Sub-Saharan Africa having grown strongly from US$344.1 billion in 2000 to US$1 334.2 billion in 2012. Sub-Saharan economic output is projected to reach US$1 844.6 by 2017.

1 Source: EY 2013/14 Sub-Saharan Africa talent trends and practices survey report.


Cigna Hong Kong Launches "Cigna HealthFirst Elite Medical Plan"

Cigna Worldwide General Insurance Company Limited ("Cigna Hong Kong") has launched "Cigna HealthFirst Elite Medical Plan" ("Plan"), a comprehensive and high-quality medical insurance plan for qualified customers, age 15 days to 75 years old, with coverage till 100 years old. It is one of the few policies in the Hong Kong market that offers an annual coverage of up to HK$23 million, with a reasonable premium as low as HK$14,000 per annum1 for a middle-aged person, and worldwide protection with more than 7,000 hospitals in the network. With our cashless arrangement, customers do not have to pay a deposit when admitted to a hospital nor file a claim when discharged.

According to a global medical trends report2, medical expenses have been surging at a double-digit rate in Hong Kong in the past 3 years, and the trend is likely to persist. Cigna understands that our customers have different needs at different stages of their lives. In our aim to partner with them in their health and wellness journey, we design high quality and comprehensive healthcare solutions to meet their needs.

Full coverage at 11 local private hospitals and a worldwide hospital network

The lengthy queues in public hospitals have driven many local Hong Kong people to private hospitals, yet the on-going rise in medical expenses have been a common concern. The "Cigna HealthFirst Elite Medical Plan" offers a strong medical network including 11 private hospitals in Hong Kong. The cashless arrangement also guarantees immediate treatment for the customer without any down payment required, so he or she does not need to worry about paying medical expenses and can focus on treatment and recovery.

In addition, recent news reports showed that there is an increasing number of medical incidents that Hong Kong people have encountered overseas in the past years, a comprehensive medical plan offers real peace of mind to those who are required to work and travel overseas. If the customer has an accident abroad, he or she may undergo professional medical treatment without delay.

Flexible and Practical Benefits

Apart from the extensive coverage, the Plan also provides three insurance plans with different geographical reach: Worldwide, Worldwide (exclude US), and Asia only. The Plan also provides three deductible options whereby customers can save on unnecessary expenses based on their actual needs. For example, customers with coverage limited to Asia can save more than 60% in premiums and enjoy an annual coverage limit as high as HK$23 million. A customized policy is now available at a reasonable cost. For instance, the cost for a 40-year old, non-smoker is around HK$14,000 per year.1

The addition of the Pharmacy Benefit provides coverage for 50 major diseases and enables customers to cope with rehabilitation expenses

The current price of medicine has been increasing, particularly the costs to treat serious diseases such as cancer target therapy. The Plan's Pharmacy Benefit rider provides coverage for the pharmacy costs of more than 50 major diseases. In addition to hospitalization, the subsequent rehabilitation expenses of the patient are also covered. Customers can apply for reimbursement of up to HK$80,000 each year and the total reimbursement can reach HK$500,000 during the entire insurance coverage period.

Mr. Austin Marsh, CEO of Cigna Hong Kong concluded, "Cigna is dedicated to helping customers improve their health, well-being and sense of security. We achieve this by providing customers with clear and practical information that is backed by our professional healthcare expertise so that they can make the best decisions. Our comprehensive health and wellness suite of solutions provides customers peace of mind so that they can focus on pursuing their goals in life."

The "Cigna Elite Medical Plan" is an innovative product created by Cigna. Policies issued on or before Dec 31, 2015 will be entitled to a 10% premium discount. Policies for children below the age of 18 are eligible for up to 60% discount;3 all non-smokers can receive a 10% discount on their policy price; and if a customer signs up for the Elite plan with their spouse, both of them will receive an additional 10% discount on their plans for the entire first year.


1 This premium level applies to 40 years old; both male and female; non-smoker for worldwide plans with HK$50,000 deductible.

2 Towers Watson Global Medical Trends Survey 2014.

3 Terms and conditions apply.


Interpace Diagnostics Announces Additional Coverage in Top Managed Care Health Plans for Their Thyroid and Pancreas Molecular Diagnostic Tests

PDI, Inc. subsidiary Interpace Diagnostics announced today that both the ThyGenX™ Thyroid Oncogene Panel and ThyraMIR™ Thyroid miRNA Classifier, its molecular diagnostic tests for indeterminate thyroid nodules, are now covered by one of the largest independent Blue Cross Blue Shield plans that insures 3.3 million lives. 

This medical policy update, covering both ThyGenX and ThyraMIR, represents the first large commercial plan to cover ThyraMIR, a novel microRNA gene expression classifier launched earlier this year. Furthermore, it follows the recent announcement of coverage by Aetna for ThyGenX, Interpace Diagnostics' genetic mutation panel used to improve risk stratification and surgical decision-making when standard cytopathology does not provide a clear diagnosis of thyroid cancer.  The combination of all plans, including Medicare coverage of ThyGenX, represents a total of 80 million covered lives for Interpace Diagnostics' molecular thyroid diagnostic tests.

Coverage of PancraGen™, Interpace Diagnostics' test for pancreatic cyst cancer risk stratification, was also recently extended to an additional 1.3 million lives by a contracted top national plan, bringing this plan's total covered lives for PancraGen to 10 million.  Additionally, one of the country's largest Blue Cross Blue Shield plans renewed PancraGen contract coverage for their 5.9 million lives. These plans recognize the value in identifying patients at risk of progression to pancreatic cancer and those at a lower risk with a high degree of accuracy, by ensuring their members have access to this technology.  The combination of all plans, including Medicare coverage of PancraGen, represents over 70 million covered lives for this molecular test.

"Coverage by these additional plans provides further validation of our tests' value to their members," said Nancy Lurker, CEO of PDI, Inc.  She adds, "We continue to advance discussions with other plans to increase coverage for our tests, efforts which will both benefit patients and further accelerate the current growth taking place at Interpace Diagnostics, our molecular diagnostics business."


Philippines Travel Advice: With Effect June 2015, Philippine Airlines Allowed To Operate In European Airspace

Around 133,665 British nationals visited the Philippines in 2014. Most visits are trouble-free. Take out comprehensive medical and travel insurance before you travel to the Philippines.

With effect from June 2015, all Philippine airlines are allowed to operate in European airspace. 

The FCO can’t offer advice on the safety of individual airlines. However, the International Air Transport Association publishes a list of registered airlines that have been audited and found to meet a number of operational safety standards and recommended practices. This list is not exhaustive and the absence of an airline from this list does not necessarily mean that it is unsafe.

A list of incidents and accidents can be found on the website of the Aviation Safety Network.

In 2009 the International Civil Aviation Organisation carried out an audit of the level of implementation of the critical elements of safety oversight in the Philippines.




Fitch Downgrades Health Insurance Plan of Greater New York To 'BB+'; Withdraws Rating

Fitch Ratings has downgraded Health Insurance Plan of Greater New York's (HIP) Insurer Financial Strength rating to 'BB+' from 'BBB-'. The Rating Outlook is Stable. Concurrent with today's rating action, Fitch has withdrawn the rating for commercial reasons.


The rating downgrade primarily reflects HIP's and its subsidiary's Group Health Inc.'s (GHI) poor 2014 and first quarter 2015 financial results and corresponding losses in capital and surplus that were materially outside Fitch's ratings expectations.

Group Rating Methodology Applied: HIP's rating reflects use of a group rating methodology that considers the operational and financial aspects of HIP's subsidiaries including Group Health Options, Inc. (GHI). Fitch believes that a group rating methodology is appropriate due to GHI's role in rounding out the organization's product portfolio, financial support provided that HIP has historically provided to GHI, overlapping management between the two companies, and the companies' rights to elect an equal number of EmblemHealth Inc.'s, (Emblem) HIP's parent company, board members.

Financial Performance and Earnings: HIP and GHI combined reported a net loss of $40 million (statutory accounting basis) in the first quarter 2015 after reporting a combined net loss of $494 million in 2014. In contrast, from 2010 through 2013 HIP and GHI generated a combined net profit each year and the companies' combined net income averaged $152 million. The 2014 combined net losses were spread across products as the companies reported underwriting losses in the comprehensive (hospital and medical), Medicare and Medicaid business lines.

Capitalization and Leverage: Reflecting the above referenced losses, HIP's capital and surplus at March 31, 2015 totaled $810 million compared with $928 million at year-end 2014 and $1.4 billion at year-end 2013. GHI reported similarly dramatic declines in capital and surplus. At March 31, 2015, the company reported $124 million of capital and surplus compared with $127 million at year-end 2014 and $276 million at year-end 2013. Fitch estimates the companies' combined NAIC ratio at year-end 2014 at 190% compared with 260% at year-end 2013.


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

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

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

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

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

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


High Growth And Wider Product Offering Spurs Expatriate Group Rebrand

Expatriate Healthcare has rebranded as Expatriate Group to reflect the fact that the fast-growing business has significantly expanded the range of products it offers to its international clients.

London-based Expatriate was founded in 2003 to offer healthcare insurance for expats. As a result of growing demand from clients for other products, the company now also offers term life insurance, travel insurance and income replacement insurance.

In financial year 2013-2014, Expatriate recorded a 128% increase in new customers, and for the first quarter of 2015, new policy purchases have increased by 206% compared to Q1 2014.

“As a result of growing demand from our clients for products other than healthcare, we have had to expand our lines of business,” said Expatriate Group Manager Lee Gerry. “Our clients have been really happy with the products and standards of service we deliver and they have been asking us to provide them with further products to support their lifestyles overseas.

“Since 2013, as many clients have been finding us for non-healthcare products as for healthcare, which is extremely pleasing.”

He said that the change of name to Expatriate Group reflected the company’s aim to become a “one stop shop” for expats and companies with an international presence, providing them with all the financial protection products they require.

Mr. Gerry added that Expatriate Group will consider launching a further range of products for expats within the next 12 months. 

About Expatriate Group

Expatriate Group provides medical healthcare, as well as Life, Travel and Income Replacement, that is designed solely for expatriates. All plans are created by experienced expatriate underwriters. The policies are comprehensive and easy-to-understand, and backed up 24 hours a day by a friendly medical team. London-based Expatriate Group provides health insurance to 103 nationalities in 151 countries, representing 77% of the countries in the world.

For further information on Expatriate Group, visit





Aviva Launches Cyber Cover

Aviva is launching its first cyber cover designed for small to mid-market customers to help combat the increasing threat of data and privacy breach they face today. Aviva, in partnership with IDT911, is providing insurance that offers cover and risk management expert services to help customers prepare in advance for and manage any issues after a data loss or breach.

Aviva’s cyber cover is the perfect complement to any commercial combined policy at new business, mid-term or renewal and provides three benefits to the cover:

  • Data breach response – 1st Party, entry level cover picking up investigation and response costs.
  • Computer Cover – 1st Party, extensive protection for clients, tailored to their requirements
  • 3rd party liability – protection against the insured’s legal liability to 3rd parties arising from the use of electronic media up to a £500,000 limit of indemnity in any one period, costs inclusive.

Angus Eaton, MD commercial lines at Aviva, said: “Cyber risks like hacking , a stolen laptop, system failures or a memory stick going missing are unfortunately very much part of the digital world. The impact on business operations can be catastrophic, not just the financial impact of a data breach but also in terms of the damage to reputation.

“It is why, based on broker feedback, Aviva’s cyber cover has been designed to give businesses an affordable way to protect themselves as well as access to expert advice should they suffer a data loss or breach.

“For example, a virus that has resulted in the loss of customer data needs a quick response not only to remove the virus and protect the data but also to ensure that staff, suppliers and customers are kept informed of any risk and remedial measures.
“Aviva’s cyber cover looks after the financial impact and most importantly helps businesses know what to do when a breach occurs to keep the business running”.

Nate Spurrier, business development director, IDT911, said: “Cyber attacks continue to be big news and are a real threat to business operations. It’s an area of expertise that all businesses need to understand. Our experience means we can help businesses identify the steps they can take to effectively ‘lock the front door’ to intruders to reduce the risk of a cyber attack and in the event of a breach we can also help them respond appropriately to restore and secure their data quickly, and manage any reputational damage.”

IDT911 has been providing customers with prevention education, proactive protection services and incident remediation since 2003, today working with more than 770,000 businesses across the United States and Canada.


ACE Launches ACE Business Class In Sweden; New Corporate Travel Solution Including Wording And Mobile App

ACE Group have launched its new corporate travel proposition ACE Business Class in Sweden, as it continues to enhance its multinational offering for companies in the Nordic region.

ACE Business Class provides comprehensive travel insurance cover by means of a dedicated policy wording for Sweden, combined with market-leading medical and travel assistance services. Features include:

  • 24/7 worldwide insurance and assistance coverage supported by a hotline for travellers
  • New benefits related to personal belongings such as cover for fraudulent use of SIM card and stolen credit cards
  • Personal security and assistance cover including for cases of kidnap
  • Security evacuation covering a wide range of perils, including political and social unrest, terrorist attack and natural disaster
  • ACE Travel Smart, a new mobile app for travellers giving direct access to ACE’s medical and emergency assistance partners, live location-specific safety alerts and pre-travel destination advice and information.

ACE Business Class has been designed to offer flexible cover for the bespoke needs of Swedish companies with different risk profiles. Equally important, the cover can be structured as a multinational insurance programme, with an insurance policy issued to the parent company and local policies issued to subsidiaries. This innovative business travel cover approach ensures compliant local insurance cover, backed-up by a comprehensive global service that can be adapted to suit companies of all sizes.

Over the summer, ACE Travel Smart app will be updated to incorporate additional innovative functionality, including an online dashboard for risk-, insurance-, HR- and benefit managers that will help them track and communicate with travelling employees in real-time and connect them to the award-winning ACE Worldview technology platform.

Stephane Baj, Regional Director of A&H Corporate & Affinity, for ACE in Europe, Eurasia and Africa said, “With employees increasingly travelling to less familiar destinations, European businesses need a solution that offers comprehensive insurance cover, combined with high-quality 24/7 emergency and medical assistance and the technology that helps them stay in control. ACE Business Class is an innovative solution that brings all the elements of ACE’s business travel proposition together, helping employers to fulfil their duty of care while providing the information that staff need to make their travel safer and easier.”

Anna Orhaug, Head of Accident and Health for the Nordic countries at ACE, said, “ACE Business Class brings to the marketplace a comprehensive proposition which has been well received elsewhere in Europe and combines the best of ACE’s knowledge and experience elsewhere around the world with a dedicated policy wording for Sweden. With ACE Business Class, we can tailor our offering to the specific needs of each client to ensure that they have the bespoke support they really need as their risks evolve.”

Subscribe to this RSS feed

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.