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Aetna's Worldtraveler Boosts Benefits For Global Business Travelers

Companies seeking international health coverage for their employees traveling abroad on short-term assignments can enjoy greater peace of mind with Aetna’s (NYSE: AET) newly enhanced WorldTravelerSM global health insurance plans. Effective immediately for all new and existing WorldTravelerSM plans, Aetna has eliminated its annual maximum payout for prescription drugs.

Aetna also has lifted its annual medical maximum payout for employees covered by its Premier Plus plans. For all plans with a dependent care option, employees’ dependents are now covered through age 26, up from age 18. Additionally, as of April 1, Aetna has lowered employers’ minimum annual premium to $1,000 on new and renewed plans.

Available for companies in many parts of the world, WorldTravelerSM is stand-alone, short-term international health coverage for employees who travel overseas extensively – up to six months consecutively and nine months annually – but are not candidates for expatriate health coverage. WorldTravelerSM offers benefits rarely available with domestic health care plans or accident policies. Standard benefits include direct billing to Aetna by its global network of more than 70,000 hospitals, clinics and doctors outside the United States, 24/7 customer service, on-call nurses, and medical evacuation and repatriation services.

“We know that dealing with health-related issues can be stressful, especially when people are far from home,” said Eugene Marks, Aetna International’s general manager of the Americas Region. “That’s why we have enriched WorldTravelerSM. We want our customers to know they can count on us wherever in the world they might be.”

For employers, WorldTravelerSM offers an affordable way to provide international coverage for employees traveling on business. Premiums are based on a per diem cost and the number of projected travel days. Plan administration is easy too. All employees are automatically covered; no individual enrollment is required. WorldTravelerSM requires no deductible. The plans cover pre-existing conditions and dental injuries. Options include dependent coverage, business travel accident insurance and health care benefits during leisure travel in conjunction with business travel.


Aetna Brings New iTriage Employer Technology to Mid-Sized Businesses

Aetna (NYSE: AET) and iTriage®, one of the market leaders in consumer healthcare technology, today jointly announced the launch of a customizable employer enhancement to the iTriage consumer health app. Nearly 4,000 Aetna mid-sized employer clients can now offer their employees a company-specific, enhanced version of the iTriage app.

The iTriage employer-customized app: Customizes information for consumers based on their specific health benefits plan; Helps employees understand how using an in-network health care provider can be more affordable, which can also create cost savings for employers; and Reduces administrative work for health care providers, who will benefit from informed patients who have selected the right physician, facility and level of care based on their individual needs.

“The launch of the iTriage employer-customized app solution to Aetna’s mid-sized employer clients supports our shared vision of creating a better health care experience for our customers and their employees,” said Vibha Jha, vice president and head of Key Accounts for Aetna. “For the first time, employees and their families are able to use all of the unique features of iTriage with information based on their specific benefits plan.”

Founded in 2008, iTriage’s free consumer health care app has been downloaded nearly 10 million times, with 50 million uses each year, helping connect consumers with answers to “What could be wrong?” and “Where can I go for care?” With the launch of the new customizable app, employers can also now guide their employees who are looking for care within their network.

“iTriage is using innovation to change the health care delivery landscape,” said Dr. Peter Hudson, CEO and co-founder, iTriage. “We believe consumers and their employers are uniquely positioned to sculpt the next horizon of health care, and our products are focused on accelerating that change. Working with such a large group of employers and members is a huge milestone that underscores our mission to help consumers make better health care decisions.”

Helping Employees, Employers and Providers

With millions of Americans using smartphones to access health care information, the iTriage® app educates members about health conditions and where they can be treated – about two people every second. The employer-customized version of the iTriage app then encourages employees to consider in-network, clinically appropriate, lower-cost care through information about health care costs and care alternatives. Pop-ups alert members if they’ve chosen an out-of-network health care provider. Employers can help engage their employees and their families at the time of their health care decision through the customized app.

Through increased use of in-network health care providers and reduced cases of avoidable ER visits, employers can see an overall reduction in health care costs. The employer-customized version of the iTriage app will also help health care providers by providing a platform to reach potential patients at a time of need. In certain locations, once a patient identifies a health care provider in their network, they can book an appointment conveniently through the iTriage app.

For more information, visit

About iTriage

iTriage LLC, an Aetna subsidiary headquartered in Denver, Colo., is a global healthcare technology company founded in 2008 by two emergency medicine physicians. The company’s market-leading platform and mobile/website applications offer a proprietary Symptom-to-Provider™ pathway that empowers consumers to make better health care decisions. iTriage helps people answer the two most common medical questions: “What could be wrong?” and “Where can I go for care?” Millions of consumers around the globe have downloaded the free iTriage mobile app through the iTunes App store or Android Market, or used the iTriage website at In addition, thousands of health care providers already use the iTriage platform to reach more consumers and increase patient engagement.

About Aetna

Aetna is one of the nation's leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving an estimated 44 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, and medical management capabilities, Medicaid health care management services, workers' compensation administrative services and health information technology products and services. Aetna's customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, health care providers, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, see


MH Ross Unveils Enhanced Asset and Asset Plus Travel Insurance Plans

MH Ross Unveils Enhanced Asset and Asset Plus Travel Insurance Plans

  • New Features Include Flat Rates for Children, an Adventure Sports Coverage Option, and Greatly Increased Medical and Emergency Medical Evacuation Coverage Limits.

MH Ross Travel Insurance Services, Inc., a leading provider of travel insurance to consumers nationwide, today announced major enhancements to its popular Asset and Asset Plus plans. Several new features – made possible in part through a special arrangement with underwriter Arch Insurance – offer valuable cost and coverage benefits for a range of travelers including families with children and adventure sports enthusiasts.

Responding to current health care cost realities, the plans also offer higher limits for medical and emergency medical evacuation coverage while traveling. Among the most significant new features is a flat rate for children designed especially for cost-conscious traveling families. The Asset plan's rate is $14 for all children 17 years or younger traveling with the family.

The Asset Plus plan's rate is $25. On both plans, coverage is limited to a maximum trip duration of 60 days and a maximum vacation cost of $50,000 per person. This flat-rate feature also makes MH Ross plans highly attractive when compared with competing plans that do not charge for children but are costlier overall. Another distinctive new feature is an adventure sports coverage option.

For an additional cost of $25 per person, travelers who enjoy such activities as skydiving, mountain climbing, spelunking, parachuting, hang gliding, or bungee jumping can receive medical and medical evacuation coverage if participation in one of these activities while traveling results in an accident or injury. In addition, the Asset and Asset Plus plans offer several other new and enhanced features.

The new features include the ability to recover lost vacation costs due to cancellation because of a pregnancy that occurs after the insurance was purchased, a hurricane warning, a school year extension that conflicts with a planned vacation, or an employer canceling an employee's vacation. Among the key plan enhancements are higher medical coverage limits (raised from $25,000 to $50,000) and higher emergency medical evacuation limits (raised from $50,000 to $500,000).

"We're delighted to announce so many new features and enhancements to our Asset and Asset Plus plans all at once," said Sheri Machat, Senior Vice President, MH Ross. "They help our plans stand out in a more striking way in this very competitive marketplace. But, more important, they deliver special value to people who depend on our insurance for peace of mind when they're traveling. Two of the big beneficiaries of these changes are families, who can now travel more cost effectively, and adventure travelers, who can now obtain coverage when pursuing activities they're passionate about. We hope both these groups and others take a close look at the changes we've made before they pursue their next great travel adventure."


Latest Egypt Travel Intelligence

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to the Governorate of North Sinai due to the significant increase in criminal activity and recent terrorist attacks on police and security forces that have resulted in deaths.

Travel and Medical Insurance

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.

In view of continued unrest and the evolving political situation in Egypt, the FCO advise against all but essential travel to the rest of Egypt except for resorts on the Red Sea in South Sinai and those resorts on the Egyptian mainland in Red Sea governorate (including Hurghada). In the governorate of South Sinai the FCO advise against all but essential travel, with the exception of (i) the Red Sea Resorts including those in the entire region of Sharm el Sheikh, Taba, Nuweiba and Dahab; (ii) the St Catherine’s Monastery World Heritage Site; (iii) road travel between the Red Sea resorts; (iv) road travel from the Red Sea resorts to St Catherine’s Monastery approaching from the east; and (v) transfers between the resorts and the airports of Taba and Sharm el Sheikh.

The FCO do not advise against the use of Cairo airport as a transit stop providing you do not leave the airport grounds. There have been access problems on some of the roads to Cairo airport, chiefly Saleh Salem Road. If you are already in a part of Egypt where the FCO advise against all but essential travel, you should consider whether you have a pressing need to remain.

If you decide to remain in Egypt, you should stay at or close to home or a place of safety (eg your hotel), keep a low profile and pay close attention to your personal safety, particularly in the larger cities.

You should avoid crowds. You should follow the regulations set by the local authorities and obey curfews. Make sure you keep valid photographic identification with you at all times.

Protests and demonstrations

In Cairo on 14 August Egyptian security forces ended sit-in protests at Nahda Square close to Cairo University in Giza and at Rabaa Al-Adaweya mosque in Nasr City.

This resulted in at least 500 deaths. Violent clashes also occurred near Mostafa Mahmoud Square in Mohandiseen, Cairo. On 17 August there were further violent clashes in Ramses Square and at the Al Fatah Mosque between protesters and security forces. Demonstrations planned for the afternoon of Sunday 18th August, including outside the Constitutional Court in Maadi and Roxy Square in Heliopolis were cancelled by the organisers because of security concerns.

There have been demonstrations in other parts of Egypt, including Alexandria, Hurghada and Luxor, some of which have turned violent. Further demonstrations are likely and could take place in any part of the country. Army and security forces have been deployed in anticipation of further protests and rallies in the coming days. Train services across Egypt are suspended. A curfew was declared on 14 August between 7pm and 6am local time.

This is expected to continue for several weeks. The governorates affected by this are Cairo, Giza, Alexandria, South Sinai (except for Sharm el Sheikh, Taha and Dahab) North Sinai, Suez, Behera, Minya, Assiut, Souhag, Beni Suef, Ismailia, Qena and Fayoum. A national state of emergency has been declared for Egypt for a period of 1 month. You are strongly advised to avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings. If you become aware of any nearby protests, leave the area immediately. Don’t attempt to cross road blocks erected by the security forces or protesters. There is a serious risk of violence and sexual assault at demonstrations. NGOs report more than 100 rapes and sexual assaults against women in demonstrations since 30 June. Foreign and Egyptian women have been attacked. See Political and security situation

Red Sea Resort areas

Enhanced security measures are in place to protect the resort areas. There have been no violent protests in the South Sinai resorts during recent disturbances in Egypt In Hurghada on 14 August there were some violent clashes, in an area away from tourist resorts. One man was killed.

On 16 August there was a demonstration near the marina area. You are strongly advised to follow the advice of the local authorities and avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings. If you become aware of any nearby protests, leave the area immediately. Do not attempt to cross road blocks erected by the security forces or protestors.


There is a high threat from terrorism.

Although security is tight throughout the country, especially in resort areas, there remains a high risk of attacks which could be indiscriminate, including in public places frequented by foreigners.

Travel and Medical Insurance

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.


April UK Bridges Private Medical Insurance Generation Gap

Leading health insurance specialist April UK has joined up with Cardiff Metropolitan University in an effort to bridge the growing generation gap in the insurance industry. The problem was underlined at a high powered summit earlier this week where delegates from the insurance sector were warned about the potential consequences of PMI being regarded as something only older people were interested in.

April UK Marketing Manager Isaac Lam said delegates at the Association of Medical Insurance Intermediaries’ summit had been urged to attract a new generation of customers in the under 40 age bracket - or risk relying on an ever-shrinking market share. He said: “Companies were warned in the starkest possible terms about the consequences of failing to address the growing age gap in the insurance industry and urged to ensure that at least 20 per cent of their customers were in the under 40 bracket. “We have been targeting the younger age groups for some time through our successful sports PMI policies but we have now come up with a new package aimed specifically at students – from both sporting and academic backgrounds.”

The new policy has been formulated in partnership with Cardiff Metropolitan University and will be rolled out to Freshers this year.

Isaac Lam said: “The new policy has been formulated to give students a realistic and affordable level of protection at an early stage of their adult life. “We have worked closely with CMU to ensure the package will appeal to students and provide the next generation of customers the industry needs.”

A number of other universities have already expressed a strong interest in their student plan. April UK is already looking to extend the scheme across the country. In the meantime details of the new policy will be handed out to this year’s intake at Cardiff. “As well as its reputation for academic excellence Cardiff is also well known as a sports college and we have already had extensive experience promoting our sports PMI packages to future sports professionals.

“Our future business leaders will quickly discover their future earning power depends on their own health and capability, just as it does for the professional sports person who might have graduated alongside them.”

The policy is for people in full time education only and provides a substantial discount to the cost of a normal adult PMI package, with comprehensive cover for someone aged up to 21 costing £17.09 a month. Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, APRIL UK is part of the international APRIL Group headquartered in Lyon, France, which looks after six million policyholders in 37 countries worldwide. The group has a market value in excess of £776 million.


Bupa Enhances Its Individual Health Insurance Product

Bupa Enhances Its Individual Health Insurance Product

Bupa has enhanced its flexible health insurance product, Bupa By You, to meet the needs of even more people. Bupa By You is a tailored health insurance product which allows people to choose what they are covered for. A number of improvements have been made to give customers even more ways to build health insurance to meet their needs and budgets, including lower-cost cancer cover and more flexible pricing options.

Out-patient limits

Customers now have the option to select an out-patient limit to bring down the cost of their premium. They can choose to cap their out-patient cover for consultations, therapies and tests at £500, £750 or £1,000. Alternatively they can still choose to have no financial limits, so that all costs are paid in full*.

New lower-cost cancer cover

Customers also have the option to choose NHS Cancer Cover Plus instead of full cancer cover**, to reduce the cost of their premium. This means that cancer treatment is provided by the NHS unless they are unable to provide the particular drug or treatment required, in which case Bupa will step in. Customers have the peace of mind that if they needed a drug or treatment which was not available on the NHS, they would be able to get help from Bupa. Bupa gives its members access to breakthrough cancer drugs and treatments. In 2012 Bupa spent £18m on cancer drugs – including £4m for breast cancer drugs and £5m for bowel cancer drugs – which are not routinely available on the NHS. Bupa By You customers will still be able to select other options, such as optical, dental and travel insurance, to further tailor their cover. They will also have the support of the Bupa Anytime HealthLine, which gives unlimited around-the-clock access to health advice from Bupa nurses and GPs.

*No financial limits: All costs are paid in full for eligible treatment on your core health insurance, when you use a healthcare facility within your chosen Bupa network, using a Bupa recognised consultant who agrees to charge within Bupa limits (a fee assured consultant). ** Full cancer cover: Where cancer is covered as part of your core health insurance, there are no time limits and all your eligible cancer treatment costs are paid in full, when you use a healthcare facility from your chosen Bupa network and a Bupa recognised consultant who agrees to charge within Bupa limits (a fee assured consultant). *** The average cost of a take away coffee in the UK on 21/01/13 according to the money saving app, OrsaveIt, was £2.20; 1 in 4 of Bupa By You Comprehensive customers pay less than this. For example: a 25 year old male in Manchester on Comprehensive cover with a £200 excess would pay £1.95 per day. Price calculated on 05/04/13.


Raffles Health Insurance Launches 2 New International Health Insurance Plans In Conjunction With Bupa

Raffles Health Insurance Launches 2 New International Health Insurance Plans In Conjunction With Bupa

Raffles Health Insurance Pte Ltd (RHI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Raffles Medical Group has launched two new international health insurance plans targeting next generation expatriates and international businesses in the Asia Pacific region, in conjunction with international health insurer Bupa. The plans, insured by Raffles Health Insurance and administered by Bupa, are called RHI-Bupa Company Health Select Asia Pacific and RHI-Bupa Company Health Choice International.

The Company Health Select Asia Pacific plan is designed for businesses that operate in the Asia Pacific region, whose employees do not need worldwide cover, while the Health Choice International plan covers members in three different countries. Members on the Company Health Select Asia Pacific plan are covered for treatment in more than 40 countries in the Asia Pacific region, with the exception of Hong Kong; while the Company Health Choice International plan covers members in three countries, for which Singapore has to be their residency country with members choosing two additional locations of choice (excluding the USA).

These new tailored plans provide an affordable and flexible option of healthcare for a next generation of expatriates and the businesses employing them. Rather than offering worldwide cover, the plans are tailored to the specific locations to provide the individual with the right treatment, at the right time and in the right place.

Danny Yap, Principal Officer and General Manager of RHI, said, “We are delighted to see our relationship with Bupa continue to grow. These new products broaden our offerings and further position RHI as one of Singapore’s leading healthcare insurance specialists.” Wayne Close, Managing Director at Bupa International said, “We are very happy to be working with Raffles Health Insurance. The launch of these products further demonstrates Bupa and RHI’s commitment to providing access to high quality healthcare in the region and to the international businesses operating from Singapore.”

He added “With international businesses increasingly moving their Asia regional headquarters to Singapore, we expect the number of next generation expatriates in Singapore to continue to grow. These two new plans have been developed in response to the needs of these businesses and expatriates.”

Both plans include comprehensive in-patient cover and assistance cover, including emergency evacuation and repatriation. Members can also increase the cover to include an additional out-patient module or extend it to their families. In addition, RHI and Bupa have a dedicated 24-hour multi-lingual team to provide medical assistance. Bupa offers quality individual and group medical cover to people who are in their home country or living and working abroad. Under this relationship, RHI will directly insure the plans while Bupa is the administrator.


Independence Blue Cross Introduces Global Blue Coverage for Individuals and Families

Independence Blue Cross Introduces Global Blue Coverage for Individuals and Families

Independence Blue Cross (IBC) announces the availability of GeoBlue Travel Medical and International Health Insurance products for individuals and families in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties. Since 2011, IBC and GeoBlue have collaborated to offer group coverage for international business travel and expatriate insurance products and services. This coverage is now available for both IBC members and the general public. The new IBC travel and expatriate plans offered through GeoBlue will expand the availability of Blue coverage for all travelers. As well, expatriates will be covered in both the country where they live and anywhere they visit.

For example, if a GeoBlue customer relocates to a European nation, but travels to Asia or Africa, the customer will have health care coverage in each destination. Additionally, GeoBlue policies are available for purchase for both single-trip purposes and multi-trip needs.

"Consumers who purchase GeoBlue products can travel with confidence knowing they are covered worldwide by the trusted Blue brand," said Richard J. Neeson, IBC executive vice president and president of expanding markets. "At IBC, we're working to help the residents of our region stay healthy and ensure that, when they do get sick, health care is safe, coordinated, and available -- no matter where they are in the world."

"GeoBlue provides peace of mind to world travelers and expatriates as they pursue their personal goals," said Brendan Sharkey, director of individual products at GeoBlue. "Given the global arc of business and leisure activities today, the need is clear: timely access to an international network of carefully selected doctors and hospitals to meet whatever health needs arise, and GeoBlue delivers."

In order to use GeoBlue for short-term travel insurance, consumers must have U.S.-based primary health coverage in place. However, that coverage does not need to come from a Blue Cross® or Blue Shield® health plan. GeoBlue is a trade name of Worldwide Insurance Services, LLC, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and a subsidiary of Highway to Health (HTH). GeoBlue markets a full line of group and individual health insurance programs for expatriates and business travelers through arrangements with local Blue plans.


The Difference Between Travel and Expatriate Insurance

The Difference Between Travel and Expatriate Insurance

Cigna Global provides international health insurance for Expatriates living abroad. Cigna combines years of experience in private medical insurance with an understanding of the service and customer care you need. With Cigna you can create a health insurance plan that's perfectly tailored for the needs of you and your family by offering you the reassurance of comprehensive core cover, and the flexibility of adding as many extra benefits as you want.

The Difference Between Travel and Expatriate Insurance

Cigna Global provides international health insurance for Expatriates living abroad. Cigna combines years of experience in private medical insurance with an understanding of the service and customer care you need. With Cigna you can create a health insurance plan that's perfectly tailored for the needs of you and your family by offering you the reassurance of comprehensive core cover, and the flexibility of adding as many extra benefits as you want.


Cigna Launches New International Health Insurance Plans for Individuals

Cigna Launches New International Health Insurance Plans for Individuals

Cigna Launches New International Health Insurance Plans for Individuals

  • Cigna introduces new individual private medical insurance product suite which includes Silver, Gold and Platinum options;
  • Gives customers and partners the ability to create unique plans which fit around their unique healthcare needs and budgets, while still benefitting from Cigna’s industry-leading service;
  • Replaces existing Cigna Global Health Options and Advance plans Launch comes in response to customer demand for more choice and more flexible healthcare options.

Cigna, one of the world’s leading international health insurers, is excited to announce the launch of a brand new suite of international health insurance products.

The Cigna Global product suite, which is targeted to expatriates and globally mobile individuals, has been expanded to create a new three-level international health insurance plan. Customers can now benefit from a wider range of plans and customize their cover around their specific healthcare needs and budget. The new healthcare plans – which include Silver, Gold and Platinum cover levels - give customers more flexibility with modular cover options and a choice of cost share and deductible levels. The customer starts out with core International Medical Insurance, which provides cover for all inpatient, specialist and accommodation costs, as well as cover for cancer and psychiatric care. They then choose what is important to them, and add on additional module options which include Outpatient, Health & Wellbeing, Medical Evacuation and Vision & Dental options.

Phil Austin, Head of Global Individual Private Medical Insurance said: “The new plans have been developed in response to customer and broker demand for a wider range of products which span across different market segments. The new plans give us the ability to provide products which suit a greater footprint of customers, and with the added flexibility of teaming a modular approach with deductible and cost share options, it has become really easy for customers to build a plan which is matched to the their unique needs”. The plans were developed after a period of customer and market research which identified a gap in the market for an affordable, high quality, high service healthcare plan.

Austin added: “Our customers appreciated our existing high-service Global Health Options plan which performed well at the upperend of the market. We identified an acute need for additional quality, affordable plans in the middlemarket: for those individuals who are moving abroad but are paying for their plan themselves and want to contain costs but maintain high service levels. The new plans are about giving customers much more choice, so they can get all the cover they need without having to pay for cover they don’t need. After all, if you know you won’t need maternity care, why should you pay for a plan which includes it?”

Key features of the new plans:

  • Choice of Silver, Gold or Platinum options International Medical Insurance core cover as standard, covering inpatient hospital stays, specialist consultants, cancer care etc, and also maternity care on Platinum and Gold plans
  • Flexibility to build a unique plan with a range of additional optional modules, including Outpatient cover; Medical Evacuation; Health & Wellbeing; and Vision & Dental cover
  • Manage premiums with deductible and cost share options on core and Outpatient Comprehensive cancer care as standard
  • No maximum age restrictions
  • Guaranteed renewability

The plans bring a high-service proposition to the mid-market. Customers get access to service levels usually only available on higher-end plans, including:

  • Access to a team of professionals to help navigate the complexities of international health insurance 24/7/365;
  • A global network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health specialists located around the world;
  • Direct claims settlement with providers in most cases, or reimbursement within 5 days.

About Cigna Global Health Options

Cigna is a global health service company dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being and sense of security. As an operating subsidiary, Cigna Global Health Options provides global international health care plans designed for customers who want the flexibility of having easy access to high quality health care around the world.

  • International Medical Insurance;
  • International Outpatient;
  • International Health and Well-being;
  • International Vision and Dental;
  • International Medical Evacuation.

For more information on the new plans, view the Sales Brochure:

If you are a broker seeking more information, or wishing to offer the new plans, register at


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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.