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International Private Medical Insurance Magazine (iPMIM) is the ultimate Health and Medical Insurance Digital Media serving expatriate, corporate, health and travel insurance markets. Due to the nomadic nature of the international healthcare industry iPMI Magazine is an internet based news service, for worldwide healthcare professionals, who need to understand the impacts of healthcare and insurance policy, regulatory, and legislative developments. Combined with in depth health insurance industry analysis, best-in-class health insurance industry data, and exclusive, C-Suite Executive health insurance interviews and round tables, iPMI Magazine bridges an information gap between healthcare payor, provider and patient. Written by the health and medical insurance industry, for the health and medical insurance industry, iPMIM is supported and designed by leading international medical insurance companies and service providers.

Website URL: http://ipmimagazine.com

Pacific Prime Accepts the 2019 Award for Elevating Customer Experience With Technology at the Allianz Broker Event in Dubai

Pacific Prime is pleased to announce that they have received the 2019 Award for Elevating Customer Experience with Technology from Allianz Partners at the Allianz Broker event held at the Dubai Opera on November 6, 2019.

Pacific Prime was the only intermediary awarded at the event. The award for Elevating Customer Experience with Technology is linked to Pacific Prime and Allianz clients' high levels of utilization of the LiveDoc App (by Health at Hand), which was made available to all Allianz clients as per January 1, 2019. Pacific Prime Dubai's CEO, David Heyes, accepted the award and commented that the award is a reflection of Pacific Prime’s goal of delivering the best insurance solutions for its clients through close cooperation with insurers. During the ceremony, there was a special mention of one of Pacific Prime Dubai’s corporate clients, whose employees adapted and used the video consultation services with great success.

Alexis Obligi, Chief Sales and Development Officer for International Health at Allianz Partners said, “Delighted to present our technology award to David Hayes representing Pacific Prime, one of our key broking partners globally. Thank you for your support in promoting LiveDoc, our leading-edge video consulting app and service, for the benefit of our members in the UAE”.

The LiveDoc application is a telehealth service available to all of Allianz Partner's international health insurance customers. The video consultation app connects expats with multilingual local doctors in Dubai, making the interaction more comfortable by limiting their interactions with the unfamiliar healthcare system.

The successful utilization of the LiveDoc app correlates with the latest findings presented in Pacific Prime's 2019 Cost of International Health Insurance Report, which cited the rise of telemedicine as one of the main factors shaping the international health insurance industry in 2019 and beyond.

Affinity Insurance Markets: The Uk And Us Compared

A series of research studies released by Finaccord over the course of 2019 allows for comparisons of the environment for affinity and partnership marketing of insurance products in the UK and the US. The research is wide-ranging as it covers not only personal auto (motor) and home insurance but also life insurance and retirement products plus commercial P&C (non-life) insurance.

In general, the evidence points to a greater development of sales of insurance through affinity and corporate partners in the UK than in the US. For instance, for auto and home insurance, around 30% of new policy sales are achieved through affinity programs in the UK but that falls to around 15% in the US. Likewise, for life insurance, the importance of affinity and partnership marketing for new business in the UK runs at around twice the rate that it does in the US, at around 20% and 10%, respectively.

Commented Alan Leach, Managing Director of Finaccord: “Reasons for the lesser development of affinity business in the US include the strength of the traditional insurance agency channel there, the fact that insurance is regulated on a state-by-state basis there which acts as an impediment to the launch of nationwide schemes, and the lower propensity of customers to buy insurance online. In relation to this last point, consumers in the UK are around twice as likely to acquire auto insurance online than their counterparts in the US and around three times as likely to do so for home insurance. This is itself driven in part by the greater propensity of insurance buyers in the UK to make use of comparison sites.”

The interest of affinity partners in distributing insurance is another factor that contributes to the difference between the UK and the US. In the UK, the concept of ‘brandassurance’, as evidenced by the involvement of commercial entities such as auto manufacturers, media entities and retailers, is much further advanced. Moreover, while Finaccord’s research shows 47% of professional and trade associations in the UK to have an affinity scheme for commercial P&C insurance, the equivalent percentage in the US is around a half of that at 24%.

On the other hand, certain types of affinity partner such as alumni associations, credit unions (which have a combined membership of around 120 million in the US as opposed to around 1.35 million in the UK) and labor (trade) unions are more active as distributors of insurance in the US than they are in the UK. Furthermore, growth in the gig economy in both countries is creating important new opportunities for affinity insurance with entities operating in areas such as personal mobility (e.g. Uber), property sharing (e.g. Airbnb) and freelance contractors / tradespeople (e.g. TaskRabbit). Indeed, there are believed to be around 60 million individuals working in the gig economy in the US and around 5 million in the UK.

The research also identifies the insurance providers classifiable as leaders in affinity schemes in each country on account of their number of partnerships and the nature of them. In the UK, it highlights BGL Group, Aviva and Legal & General as respective leaders for auto, home and life insurance plus Marsh (among brokers) and Hiscox (among underwriters) for commercial P&C insurance. The equivalents in the US are Markel (due to its strength in the classic vehicle sector), GEICO (namely, its own captive agency), Life Quotes (because of its partnership with GEICO), Aon and The Hartford.

Concluded Alan Leach: “Looking ahead, affinity and partnership marketing will continue to be a key battleground in the insurance distribution landscape of both countries. Indeed, as evidenced by our comparative research, it seems that there is still plenty of potential for it to grow in the US, in particular.”

Now Health International Enhances Added Value Services For Globally Mobile Membership

Now Health International Group has announced a partnership with travel assistance company Assist America to deliver even greater value to its globally mobile membership base.

Now Health International members with one of the company’s flagship, enhanced WorldCare plans will now be able to access a wide range of travel assistance services, including support before and during their travel as well as in an emergency. The new travel assistance support forms part of the wider added value services offered to WorldCare customers beyond their core plan protection, including a global concierge and second medical opinion service.

The partnership with Assist America, one of the largest providers of global emergency assistance services worldwide, will enable Now Health International WorldCare members to access pre-trip travel information. This includes advice on country visa requirements, vaccination recommendations and other important security information.

While travelling these customers will also be able to access support to locate lost luggage, replace lost travel documents and receive referrals to locally based language interpreters and legal counsel; critically important services to the large numbers of expatriates and international business travellers which Now Health International serves.

During a medical emergency overseas, in addition to the health treatment covered by Now Health International’s plans, WorldCare members will also be able to receive wider support for them and their family. If a member travelling alone outside of their country of residence needs to be hospitalised for more than five days, they will be entitled to a compassionate visit from a friend or family member. In the event that a medical emergency abroad leaves a member’s children unattended, Now Health International will also be able to arrange care or transportation home.

These new services are now available to enhanced WorldCare members across all markets. Embedded within the WorldCare plan proposition, this travel assistance support can be accessed directly via the Now Health International Customer Service team, providing a seamless user experience. Assist America will also provide Now Health International with back-end support for the medical evacuation and repatriation benefits included in its plans to drive operational efficiencies and deliver cost savings.

Zahir Sharif, Managing Director at Now Health International said: “This partnership forms part of our ongoing work to deliver added value to our members and demonstrate our commitment to their overall health and well-being. We know that many of our members are frequent flyers and we wanted to provide them with reassurance that we are there to 2 support them both at home and abroad. We are continuing to develop our added value services to differentiate ourselves in the marketplace and ensure we can better cater to the needs of our internationally-minded customer base”.

Brian Mulligan, Assist America’s CEO and President added: “We are proud to partner with Now Health International and bring unique and comprehensive travel assistance services to its membership. This partnership expands on Now Health International’s programme by providing a true added value benefit to WorldCare members. The goal of both of our organisations - to ensure that members receive the best care possible whenever and wherever they need it - is very much aligned.”

Sustained Protests In Hong Kong Highlight Continued Security Risks For Business Travellers

According to media reports[1], the protests in Hong Kong – now in their 21st week - have reached an impasse with China. Yet this remains a significant and important economic region to which businesses need to send employees.  Global provider of travel risk management and international medical, security and travel assistance services, Healix International, is therefore urging employers to apply stringent security measures for any employees in the region.

“Hong Kong is assessed by Healix International as a LOW security risk country generally”, explained Sebastian Liu, Global Threat Analyst for the Asia Pacific region at Healix International. “However the recent large-scale demonstrations and violent clashes between police and protestors – which are showing no sign of abating - have left some employers uncertain about the scale of the risks and what guidance to give to employees.  In particular, the risk of foreign nationals being caught up in the protests has increased as it is difficult to predict the next protest location. The protesters have employed ‘hit and run’ tactics to avoid prolonged confrontation with the police and have been vandalising metro stations and damaging the transportation infrastructure. And all of this adds to the risk levels for employers.

“As well as providing businesses with employees in the region with one to one support as necessary, we have created a hitlist of useful advice that can be shared with workers.  The key is maintain vigilance and ensure there are back-up plans for evacuation should employees feel unsafe.”

Healix advice to travellers visiting Hong Kong
 

  • On protest days, plan routes that bypass the vicinity of protest locations and flashpoints for unrest.
     
  • Be aware of the incidental risk of violence in the event that business-critical journeys through the affected areas is required.
     
  • Refrain from frequenting establishments linked to the ongoing unrest on protest days. This includes mainland Chinese banks, Huawei, Miniso, China Mobile, Japanese restaurant chain Yoshinoya and other establishments under the Maxim’s Group and Fulum Group Holdings. The Maxim’s Group operates, among others, Best Mark 360 stores, Genki Sushi restaurants and Starbucks
     
  • Other flashpoints of unrest include shopping malls adjoined to metro stations, including Sha Tin’s CityLink Plaza and New Town Plaza, Tsueng Kwan O’s PopCorn, Tsuen Wan’s Luk Yeung Galleria, Tsing Yi’s Maritime Square, ELEMENTS in West Kowloon, and Kowloon Bay’s Telford Plaza. Localised clashes have been reported within malls between protesters and counter-protesters
     
  • Protesters are also known to gather at the UK and US diplomatic representations, government facilities, metro and police stations across the territory, and multiple locations in central Hong Kong Island. This includes the Fortress Hill and North Point district, Victoria Park, Edinburgh Place, Chater Garden, Tamar Park, and government buildings such as the Legislative Council Complex, the Central Government Complex, and Revenue Tower.
     
  • Do not stop to watch, film or take photographs of protests owing to the incidental risk of violence. Civilians, journalists and bystanders have increasingly been impacted; the police have admitted to more aggressive tactics, and press staff have been detained and wounded on several occasions
     
  • Metro stations are liable to close at very short notice in the affected areas on protest days and stations may be pre-emptively closed in the lead-up to protests in the area
     
  • Developments regarding the ongoing unrest should be closely monitored via social media, local news outlets, the Telegram encrypted messaging platform, and local internet forums, like the LiHKG website
     
  • Black and white clothing has been associated with both protesters and counter-protesters; it’s advisable to refrain from wearing these colours on protest days. Also, limit carrying any items that may give the impression to the authorities of involvement in protests; this includes masks, hard hats and umbrellas
     
  • From 5 October, protesters are forbidden from concealing their faces, whether with a mask or facepaint. Only those with health, religious, professional or employment reasons are exempted. 
     
  • There are reports of greater scrutiny from mainland authorities at border crossings between the mainland and Hong Kong at this time, including checks on travellers’ electronic devices
     
  • Refrain from political discussion in public and making statements on social media.
     
  • The Airport Express services may also be impacted on days when protests are due to target transportation services linking the city to Hong Kong International Airport [HKG]
     

“The ‘hit and run’ nature of the demonstrations, and the targeting of the transportation infrastructure adds another level of uncertainty for business travellers and their employers”, concluded Sebastian Liu.  “It’s crucial, therefore, that firms monitor the situation very closely, particularly if there is a need to maintain a presence in the region.  Working with a specialist like Healix International can help with this process and can provide another means of direct contact with employees through the ‘Watch Country’ function on our Travel Oracle app to receive notifications on alerts for potential security incidents and disruption."

[1] https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/27/world/asia/hong-kong-protests-test-china.html

Lebanon: A Rapidly Deteriorating Situation

Tax increases and a proposed charge on calls made via WhatsApp announced in Lebanon on 17th October have triggered the largest countrywide demonstrations since 2015. Millions of people have since protested in Beirut, Tripoli and other urban centers and have clashed with security forces. As a result, Prime Minister Saad Hariri offered his resignation on 29th October, likely leading to a prolonged period of instability.

 "In an attempt to quell the protests, the government has promised economic reforms, but there is little trust among the public that the government will deal with longer-term structural issues affecting the population" explains Ben Abboudi – Global Threat Analyst at Healix International.    "In recent years, poor governance in Lebanon has led to significant economic decline and public debt is currently around 150% of GDP, the third-highest globally, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) anticipates will increase to 155% by the end of 2019," continues Ben Abboudi ." A poor economy and various other long term socio-economic grievances will ensure protests intensify and may spontaneously occur throughout the country".

Global provider of travel risk management and international medical, security and travel assistance services, Healix International, offers situational advice to business travellers visiting the region.

 Healix International Situational Advice to Travellers in Lebanon

  • Monitor developments on a daily basis – this can be done via international and Middle East focused news sources including (but not limited to) the BBC, NYT, Reuters, Wall Street Journal, Middle East Eye, Al Jazeera, Al Monitor and the Daily Star Lebanon.
  • Defer non-essential travel while protests persist.
  • Make sure to be familiarized with flashpoint locations in urban centers. In Beirut, these include Riad al-Sohl and Martyrs' Square and the Central Bank.
  • Ensure mobile phones are sufficiently charged prior to ground moves.
  • Avoid discussing the protests in public. Do not take pictures of protesters.
  • Strictly avoid all demonstrations owing to the risk of unrest.
  • If exposed to tear gas, hold your breath while you vacate the area to prevent the worst of the symptoms. Ideally, it is advised to cover your mouth with your shirt/jacket and, as much as possible, keep your eyes closed. When you're in a place of safety, rinse your eyes and face with cold water, change your clothes, shower and then seek medical attention if needed. Symptoms associated with tear gas tend to wear off on their own in around 30 minutes.
  • Book accommodation outside of the vicinity of main flashpoint locations.
  • Security managers should ensure evacuation plans are up-to-date in case of a rapid deterioration in the security environment.

Healix has extensive experience operating in Lebanon and businesses looking for a more in-depth conversation or who may require a security evacuation, can contact  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for additional information.

Healix International Raises Hong Kong Security Risk Rating To Moderate

Healix International, the global provider of travel risk management and international medical, security and travel assistance services, has raised its risk level for Hong Kong to MODERATE.  And it is urging employers to apply stringent security measures for any employees in the region, including the implementation of tracking of employees for their own safety.

“The security risk rating for Hong Kong has been raised to MODERATE by Healix International owing to an escalation of the ongoing anti-government protests”, explained Sebastian Liu, Global Threat Analyst for the Asia Pacific region at Healix International.  “Unrest has been ongoing since June and while the initial protests attracted hundreds of thousands of demonstrators, they were largely peaceful. However, clashes between protesters and the police are now being reported on a near daily basis, with the police regularly deploying tear gas, water cannon, baton charge, rubber bullets and, occasionally, live ammunition; at least three protesters have been wounded by live fire in the protests so far.

“Our risk rating review has been led by an increase in the ratings for Civil Unrest, Crime and Intra-State conflict, all of which have been increased to MODERATE. While attendance at protests has decreased, the levels of violence and use of ‘hit and run’ tactics have increased. We are also urging employers to carefully review policies in relation to employees already working in the region, including the use of tracking to be able to monitor the movement of workers should the situation escalate further.”

The Healix Sentinel Tracker enables Risk Managers to seamlessly monitor and account for employees working around the world via the Healix Sentinel Travel Oracle mobile app. Once an employee has activated the Location Tracker function on their app, Risk Managers have access to an accurate, real-time global view of their location on an interactive map. Security alerts and notifications are pushed to employees and Risk Managers in a timely manner.  And when a critical incident occurs, the geo-fencing feature of the Healix Sentinel Tracker can be used to rapidly identify all employees in the affected area and contact made via the integrated communication capabilities to quickly ascertain each individual’s safety and wellbeing. Risk Managers can also set incident level thresholds aligned to their own HR policies so that employees can be evacuated as necessary.

“It’s crucial that firms monitor the situation in Hong Kong very closely, particularly if there is a need to maintain a presence in the region” concluded Sebatian Lu. “Working with a specialist like Healix International can help with this process and can provide another means of direct contact with employees through the Healix Sentinel Tracker.”

New Frontier Group Wins Cost Containment And Claims Management Company Of The Year At The 2019 ITIC Awards In Malta

New Frontier Group, www.newfrontiergroup.com, leader in Cost Containment and Global Assistance solutions, was named Winner of the ITIC Malta Awards 2019, for Cost Containment/Claims Management Company of the Year. 

The annual award, presented by the International Travel & Health Insurance Journal (ITIJ), was announced on Thursday, October 31st, 2019 in Malta, at the International Travel and Health Insurance Industry Conference (ITIC).

Each year ITIJ's Global Conference concludes with an award gala honoring companies for their outstanding contributions of excellence and innovation. Winners are selected by a panel of industry leaders who are experts in the area of the travel and health insurance industry.

As the recipient of the 2019 Cost Containment/Claims Management Company of the Year, New Frontier Group was selected from a large field of global competitors.  Most notably as the recipient of the 2019 Cost Containment/Claims Management award, New Frontier Group was presented this prestigious award based on recognition of outstanding achievement throughout the year.

Accepting the award before hundreds of industry associates, clients and guests, New Frontier Group President and CEO, Ms. Gitte Bach, and COO, Mr. Randall Condie, proudly acknowledged the other nominees in the category and Ms. Bach thanked and expressed her appreciation for the extraordinary performance of the New Frontier Group team which was watching the event live.

Ms. Bach states, "The last 12 months have been phenomenal for our company. I am so proud of the New Frontier Group team for its year-long dedication and commitment. Our team strives daily to provide superior client service and leverage the competitive advantage we have built using technological advancements to serve our clients, providing the very best global healthcare solutions.

Being awarded in this category at this year’s ITIC for 2019 Cost Containment/Claims Management Company of the Year and winning is extremely rewarding and we are truly grateful. We will continue our exciting journey and focus on service excellence, development, innovation and leadership."

About New Frontier Group

New Frontier Group is a global leader in Cost containment/Claims management and Global Assistance solutions. They act as first point of contact for worldwide International Insurance and Assistance Teams. New Frontier Group leads the travel and health insurance industry's global healthcare management services by providing a business suite of customized assistance, full-service solutions and cost savings for its worldwide clients.  New Frontier Group is an independently owned U.S. based International Company established in 2002.

Website: www.newfrontiergroup.com
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/frontier-international-group

 

iPMI Magazine Provider Network e-Directory November 2019: iPMI - Assistance - Air Ambulance - Funeral Directors - Cost Containment - Claims Management + MORE

The November 2019 edition of the iPMI Magazine Provider Network e-Directory is out now. Over 70 pages of company intelligence including iPMI - Assistance - Air Ambulance - Funeral Directors - Cost Containment - Claims Management + MORE.

    Enter full screen click the small rectangle above ↑

The IPMI industry use the iPMI Magazine Provider Network Directory to source the best information and data on international private medical insurance payors and providers. They may be searching for a new partner, looking for a contact number of a current provider, or researching the payor and provider market for future cross border network development.

Classifications include: IPMI, Assistance, Air Ambulance, Cost Containment And Claims Management, Funeral Directors, Ground Ambulance, Healthcare Insurance Management and Pharmacy Benefits Management.

Current Advertisers 

Click a company name below to visit their micro web site on iPMIM and learn more or download the brand new e-directory using the above link. To add your business to the e-directory and launch a micro website please write to David Bond, CIO, iPMIM on ipmi[at]ipmimagazine.com

PAYORS AND PROVIDERS IN FOCUS:

IPMI

ASSISTANCE

AIR AMBULANCE

COST CONTAINMENT AND CLAIMS MANAGEMENT

FUNERAL DIRECTORS

HEALTHCARE INSURANCE MANAGEMENT

PHARMACY BENEFITS MANAGEMENT

 

 

New Frontier Group Signs New Agreement With International Assistance Group (IAG) For US Cost Containment

New Frontier Group, the award winning US medical cost containment company has signed a new Preferred Provider Services Agreement to deliver medical cost containment and assistance support to IAG Partners who have travel and health insurance customers who require medical treatment in the United States.

Under the terms of the agreement, New Frontier Group will employ its 24/7 team and state of the art IT platform to help IAG Partner companies access the most appropriate and cost-effective treatment at hospitals and clinics across the US.

“The global travel insurance market is extremely competitive, and it is essential that insurers and assistance providers look for every advantage they can find in terms of enhanced services and cost control,” said Randall L. Condie, Chief Operating Officer with New Frontier Group. “Our job is to reduce our clients’ costs in the US, and we are confident that our IAG Partner clients will see significant savings.”

Louise Heywood, General Manager, IAG sees the recommendation of key service providers as one of the primary functions of the organisation. “By accessing and pooling the resources and expertise that we have within our network, our advisory team made up of key IAG partners are able to identify the best performing providers for the services our members need.”

About New Frontier Group

New Frontier Group is a multiple award-winning US medical claims management and cost containment company which supports some of the largest insurance and assistance groups in the global health and travel industry.

With access to the very best US networks along with outstanding in-house claims arbitration, New Frontier Group helps its clients to achieve market leading savings on their medical bills, resulting in improved loss ratios and increased bottom line profitability.

About International Assistance Group

International Assistance Group is the world’s largest alliance of independent assistance companies and accredited providers. IAG Partners specialise in worldwide roadside, medical, travel, corporate and home assistance for business and leisure travellers, expatriate workers and corporate clients. IAG Partners & Accredited Service Providers currently support over 118 million end users worldwide.

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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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