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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

Global Excel Management Inc. Achieves ISO 27001:2013 Certification

Global Excel Management Inc., a leading provider of Healthcare Risk Management Solutions, has announced that it has received ISO 27001:2013 certification for its Information Security Management System (ISMS).

ISO 27001:2013 is an information security standard published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the world’s largest developer of voluntary international standards, and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). Global Excel’s certification was issued by A-LIGN, an ANAB (ANSI National Accreditation Board) accredited certification body based in the United States. This certification demonstrates that Global Excel has met rigorous international standards in ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data protection in the healthcare industry.

‘‘By achieving ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification, Global Excel has demonstrated that it will work vigilantly to achieve the quality standards that our customers demand. Our client’s confidential information from around the world flows through a stringent process, underscoring our rigorous attention to security. Global Excel is proud of its dedicated team, who worked diligently towards the certification and led us to this success’’, said Reg Allatt, CEO of Global Excel Management Inc.

 

A Pandemic Reality: The Steps Employers Can Take To Ensure Employees Are Prepared For Re-opening

Around the globe countries are steadily relaxing the most stringent lockdown measures. But for employers there are a myriad of concerns. Preparing for the return to work can be a daunting task, as no person or organisation has ever navigated a situation like this one before. The primary goal is a return to operations that keep business running and profitable. However, it’s vital to acknowledge that this is a time of high anxiety for all employees. The shift to return to work is a momentous one and the biggest hurdle that employers need to overcome is how to instil confidence in their employees and assure them that they are returning to a safe place.

For months now, the message across the globe has been clear: stay home in order to save lives - your own, your family’s, those of healthcare workers and the community at large. The question then becomes: what can be done to ensure that employees are properly prepared for a return to the office or worksite? Dr Adrian Hyzler, Chief Medical Officer, Healix International/HX Global outlines some of the key steps that every employer should be considering.

Communication is key

It is more important than ever to foster a culture where employees are informed, and their voices are heard. Beyond the standard issues of budgets and projections and the bottom line, being a business leader means acknowledging that your employees are under an incredible amount of stress from several different sources. Duty of care has taken on an entirely new meaning in this pandemic world and the way in which organisations handle the return to work is critical.

A webinar or series of communications prior to the return to work will be an essential first step in the process of building confidence that work is, and will continue to be, a safe place. This should focus on entry checks, changes to the workplace such as ventilation, disinfection, personal space protocols, use of technology and personal protective equipment, such as face coverings. There should be a review of any changes to flexible sick leave policies and alternative work schedules. Employees will also need clear direction around the availability of support services, as well as a process to report any concerns regarding the safety of work practices, on an anonymous basis if appropriate.

The re-opening process should begin with a survey to employees enquiring what their main concerns are around the return to work. Once onsite work has resumed, regular town hall-style meetings and information sessions should be scheduled to keep people updated. These sessions may need to be held on a virtual platform in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines. If resources allow, a task force of HR and leaders from different business units should be created. This team can help manage and address concerns that are raised by employees.

Pre-site Screenings

Anyone who will be returning to the office must be pre-screened through a digital questionnaire app or survey prior to arriving at the site. This process assesses whether the individual has tested positive or experienced symptoms related to COVID-19 in the past 14 days. It can also be a useful tool to focus the mind of the employee on the symptoms they should be watching out for on a daily basis.

Upon entry on the first day of return, the information provided should be reviewed for each individual, which is a process that can be automated by the app. If the responses reflect that the person is at low risk for infection, they will then be cleared to proceed to a temperature screening station.

Alternatively, if the data provided gives cause for concern, the individual should be immediately referred to the organisation’s medical helpline and sent for testing. In the event of a positive COVID-19 test, the individual should have their building access restricted for a 14-day period from the onset of symptoms. In order to regain access, he or she must be fever-free for at least 72 hours and be symptom-free for at least seven days. Technically, an individual is considered symptom-free if their only remaining symptom is a persistent, but improving, cough. However, this could increase anxieties for colleagues and create discord in the working environment. This may have to be a case-by-case determination, depending on the role of the person and the proximity to others required by the job function.

Temperature Scanning

While it is widely acknowledged that some individuals with COVID-19 never present with symptoms and many are contagious for a couple of days before symptoms appear, it is also thought that people are most contagious around the time when symptoms first develop. For that reason, it is beneficial from a practical standpoint and reassuring to all employees to have temperatures recorded for anyone entering the premises. Upon completion and review of the pre-screening questions and arrival at the site, people should have their temperature taken. This should be performed by an individual wearing appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment) and a no-contact, infra-red “gun” thermometer. The temperature scanning process should be repeated, and recorded, each time a person enters the building.

Access Bands

Anyone cleared to enter the site after the pre-site screening and temperature scan should be issued an access wrist band. This band must be worn by everyone on site. Ideally, said bands would incorporate a vibrating alert, and possibly an auditory alarm (as long as this does not cause any potential health and safety issues, such as workers at height), to ensure that all employees maintain appropriate distance from one another.

Where appropriate, the bands could also be colour-coded to denote specific work zones. In order to minimise unnecessary contact between work groups and encourage distancing, a system of zones would reduce contact, and also make contact tracing more efficient in the case of a confirmed case among the workforce.

Visitor Policies

Your organisation must clearly outline visitor policies for a pandemic world. Any non-employee entering the site must be permitted to do so only for reasons critical to the business and/or management of the facility. Depending on the size of the organisation, any visitors must be pre-approved by HR and have their name on a list prior to being permitted entry. They will then be subject to the standard pre-site screening and temperature scan. In addition, they must be issued a visitor badge stating the area(s) of the site they are permitted to be in. This is an additional benefit of the aforementioned color-coded zones. Visitors must wear a face covering for the duration of their visit and maintain proper social distancing at all times.

Staggered shifts and flexible work policies

While it would be nice to think that upon re-opening, things will promptly return to the way they once were, that simply is not the case. There must be a certain level of understanding around difficulties presented by home life or transportation. For example, parents - particularly single parents or those who have partners that are healthcare/essential workers, must be considered. If schools and daycare facilities remain closed or on a limited schedule, flexibility must be offered.

As a general rule, employees should continue to be permitted to work from home as much as possible where their role allows. This minimises onsite headcount at any given time and subsequently limits the risk of infection for all employees. Staggered shifts will also become necessary as a means to decrease the number of people coming through entrances and screening stations at a given time. In cases where use of public transport is relied upon, staggered shifts also minimise exposure during the busiest travel periods of the working day.

In the second instalment of its “Returning to Work in a Pandemic World” series, Healix International and HX Global’s expert medical and security teams explore what measures should be taken with regard to employees and protecting their wellbeing. Click here to download the white paper.

Healix International, and our US division HX Global, work with multi-national corporations, NGOs and governments around the world to provide medical, security and travel assistance and help fulfil duty of care obligations.

Medical And Security Assistance Provider Announces Sale Of Assets And Intellectual Property

Traveller Assist Ltd. has announced today the sale of its assets and intellectual property for an undisclosed amount.

Included in the sale is international payment and insurtech platform, Payr, that was launched by Traveller Assist in 2018 to facilitate local currency transactions to network providers in complex regions around the world, and to-date has paid over £7 million in claims payments on behalf of insurers, employers and educational institutions.

In a separate agreement signed in May, Traveller Assist agreed to sell its MENA contracts and assets, including its ‘Defense Base Act’ operations, to a separate privately owned company.

Traveller Assist has been a leading medical and security assistance provider with a niche focus on complex environments, employing 37 staff and retaining a further 30 ground agents around the world, with annual combined revenues of £13.7 million.

Shareholders, Danny Kaine and Jonathan Bancroft have exited the company.

We are humbled to have received several offers of interest to acquire Traveller Assist over the past 12-months, and I am extremely pleased to have agreed a buyout by an insurer who recognises and understands the key for travel insurers to survive and thrive in a volatile market is to control their own assistance and claims capabilities; increasing both profits and customer satisfaction.” said, Danny Kaine. “I want to extend my sincere gratitude to all employees. Your efforts, hard work and loyalty over the years helped to position the company as a market leader, build trust with clients and expand our capabilities and market share. We are very grateful for your commitment to excellence and wish you all of the success in the future as you embark on a new career with an excellent employer.”

Jonathan Bancroft commented, “I am proud of all that we have achieved over the past five years and grateful for the unwavering trust our clients have placed in us on some truly exceptional and challenging requests in remote and hostile environments around the world. Our team have never once failed to provide a suitable outcome to any assistance request and in over fifty thousand case activations, all but three were successfully answered within fifteen minutes of receiving them. I am confident that our processes, methods, systems and staff will continue to produce excellent results and give the purchasing company the edge in a competitive market.

Contracts have been exchanged and completed in relation to these acquisitions.

This deal is one of several the purchasing company are making as part of their growth strategy and due to the commercial sensitivity of these acquisitions, they will be making their own announcements in due course.

Allianz Care Reports Up To 235% Year-On-Year Increase In Applications For International Health Insurance Policies

Allianz Care reports up to 235% year-on-year increase in applications for international health insurance policies, and significant increases in demand for health and wellbeing advice and digital services-

Allianz Care has reported a significant increase in demand for international health insurance services since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, with year-on-year sales of private individual/family policies up 235% in Germany, 100% in Singapore and 65% in the UAE. Allianz Care is the international health brand of Allianz Partners.

Some of the key uplifts in demand for health and wellbeing advice and digital health services include:

  • 48% increase in web traffic to AllianzCare.com in March, with a further increase of 83% in April, with visitors keen to keep up to date with the latest information on the pandemic.
  • 6,000 subscriptions to the Allianz Care channel on the BrightTALK platform, which has been used to broadcast webinars on COVID-19. This is up from an average of 380 subscribers before the pandemic. Almost 3,000 insured members attended one webinar alone with Dr. Ulrike Sucher, the company’s Chief Medical Officer for International Health, in which she outlined recommendations on steps they could take to protect themselves.
  • Significant increase in demand for Allianz Care’s Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), with users looking for further information on financial advice, as well as seeking counselling services and advice on stress management.
  • 257% increase in calls made to Allianz Care’s 24/7 medical advice line. The medical advice line is staffed by an experienced medical team that can address queries in real-time, including general medical advice and information regarding self-care. To provide further support, a COVID-19 digital symptom checker was added to the service, which has already been used by more than 46,000 customers to date.
  • Year-on-year increase in sales of individual policies across almost all markets, most notably 235% in Germany, 100% in Singapore, 65% in the UAE, 62% in Italy, 57% in France and 48% in Spain.

Allianz Care has provided ongoing support to members throughout the COVID-19 emergency, confirming that customers contracting the virus are covered by their healthcare policies. It has also made temporary changes to its cover such as extending the period of cover for emergency medical treatment for those trapped outside their normal region of cover, from 6 weeks to 21 weeks.

Speaking about the surge in demand for support services and the action being taken to address it, Paula Covey, Chief Marketing Officer for International Health said: “The global emergency being experienced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented in its impact on people and businesses. People are understandably worried, not only about their own health, but also about that of their families and loved ones. As well as the general uncertainty, there’s also increased concern stemming from the emotional and financial impact. It wasn’t a surprise that there’d be an increase in demand for support services and advice – whether through our EAP, 24/7 helpline, webinars or the website. However the scale of the demand did take us somewhat by surprise. We were particularly pleased with the strong levels of participation and engagement in the webinars.

 “The reaction to our COVID-19 digital symptom tracker also demonstrated just how much people want to address concerns from the safety of their own home, while some hospitals and clinical settings are either experiencing overcrowding or trying to mitigate it. While our medical advice line gives customers access to more than 120 health professional who can support them regardless of their location.

 “In response to the situations our customers are finding themselves in, through no fault of their own, we’ve temporarily changed some of the terms of our policies. We want to support people who are stuck outside their normal region of cover due to global travel restrictions. So our cover for medical emergencies outside the normal region of cover has been temporarily extended from 6 weeks to 21 weeks. When we say we care about our customers, emergency situations like this are where we really get a chance to prove that. It’s not an empty promise. We have to be there for our customers and from a business continuity point of view, we were already set-up for staff to work from home. So this has been a seamless transition and it’s very much business as usual.”

For more information about Allianz Care, visit: www.allianzcare.com and for the latest news about COVID-19, go to: https://www.allianzcare.com/en/about-us/news/2020/01/coronaviruses.html.

Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty And Allianz Care Introduce Digital Health Services To Singapore-Based Customers

Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty Singapore Branch and Allianz Care have partnered with digital healthcare provider MyDoc to launch a new video consultation service for international health insurance customers in Singapore.  

This service allows customers to speak to fully qualified doctors from the comfort of their own home or office. MyDoc is available to companies and private families who chose the International Healthcare Plans for Singapore, underwritten and sold by Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty Singapore Branch and designed by Allianz Care, the international health brand of Allianz Partners.

The latest in a suite of digital tools and services launched by Allianz Care in recent months, MyDoc is part of a wider initiative to develop a global teleconsultation solution for customers, and follows the introduction of the LiveDoc teleconsultation service in the UAE last year. In addition, customers around the world can avail of real-time advice and support from a team of healthcare professionals either online or over the phone, seven days a week.  These developments are being driven by the customer need for simplicity, accessibility and increased choice in accessing care.

Paula Covey, Allianz Partners Chief Marketing Officer, International Health, added: "The need for accessible, mobile health services has never been greater and our goal is to continually find ways to make access to care easier for our customers. With many people in Singapore and across the world currently practicing safe distancing and self-isolation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it's simply not possible for many to visit their primary physician or healthcare specialist in person. However, even outside of these extraordinary times, when people are busy with their regular schedules, finding time to physically visit the doctor can prove difficult. A delivery service for prescriptions and pharmacies is also available.

"MyDoc is an easy-to-use platform that allows individuals to interact with healthcare professionals directly, from the safety of their own homes. The launch of this new service is timely and we look forward to offering this added benefit to our customers in Singapore. As we address the growing need for more choice in terms of how care is accessed, we look forward to providing customers with more technology-based solutions, including a truly global teleconsultation solution over the coming months."

Speaking about the launch, Melisa Teoh, Chief Marketing Officer and General Manager of MyDoc, said: "We are delighted to work with Allianz Care to provide a full suite of telehealth services for international health customers in Singapore. We are experiencing a change in the way people seek care, it's important for us to be working with key industry players such as Allianz, to make our services available to more people across Singapore. Telehealth isn't just about speaking to a doctor online. it's about removing inefficiency in the existing healthcare system, to provide better care and convenience to the people. With Allianz, we are able to drive that vision together, making healthcare more easily accessible to everyone."  

The MyDoc video consultation app is available for free download from the Apple iStore and Google Play.

For further details on Allianz Care, visit: http://www.allianzcare.com

 

Travel And Healthcare In A Post-COVID-19 World

By Jenny Cohen Derfler, CEO of Air Doctor

Few anticipated this crisis.

Everyone is speculating – although "fantasizing" might be a better word – about what the post-COVID-19 world will look like. Experts say that the situation could be under control in the countries that became infected first, but the COVID-19 situation changes too fast, so it is difficult to predict the future. 

Despite the tragedy unfolding around the globe, with entire countries closed to the outside world, ultimately, travel will resume, albeit in stages. Business travel will probably resume before pleasure and tourism because even though people are now used to "Zooming," face-to-face meetings will still be preferred.

Once everything has "normalized," after the long coronavirus lockdown, we'll all need a holiday -- although we'll need to be more careful than usual. While the travel experience might look and feel different once the world begins to reopen, people will again count on the transformative and positive impact of travel to change their lives. 

Wanderlust is a hard thing to stifle, even if it takes a bit longer for the more remote destinations to be popular again – who hasn't read the articles about the families trapped in paradise (Seychelles, Bali, etc.)?

The New Travel Realities

It's a safe bet that health will play a central role in people's concerns as they exit quarantine, especially as they get back on those planes.

We're all very used to airplane bookings coming with tens of add-ons. Many of us skip past speedy boarding, extra baggage, and car rental. One box that we won't be skipping is the one asking us if we want to insure the flight or buy travel health insurance. Companies and travelers will demand this when business travel returns, and consumers won't be too far behind.

Either airline providers or insurance companies are going to have to change to accommodate our new reality and cover pandemic outbreaks or the lines at immigration will be longer than we ever thought possible.

Falling ill while on a trip can be a frightening experience. Even before COVID-19, going to an emergency room (ER) in a foreign country is a daunting prospect. Anxiety levels are seriously elevated. The traveler may realize that he/she isn't critically ill, but, when away, the ER is usually the only safe, recognizable choice – even though secondary infections caught at hospitals can be more dangerous than the initial issues to begin with.

Now user-friendly, intuitive apps are available that help sick or injured travelers facing non-emergency issues find qualified, vetted medical professionals who speak their native languages --without having to set foot in an ER. Furthermore, the telemedicine options these technologies offer can make doctor's visits even more traveler friendly.

Offering these types of apps can add significant value to the insurance, credit card, mobile, and travel industries. Not only can implementing these solutions differentiate them from the competition, they are a significant relationship-building – and profitable – opportunity as the "return to 'normal' life" begins.

By offering access to private healthcare networks and keeping travelers out of the emergency rooms, insurance companies can shift from high-cost hospitals to low-cost, excellent private care. In addition, app-based technologies allow them to streamline claims costs, further reducing their expenses and hassles for their clients - customers no longer need to cope with pre-approvals, payments, claims, deductibles, etc.

Mobile operators can enhance their roaming package offerings with a travel health-insurance app – they know exactly where their clients are going, so they can co-brand this type of service based specifically on where the travelers are.

Credit card companies can supplement their own travel insurance and provide a seamless, digital customer journey, differentiating card benefits from competitors to grow customer loyalty and smooth the customer experience.

Players across industries will all enjoy enhanced revenues and increased customer loyalty. After all, who doesn't want something to facilitate peace of mind when it comes to health and travel in this day and age?

While no one can say how things will play out over the next few months, things will start again. How ready will you and your offerings be when the world starts again?

Jenny Cohen-Derfler is CEO of Air Doctor, an online platform which makes high quality medical care accessible globally to any traveler or expat, improving the customer journey, empowering local doctors, and reducing insurance costs simultaneously.  www.air-dr.com

Don’t Make A Slow Recovery More Difficult With Quarantine Measures

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released new analysis showing that the damage to air travel from COVID-19 extends into the medium-term, with long-haul / international travel being the most severely impacted.

Quarantine measures on arrival would further damage confidence in air travel. A risk-based layered approach of globally harmonized biosecurity measures is critical for the restart.

Air travel scenarios

IATA and Tourism Economics modeled two air travel scenarios.

Baseline Scenario

  • This is contingent on domestic markets opening in Q3, with a much slower phased opening of international markets. This would limit the air travel recovery, despite most forecasts pointing toward a strong economic rebound late this year and during 2021.
  • In 2021 we expect global passenger demand (measured in revenue passenger kilometers, RPKs) to be 24% below 2019 levels and 32% lower than IATA’s October 2019 Air Passenger forecast for 2021.
  • We don’t expect 2019 levels to be exceeded until 2023.
  • As international markets open and economies recover, there will be further growth in air travel from the 2020 low point. But even by 2025 we would expect global RPKs to be 10% lower than the previous forecast.

Pessimistic Scenario

  • This is based on a slower opening of economies and relaxation of travel restrictions, with lockdowns extending into Q3, possibly due to a second wave of the virus. This would further delay the recovery of air travel.
  • In this case, global RPKs in 2021 could be 34% lower than 2019 levels and 41% below our previous forecast for 2021.

“Major stimulus from governments combined with liquidity injections by central banks will boost the economic recovery once the pandemic is under control. But rebuilding passenger confidence will take longer. And even then, individual and corporate travelers are likely to carefully manage travel spend and stay closer to home,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

Long-Haul Travel Impact will be Longer Lasting

When the recovery begins, it is expected to be led by domestic travel.

  • An IATA survey of recent air travelers conducted in April 2020 found that 58% are somewhat or very likely to restrict their initial travel to domestic journeys.
  • Domestic Revenue Passenger Kilometers (RPKs) will only recover to 2019 levels by 2022. International RPKs are only expected to return to 2019 levels in 2024.

“The impacts of the crisis on long-haul travel will be much more severe and of a longer duration than what is expected in domestic markets. This makes globally agreed and implemented biosecurity standards for the travel process all the more critical. We have a small window to avoid the consequences of uncoordinated unilateral measures that marked the post-9.11 period. We must act fast,” said de Juniac.

Avoid Quarantine Measures

IATA strongly urges governments to find alternatives to maintaining or introducing arrival quarantine measures as part of post-pandemic travel restrictions. IATA’s April survey of recent air travelers showed that

  • 86% of travelers were somewhat or very concerned about being quarantined while traveling, and
  • 69% of recent travelers would not consider travelling if it involved a 14-day quarantine period.

“Even in the best of circumstances this crisis will cost many jobs and rob the economy of years of aviation-stimulated growth.  To protect aviation’s ability to be a catalyst for the economic recovery, we must not make that prognosis worse by making travel impracticable with quarantine measures. We need a solution for safe travel that addresses two challenges. It must give passengers confidence to travel safely and without undue hassle. And it must give governments confidence that they are protected from importing the virus. Our proposal is for a layering of temporary non-quarantine measures until we have a vaccine, immunity passports or nearly instant COVID-19 testing available at scale,” said de Juniac.

IATA’s proposal for a temporary risk-based layered approach to provide governments with the confidence to open their border without quarantining arrivals includes:

  • Preventing travel by those who are symptomatic with temperature screening and other measures
  • Addressing the risks of asymptomatic travelers with governments managing a robust system of health declarations and vigorous contact tracing.

The mutual recognition of agreed measures is critical for the resumption of international travel. This is a key deliverable of the COVID-19 Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART) of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

“CART has a very big job to do with little time to waste. It must find an agreement among states on the measures needed to control COVID-19 as aviation re-starts. And it must build confidence among governments that borders can be opened to travelers because a layered approach of measures has been properly implemented globally. IATA and the whole industry support this critical work,” said de Juniac.

REVA Accomplishes Complex Mission To Transport COVID-19 Patients Home

On the morning of April 17th, REVA successfully delivered the last of 15 passengers to their respective homes from Aurora Expedition’s cruise ship in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Of the passengers, six were US citizens, three from Great Britain, two from Sweden, and the remainder were citizens of Canada, France, Germany and Switzerland. These individuals required medevac transport after their cruise ship, the Greg Mortimer, was required to anchor in Montevideo, Uruguay. The REVA team worked very closely with the ship owner and cruise company Aurora Expeditions to ensure that the guests and staff were comfortable and cared for during the entire journey home.

The passengers were on an Antarctica expedition, following the trail of explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. Its 16-day Antarctic cruise was cut short due to the spread of coronavirus on the vessel and had been at anchor since March 27. The ship had spent more than two weeks off the port of Montevideo with more than 200 people aboard, among whom more than 100 cases of coronavirus infection were detected.

This complex charter posed many unique challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, as more than half of the passengers had tested positive for the virus. This required cooperation with the CDC, local Quarantine Officers, and REVA's Medical Team to ensure all passengers were transported safely, with limited exposure to crew and the public. During this global pandemic, the rules for international travel and medical transport have changed drastically and require extensive planning.

Steve Williams, Director of Medical Operations stated, "This was certainly a logistical challenge more from an operational perspective than a medical one, but we have an amazing support team in our Dispatch Department who coordinated the multiple agency approvals".

REVA's Operations Team in conjunction with Aurora Expeditions coordinated the charter of a Boeing 737 to transport the passengers from Berisso International Airport (SUMU) to Miami International Airport (KMIA).

Upon arrival at Miami International Airport, the U.S and Canadian Citizens were transferred to a REVA Learjet 35 and REVA Learjet 45XR. The two aircraft then continued on to Phoenix, Chicago, and Vancouver. The remaining eight passengers on the 737 aircraft, EU citizens, continued on to East Midlands Airport (EGNX). Upon arrival in the UK, the 737 aircraft was met by a REVA Hawker 800XP. REVA conducted a wing to wing operation with the passengers and safely transported the EU citizens on the final leg of their journey.

Each flight was staffed with a REVA Medical professional to ensure their safety and comfort, “It’s important that we as medical providers be there for these individuals. Offering reassurance to those who have COVID-19 and their families, will help alleviate fear, panic and anxiety. We have a duty to comfort and be there for all of these passengers," said Sean Bryan, Assistant Director of Medical Operations at REVA.

“This was an extremely complex mission that was conducted with unwavering focus and care. The REVA team is trained and prepared to handle these situations. We are glad that we were able to facilitate the safe transport of these 15 individuals back to their homes. It has been a truly rewarding experience for our team” said Shannon Schell, President and CEO at REVA.

Cigna Middle East CEO Extends Role To African Markets

Cigna Corporation (NYSE:CI), a global health services company, has appointed Jerome Droesch as Chief Executive Officer for the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, expanding his remit to include all markets across Africa.

In addition, Jerome has been appointed as Senior Executive Officer (SEO) and Chairman of the Cigna Insurance Management Services (CIMS) Board in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). He continues to serve as a Board Member of Cigna’s joint venture operations in India and Turkey.

Jerome has successfully led Cigna’s Middle East business, where he has strengthened the company’s position as an industry leader, achieving growth and stability for Cigna across the region. The expansion of his role will further accelerate Cigna’s growth, creating synergies across the Middle East and Africa markets, enabling the company to offer more accessible and convenient solutions to its customers. The move reinforces Cigna’s commitment to the fast-growing insurance industry in the MEA region.

Jason Sadler, President, Cigna International Markets said, “Jerome is a seasoned leader with extensive experience driving business growth in the health insurance sector. I am excited to continue working closely with him to further strengthen our presence across the MEA region, through a dedicated consumer-centric approach.”

“Africa has always been a key growth market for Cigna and combining both markets makes sense operationally, since a large number of clients and brokers are unifying their MEA activities,” said Jerome. “Over the next few years, we aim to strengthen our product portfolio and focus on delivering service excellence to people and businesses across the MEA region.”

Jerome’s career spans over 28 years in the insurance industry. Prior to joining Cigna, he served as CEO of AXA Partners and was directly involved in insurance businesses in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region.

 

Under 25s Buying Income Protection Rise Dramatically During Covid-19 Outbreak

The average age of those looking to put income protection (IP) in place has dropped dramatically since the outbreak of Covid-19, according to protection insurance broker and comparison service ActiveQuote.

Enquiries via the ActiveQuote site from those under 25 rose by more than 400%, by more than 300% from those under 30 and by more than 250% among those under 35 year in March 2020, compared to the same time last year.

Signs the crisis is already beginning to affect a new post-Covid generation of employees are beginning to emerge after the number of enquiries from customers aged 20 and under also rose five-fold in the same period.

Overall, customers enquiring about IP via the protection comparison site were two years younger on average in March 2020 than they were in February – which represents the biggest month on month decrease in over 14 months, and is four years younger than at the beginning of the same period.

Rod Jones, Head of Partnerships at ActiveQuote, said: "Income Protection has traditionally been something that consumers in their early 40s look to consider, but since the pandemic hit in early March the average profile of enquirer has been edging closer to the mid-30s.

"The average age of a would-be policy holder has been growing steadily younger since January 2019 but dropped by two years in March this year alone, after the outbreak of Covid-19 and subsequent lockdown was confirmed here in the UK." 

"This is a significant margin by anyone's standards and possibly an indication that the outbreak has pushed a new generation of employees - who were already beginning to appreciate the need to protect themselves should they be unable to work - into being sooner than expected," Rod added.

There are four main types of income protection insurance – mortgage, redundancy, loan and accident and sickness cover – which are available as individual policies or as a package depending on your individual circumstances.

Each policy type is designed to cover a range of general living costs in the event that the policyholder is unable to work for whatever reason.

The average age of those seeking IP cover through ActiveQuote dipped more sharply in March than across the entire 14-month period leading up to it. It then rose again slightly from age 36 to 37 in April, which is still two years younger than the average customer approaching the site for the same reason back in April 2019.

Rod said: "Like any insurance product, the earlier income protection cover is put in place the greater the benefits it is likely to bring, both to the policy holder and the loved ones many are seeking to protect by acquiring it in the first place.

"Insurers have long been championing the benefits long-term IP can bring and if there are any silver linings to be had from the hardships many are unfortunately experiencing now, it's that the UK workforce as a whole looks set to be better protected in the future as a result."

ActiveQuote is the UK's leading comparison website and broker of health and protection insurance products, including private medical insuranceincome protectionlife insurance and critical illness cover.

 

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