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OUT NOW: International Private Medical Insurance Companies and Providers V1.2

Version 1.2 of the International Private Medical Insurance Provider Directory is out now with the addition of Antaé, a leading employee benefits firm based in Switzerland.

Based in Lausanne in Switzerland, Antaé is specialised in advice, design and distribution of international mobility solutions: private medical insurance, travel health insurance, assistance and security, protection, kidnap and ransom, pension. Our clients are international corporate businesses and organisations, NGOs, international private schools and international students in Switzerland. Antaé is FINMA registered – N° 28246

Medical insurance underwriters and providers are represented and International Private Medical Insurance Magazine would like to take this opportunity to say a warm thank you to all of the guide sponsors including ALC Health, Antaé, Cigna Global iPMI, Expatriate Group, GeoBlue, Globality Health, Healthcare International, Integra Global and Wellaway.


List your company in the iPMI Magazine iPMI company guide. Working hand-in-hand with your own company micro website on iPMIM, this guide can land-your-brand on the desk of an eclectic worldwide readership.



Private Medical Insurance Numbers Already Down With The Impact Of Tax Rise On The Horizon

Demand for private medical cover moved down in 2014 despite a growing economy with record employment levels. Moreover, according to healthcare intelligence provider future prospects for market growth are also dented with the unwelcome sharp rise in Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) set to knock the sector in November this year.

The latest data published in LaingBuisson’s Health Cover report puts the number of private medical cover policies in the UK (insured and self-insured) at 3.94 million at the start of 2015, down marginally from 3.97 million a year earlier. However, while there has been little change in volumes in the past three years (2012-2014 inclusive), medical cover policy numbers are 9% below a peak of 4.32 million at the start of 2008. Overall penetration of the UK population by private medical cover (people covered) fell to an estimated 10.5% at the start of 2015 compared to 12.3% six years earlier.

Findings confirm there were similar falls of around 14,000 for both company paid policies and individual paid policies during 2014, with falling demand from SME companies (with less than 250 employees) a trend feature in recent years.

There has been a frustrating lack of growth in employer-funded volume demand in the last four years despite reasonable economic growth during this time and 5% growth in full-time employees in the UK to reach record levels. These trends suggest that medical cover penetration has not matched workforce expansion with some large employers, while the cost of private medical cover as a large ticket item may be holding back wider take-up from small and medium sized companies.

LaingBuisson economist Philip Blackburn highlights that long-term growth of corporate medical cover depends on the tangible financial and non-financial pay-offs which private healthcare can deliver to employers as a core part of health and wellbeing spend. Insurers are making progress to quantify these pay-offs, while focus remains on ensuring the costs of medical cover are efficiently and effectively managed for clients. The forthcoming proposed rise in IPT from 6% to 9.5% in November 2015, therefore, delivers a blow for the health cover industry, adding a fixed cost uplift to medical insurance, and potentially further raising the barrier to market growth.

Sadly, the IPT uplift comes after brighter prospects for medical cover growth just a year ago, when claims costs fell sharply by 5% in real terms (taking into account economy inflation (RPI)) in 2013 - the first significant contraction in recent history. Contributing to this fall was effective cost-containment, highlighted by Bupa’s open referral initiative, applied on a large scale since 2012. This sharp drop in claims costs was not repeated in 2014, as medical cover payouts edged down by 0.8% in real terms to be £3.45 billion. While the impact of cost-containment was again evident during the year, there was upward pressure on costs as claims incidence rose across the industry as a whole.

Commenting on the present state of the market, author of the report, Philip Blackburn said, "Private medical cover is currently at a crossroads. A lack of growth in volume demand when the UK economic cycle is at a strong point, suggests there are barriers to a wider market which need to be addressed. While tackling high costs of cover needs to be an ongoing priority for everyone within the private healthcare industry, demonstrating the financial benefit of private healthcare to employers would appear imperative for long-term market prosperity. To this end investment in the value of private healthcare is required from insurers, hospitals and doctors alike. However, while the medical cover market has recently seen some progressive achievements on cost management, a regressive step has now been delivered by the government. Private medical insurance needs a 3.5 percentage point rise in IPT like a hole in the head, and this additional cost is projected to dampen market demand in 2016 and 2017."

But Employers Embrace Low Cost Health Benefits

A different story can be seen from LaingBuisson estimates for health cash plans, which show that employer demand is surging forward, as a low-cost corporate health benefit seems to fit the bill for many companies.

While its penetration remains much lower than private medical cover, the number of employer paid health cash plan contributors increased by 12% in 2014 to reach a high of 833,000 at the start of 2015, following similarly impressive growth a year earlier. The number of company paid cash plan contributors (policies) has more than doubled in the past five years (2010-2014 inclusive), encouraged by an average price which has not increased over the period, and underpinned by a sales drive from intermediaries keen to grow a progressive market. Meanwhile, individual demand for cash plans continued to edge down in 2014, falling by 2.4% to be 1.81 million individual paid contributors at the start of 2015. However, this was the smallest annual fall in seven years, and suggests stable demand from individuals may be approaching.




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

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

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

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

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


Forty-Three Per Cent Of Canadians Have Or Intend To Purchase Life Insurance

Forty-three per cent of Canadians have or intend to purchase life insurance. Fewer than one third are confident that their financial plan has addressed their insurance needs. Only 49 per cent feel that they have some understanding of the insurance products best suited for their life stage.

The BMO Wealth Institute has released a new report examining Canadians' use of insurance to protect themselves and their families against the unexpected. The report, titled Insuring for a Financially Secure Future, found that half of Canadians (51 per cent) are concerned that, should they pass away, the financial well-being of their family would be put in jeopardy, with just over one quarter (26 per cent) feeling very concerned.

Despite these anxieties, the report shows that many Canadians are underinsured:

  • Although it is the top type of insurance policy purchased by Canadians, fewer than half (43 per cent) say they own or will purchase life insurance in the next 12 months.
  • One third (thirty-one per cent) of Canadians do not have any of the following insurance policies: life, travel, accident, disability, critical illness or long-term care. This percentage increases to 37 per cent for Boomers (ages 55-64).
  • Only one third (31 per cent) are confident that their financial plan has addressed their insurance needs to mitigate risks.

"Life is unpredictable and Canadians are clearly anxious about what would happen to their family in the event of death or an unexpected illness or accident, so it's concerning that so few feel that their insurance needs are being met," said Chris Buttigieg, Senior Manager, Wealth Planning Strategy, BMO Financial Group. "A financial professional can help you prepare for the unexpected by incorporating insurance into a comprehensive financial plan that reflects your priorities in the current stage of your life and ones you may have in the future."

Insurance for Every Life Stage

The report also looked at the types of insurance that Canadians in different age groups currently own or will purchase in the next 12 months:

(ages 18-34)
  Generation X
(ages 35-54)
(ages 55-64)
- Life (46 per cent)
- Travel (42 per cent)
- Accident (33 per cent)
- No insurance in place (24 per cent)
- Disability (20 per cent)
  - Life (44 per cent)
- Travel (33 per cent)
- No insurance in place (33 per cent)
- Accident (22 per cent)
- Critical illness (21 per cent)
  - Travel (41 per cent)
- No insurance in place (37 per cent)
- Life (32 per cent)
- Accident (27 per cent)
- Long-term care (15 per cent)

Half of Canadians felt they had some level of understanding about the insurance products most appropriate for their life stage (49 per cent), with only 16 per cent feeling they have a very good understanding.

"As life changes, insurance needs change as well," said Rocco Casullo, Head, Direct to Consumer Insurance, BMO Insurance. "It's important to educate yourself about the products that will provide the most benefits for you at your particular stage in life. There are plenty of online resources available, making it easier than ever to research the insurance options available to you. A financial professional can clarify and further expand on the information you find online to help you determine which type of coverage is best for you."

BMO offers tips on the best insurance products for different life stages:

Millennials: Life insurance protects what young people are working hard to build in terms of their personal and financial goals by laying down the foundation for the protection of future loved ones. Other types of insurance that Millennials should consider purchasing include critical illness insurance, accident insurance and travel insurance.

Generation X: For Gen Xers who are settled into a career, critical illness and disability insurance become very important for individuals, and even more so with families, who are dependent on their ability to earn an income. Generation X should also consider life insurance and creditor insurance.

Boomers: Long-term care insurance is particularly beneficial to those who have left the workforce; they cannot benefit from disability insurance if they are no longer earning an income. Permanent life insurance should also be considered for estate planning purposes.

For those in retirement: Consider retirement income options that help protect and ensure a sustainable and steady source of retirement income. Travel insurance would be helpful to snowbirds in case they need to pay for the costs of emergency medical treatment while away from home. Permanent life insurance and medical insurance may also be beneficial to retired Canadians.


Starr Companies And Aetna International Launch 2 International Private Medical Insurance Plans For Philippines Market

Starr Companies and Aetna International have launched two international private medical insurance products specifically designed to provide access to high-quality healthcare to expatriate and local employees of companies based in the Philippines. These products will be available to companies directly or via their brokers.  

A total of four base plans for each product are on offer with a menu of additional benefits and sums insured. Policy issuance, claims and customer service will be managed in the Philippines by the Philippines Branch of Starr International Insurance (Asia) Limited (“Starr International Insurance”) and the Starr International Insurance team of bi-lingual staff to cater for both local and international members.

The International Healthcare Plan allows members and dependents to get medical care worldwide*, either within Aetna’s network or at the facility of their choice. The Healthy AEssentials Plan is a flexible solution designed for groups seeking comprehensive regional coverage within Southeast Asia.

Both products are underwritten by Starr International Insurance, a Starr Companies insurance carrier with an A (Excellent) rating from A.M. Best Company. The healthcare policies to be issued by Starr International Insurance are reinsured by Aetna Life & Casualty (Bermuda) Ltd., an Aetna Company, and are based on Aetna’s International Healthcare Plan and Aetna Healthy AEssentials Plan.

Derek Goldberg, managing director, Southeast Asia at Aetna International said, “Despite the Philippines being a popular destination for expatriates, and the expanding healthcare needs of the local market, there are limited options for regional and global healthcare solutions that are fully compliant with local market regulations. With the resources of our regional partner, Starr International Insurance, we have been able to develop two comprehensive healthcare plans that provide flexibility and choice for expats and local nationals in the country.”

“This exciting development for the Philippines market reaffirms our strong and expanding relationship with Aetna International in the Asia region,” said Ross Matthews, President and CEO of Starr International Insurance.


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

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

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

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

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

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




OUT NOW: International Private Medical Insurance Companies and Providers V1.1

Underwriters and providers are represented and Team iPMIM would like to take this opportunity to say a warm thank you to all of the guide sponsors including ALC Health, Cigna Global iPMI, Expatriate Group, GeoBlue, Globality Health, Healthcare International, Integra Global and Wellaway.


List your company in the iPMI Magazine iPMI company guide. Working hand-in-hand with your own company micro website on iPMIM, this guide can land-your-brand on the desk of an eclectic worldwide readership.

iPOLICY Magazine Issue 004 June 2015 Powered By International Private Medical Insurance Magazine (iPMIM) from iPMI Magazine on Vimeo.


To get in touch with and contact International Private Medical Insurance Magazine (iPMIM) simply send us an email. You can write to the team on: and we will get back in touch right away. (replace AT with @)

The new directory is also featured in our Medical Broker and Intermediary report, iPolicy.

Issue 4 is out now and can be found at:

iPolicy Issue 4 kicks off with an executive interview with the new Managing Director @ Cigna Global iPMI.

About the iPMI Company Directory

Delivering pertinent company information to worldwide insurance brokers, intermediaries and agents the International Private Medical Insurance Magazine iPMI Provider Network Directory is the definitive global resource featuring international medical insurance underwriters and providers.

Identify, select and source the most appropriate insurance partners that may assist you expand your product portfolio range and coverage. Designed by iPMI providers for iPMI brokers, the directory works hand-in-hand with iPMI Magazine company micro web sites. Follow the interactive links throughout the directory for more company intelligence and content.


High Growth And Wider Product Offering Spurs Expatriate Group Rebrand

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Expatriate Group

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

For further information on Expatriate Group, visit





Aviva Launches Cyber Cover

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


The Financial Shock Of A Sudden Disability Or Critical Illness

A sudden critical illness or disability can have serious financial consequences for the individuals and families affected. However, most Europeans do not have the financial protection in place to deal with such a shock. According to Swiss Re's European Insurance Report 2015, people in the 13 countries surveyed for the report would currently struggle to secure 40% income replacement in case of disability. Together with the witnessed trend of the welfare state's gradual withdrawal of benefits, this is set to drop further. Already today, this amounts to a total shortfall in required disability insurance of around EUR 750 billion.

The European Insurance Report 2015 is based on a survey of 13,000 people across 13 countries in Europe and the Middle East. It looks into attitudes towards what life and health insurance products people have in place, where the gaps are in their protection and focuses on possible solutions to help with the financial consequences of unexpected health shocks, especially for sudden disability or serious illness.

Collectively, the total level of underinsurance in the countries surveyed is currently around EUR 750 billion. Assuming that people would need a 60% replacement income if unable to work because of illness or injury, the report finds that at current levels replacement income would barely cover 40% for most people. 

"Although people in the survey were aware of the potential shock that a sudden disability or illness could have for them financially, there are still many people without enough protection and who are reliant on state welfare," says Bruce Hodkinson, Swiss Re's European Head of Life and Health Reinsurance. "However, states are reducing their welfare systems as ageing populations and increasing medical costs put pressure on their budgets. The insurance industry has the task to enable the shift from state provision to individual responsibility."

The European Insurance Report 2015 also investigates the economic and demographic factors that are weighing on a protection system which is highly dependent on the state welfare. Ageing populations, lower fertility rates and expanding medical costs are adding to the challenge of maintaining the current protection systems. They also add to the need for individuals to take on more private responsibility for their health care provision, or face massive reductions in the level of service they can expect.

In order for re/insurers to step up their efforts to cover the financial risks in the European health protection market, there is a greater need for understanding  how, when and why people decide to take on private cover. The report has several in-depth analyses around consumer issues such as how consumers perceive their vulnerability to illness and how to better address relevant products for people's life stages.

Jean-Jacques Henchoz, Swiss Re's Chief Executive Officer Reinsurance EMEA says: "It's not enough to understand the economic arguments for providing health protection. People don't buy on a one-size-fits-all basis throughout their lives but will want different levels of cover and have different concerns as they move through their lives. Our job as the re/insurers is to ensure that we are meeting their needs."

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Read all the latest travel insurance industry news stories, press releases, views and analysis with the iPMI Magazine travel insurance news section. Find great value travel insurers for people with pre-existing medical conditions, travellers over 65 and those visiting dangerous remote hazardous locations offshore. Comprehensive and dynamic international travel insurance plans and solutions are of critical importance for individuals, groups and families travelling, working or living abroad answering key questions like Will your travel insurance cover you if an airline goes out of business? Should I buy travel insurance for European weekend breaks? iPMI Magazine looks at Discount Excludes Optional Extras. Medical Expenses Covered. Learn about a range of travel insurance options from single trips to annual cover. Insurance coverage: Medical Emergencies, Stolen Documents, Cruise Cover, Golf Cover, Gadget Add-On, Cancelled Flights, Lost Luggage, Missed Flight, Personal Accident, Lost Documents, Stolen Cash. Types: Annual, Multi-Trip, Single Trip plus much more. Subscribe to the iPMI Magazine travel insurance news letter, delivered via email free of charge, most days. Click here to subscribe now to travel insurance news and press releases.