As of August 1st 2013, international private medical insurance provider Nordic Health Care will discontinue issuing new plans, marking the insurers exit from the market. Nordic, a health insurer under Europæiske Rejseforsikring’s travel insurance, will also no longer be accepting plan renewals that are not contractually obligated.
Plans which are contractually obligated to be continued will see premiums increase by about 60%. Despite the disappointing news, Bupa International has announced they will offer Nordic customers special conditions and terms if they choose to switch to Bupa coverage.
When is sadness depression? Is obsessive compulsive disorder just another term for excessive cleanliness and good organizational skills? Can a child’s temper tantrum ever be classified as a mental disorder? The answers to these questions are as enigmatic as the field of mental illness itself: sometimes, maybe, and depends on who you ask. For a mental health clinician, however, there is one book that was created to answer all these queries: The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. This week, the fifth edition was published.
International health insurance giant, Bupa International, continue to focus their development in the Asia region with particular interest in the China market. There have been a number of successes and announcements recently supporting Bupa International’s move and focus. Read more
The Greek national debt is never very far from the headlines, with reports of officials fiddling budget figures, youths rioting in the streets and what seems like a endless increase in the number of unemployed. While all this all seems like a shocking and unacceptable situation for a member of the European Union, a recently published open letter addressed to the Greek Government and written by Greek scholars and physicians, has drawn even more negative attention to the situation and highlighted the number of Greek people suffering due to the increasingly strict measures applied to the Greek Health Care service.
Internationally renowned and insurance giant Aetna, and The Company for Cooperative Insurance (Tawuniya), recently announced their plans for a strategic partnership that will offer medical services to Saudi Arabian citizens residing in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as well as those living abroad. The new alliance will also provide coverage for expatriates who reside in Saudi Arabia.
This new alliance will be a great opportunity for both organizations and will expand the offerings of available health care solutions to a broad spectrum of customers. Furthermore, this partnership will ensure quality medical care coverage and access to programs and facilities to these customers, while also providing access to a vast network of international medical care providers.
For more than six years, the United States Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has not had a confirmed chief administrator. That is a concerning fact – CMS is responsible for the health insurance and care of nearly one in three Americans, and has a yearly budget of more than $800 billion dollars. The Department of Defense, in comparison, has a budget of just over $500 billion dollars. With such a huge amount of money and responsibility at CMS, why has the position of head administrator remained vacant for more than half a decade?
As an expatriate, making sure your health and wellness needs are adequately met is one of the most important things to consider when planning your move abroad. Depending on the country, often times medical facilities and their practices can be very different than what many people are used to in their home country.
One of the best ways to make sure that you are not put in the overwhelming situation of trying to navigate a foreign country’s healthcare system, is by protecting yourself with international health insurance coverage. This will usually cover doctor’s visits, vaccinations, health checks and prescriptions. There are even options to cover other items like chiropractor visits or physiotherapy treatment.
Recent research suggests that traffic pollution is thought to be a major contributing factor to serious damage in arteries that supply blood to the kidneys. Published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, leading scientists have found that in addition to increasing the risk of diseases such as strokes and heart attacks, traffic fumes can also damage the kidneys significantly.
Mosquitoes. Barely larger than a kidney bean and yet responsible for more than half a million deaths every year. Why? Because mosquitoes carry malaria.
There is no malaria vaccine, and it is not possible to eradicate every insect carrier from the face of the earth. These facts alone make malaria an important issue in the world of science and health care, but recently, malaria has been getting even more media coverage – both in terms of positive scientific developments, as well as threatening trends in drug-resistant malaria infections.
By most accounts, now is a great time to be a young person on the health insurance marketplace. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, children can stay on their parents’ insurance plans until the age of 26; state insurance exchanges will make it easier for young people without a job to purchase individual insurance online; and many new insurance plans will be specifically tailored to suit the market of young, healthy buyers looking to pay lower premiums. Read more
The year 2012 may not have been the most flourishing of years for some health insurance companies around the globe, but data for the first quarter of 2013 looks promising for many of the world’s largest, most well-established medical insurance providers. Among those releasing encouraging figures, Cigna, AXA, Munich Health and Allianz, some of the biggest players in the industry are all showing healthy signs of growth.
In 2003, China and Hong Kong experienced a SARS pandemic; the first one in recorded history. This pneumonia-like disease began infecting people in China, Hong Kong and Vietnam; eventually spreading to 37 countries around the world. Especially scary was the virus’ quick rate of infection – in less than nine months, SARS managed to infect an estimated 8,000 people, leading to the deaths of nearly 800.
These frightening statistics give some clue as to why health officials in Saudi Arabia and surrounding countries are more than a little concerned that just this week, at least two more people have died from a SARS-like virus. This virus has been infecting citizens on the Arabian Peninsula since last year, but recently, deaths related to the virus have greatly increased – the World Health Organization reports a current death toll of eighteen. Read more
The 53 European nations of the World Health Organization (WHO) have pledged to combat the spread of measles across the continent and aim to achieve the total elimination of measles by 2015. Experts at the WHO, however, warn that new outbreaks of the disease, as well as too few inoculations across the continent, put this target under threat. The WHO insists that intensive catch-up vaccination campaigns across Europe are necessary to combat recent epidemics and curtail the spread of measles.
Webster’s Dictionary defines an inpatient as: “a hospital patient who receives lodging and food as well as treatment.” An outpatient, on the other hand, it: “a patient who is not hospitalized overnight but who visits a hospital, clinic, or associated facility for diagnosis or treatment.”
If you’re staying overnight in hospital, you’re an inpatient. If you’re out before the night, you’re an outpatient. It sounds fairly clear – until we introduce the term “observational care.”
Observational care is not rigidly defined. More or less, it means that the patient is physically within the hospital, being monitored by doctor, but not undergoing any type of surgery or treatment for a life-threatening condition. A person under observational care is considered to be an outpatient, even if they spend a night (or more than one night) in hospital.
So, why the concern over the definition of inpatients, outpatients and observational care? Because a patient put under observational care, rather than admitted to the hospital as an inpatient, may have to pay tens of thousands of dollars more. Read more
In many ways, the Middle East has become, and is becoming, one of the most exciting regions for economic and financial development.
Dubai is in position to not only have the world’s largest Ferris Wheel but also the world’s largest mall. In addition to large commercial attractions, Qatar will also be hosting the 2022 World Cup, another feather in the hat for the region that has seen marked instability during the last few years. However, one of the biggest indicators that show the region is in prime position for substantial growth can be found within the insurance industry, particularly in the health insurance sector.
It would be an understatement to say that the population of the United Arab Emirates has grown quickly. Census data shows that in the past 40 years, the population of the UAE has increased by 700 percent. Whereas just over 500,000 people resided in the UAE in 1975, today there are nearly eight million residents who call the Emirates home. A large percentage of these new residents are expats and foreign workers, and although many high caliber expats will receive health insurance through their jobs, low-wage, blue collar foreign workers often do not; especially in Dubai. Read more
Medicaid, the health insurance program for low income Americans, will pay $50,000 to hospitalize and treat an elderly woman for congestive heart failure due to a heat stroke. Medicaid will not, however, cover the cost of a $200 air conditioner. Does this example illustrate a problem with the Medicaid system? According to Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, yes. Read more
Hedge fund managers in China are feeling positive about the rest of 2013 as the nation’s stock market recovers, resulting in high expectations for potential yields. One of the fastest growing and most attractive segments for fund managers in China is that of healthcare and pharmaceuticals.
Although investment in the Asia Pacific region, particularly in private equity, has been sluggish since 2011, the healthcare industry has seen surprising and promising growth. Many articles, opinion pieces and exposes have highlighted the new frontier that is Asia healthcare.
The political struggles of Pakistan are well publicized: party offices under attack, pre-election bombings, and entire cities being shut down due to domestic terrorism. Unfortunately, it is politically unstable places like Pakistan that struggle the most in terms of health care, especially when it comes to children. This month, news network Al Jazeera has been running a story on the problems Pakistan faces with early childhood deaths from pneumonia and diarrhea. Read more
Of the 264 people injured in the Boston Marathon Bombings, at least 13 have suffered the loss of all or part of a limb. Already there have been stories of perseverance and strength – one husband and wife, standing together at the finish line, both lost the lower part of their left legs. They are recovering as well as can be expected, and the experience of these and other amputee survivors has brought the issue of prosthetics and health insurance to the forefront of health care news. Read more