MSH International entered the Chinese insurance market in 2001, setting up a Third Party Administrator service that allowed the parent company to establish MSH China. Based off their success in Europe, MSH began to offer new health and life insurance product options in the region. Read more
It’s the middle of January, which means you should be well on your way to achieving that New Year’s resolution; by now, you’re running daily, cutting out all saturated fats and spending no more than 20 minutes per day browsing Facebook. Or maybe, like thousands of other Americans, you’ve made one of the most common New Year’s resolutions in the country: quit smoking. Read more
2012 saw the best financial results for international medical insurer William Russell, with a 30 percent increase in business from the previous year. The opening of a new sales support office in Hong Kong has also enabled the insurer to reach more clients in Asia, and ensures better service and support. Read more
William Russell has announced a new campaign for 2013 that is designed to combat trends of excessive premium inflation in the UAE. The international insurance provider has decided to offer increased flexibility to its clients when they make a choice on their medical network options and prices. Cheaper provider networks will soon be available for clients who are looking for a chance to manage existing claims costs at their own discretion, and based on their needs or situation at the time.
Read the rest of the William Russell & Medical insurance UAE article
Welcome to 2013! This is a year already fraught with grand predictions: Syria will reach a peace agreement; the economic union of the Euro will finally settle; the U.S. will encourage a smooth shift of presidential power in Afghanistan. This is also the year in which the U.S. government will fail to agree on spending and tax cuts, and send the nation as well as the entire global economy into a financial freefall.
Luckily, that last one isn’t going to happen – on New Year’s Day the U.S. Senate passed fiscal legislation addressing budget problems, and the House of Republicans joined with their approval on the 2nd of January. Still, for quite some time the idea of falling down a fiscal cliff was pretty scary, and the need to balance the budget turned out to be especially dire for two groups of people: politicians, and physicians.
Globalsurance has worked closely with Nordic Health Care since 2009 and has previously considered the insurer to offer some of the best health insurance plans in the market. However, premium increase rates for 2013 have now been announced and have come in at 15 percent, a figure above Nordics previous average for both new plan and plan renewal premiums.
Over recent years, Nordic’s premium rate increases have typically been in line with other insurers but these new rates are above the average of several other leading international insurers including Bupa International, Allianz Worldwide Care and Interglobal.
In December 2012, the new European Union Gender Directive, which will no longer allow European-based health insurers to base premium rates on gender, will officially be put into action.
One of the areas where this directive will have the greatest impact is in regards to maternity benefits. Despite maternity benefits only being applicable to females or couples, the new directive will result in the high costs associated with those benefits being distributed among all who are insured regardless if they can become, or plan to become pregnant.
In recent months, Integra Global has made some sweeping developments in their services and analysts at Globalsurance, a long-time intermediary for the company, believe that customers will be very pleased about what the international insurer has planned.
Integra Global has typically been a niche player in the international health insurance sector but have continued to develop into a strong brand by offering supportive customer service, strong plan management and an efficient claims process. During the last five years, the company has been able to maintain strong relationships with its clients which has in turn, helped Globalsurance to build and maintain their client base. These new developments will undoubtedly continue to add to this.
Globalsurance has learned that Aviva Ltd is set to stop providing medical insurance products in Singapore to some of its clients, potentially impacting 5,000 to 10,000 insured people on the IdealMedical and Global Health plans. It is understood that Bupa International and Raffles Health Insurance (RHI), who partner in Singapore, will offer Aviva clients the option to transfer to a new plan of similar design but with different premiums. The transfer appears not to be subject to underwriting, but personal exclusions on Aviva policies at the time of transfer will not be removed.
For those living in the Middle East, asthma and other respiratory problems continue to be a constant issue and topic of discussion. Statistics indicate that about 13% of adults and 25% of children in the United Arab Emirates suffer from a form of asthma. The World Asthma Foundation has released data suggesting that the number of people with asthma will increase by about 70% in the next 25 years in the region.
Some of the biggest factors contributing to these statistics are the annual sandstorms and the ongoing construction works taking place. The continuous construction in the area has created large amounts of dust and pollution in the air and PM10 levels, the measurement of small particles that can penetrate lungs and create respiratory problems, tend to be consistently high, often above the recommended level suggested by the World Health Organisation.
Leading international health insurance provider, IHI Bupa recently announced their premium increases for 2013, which have come in at the lowest percentage increase recorded by the company in five years. This tapering off of increasing health insurance premiums is a trend that seems to be occurring across the health insurance industry. Globalsurance, one of the largest distributors of IHI Bupa plans, has seen many other providers offering premiums that are slowing down in their rate of increase and believes this is likely due to falling medical inflation worldwide.
For more than 30 years, IHI Bupa has been a leading provider of international health insurance policies for expatriates and high-net worth individuals all over the world. Distributors and customers all tout IHI Bupa to be one of the best in the industry, and the company has formed an especially strong presence in Asia. Their policies include coverage in all parts of the world, including in the USA and are guaranteed renewable for life, an option that other providers are often apprehensive about offering.
Seeing as November is Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, it’s only fitting that an intriguing discovery about Alzheimer’s and genetics was reported last month. The gene of particular interest to researchers is called TREM2, and people with a variant on that gene appear to have triple the risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease. TREM2 may hold vital clues to late-onset Alzheimer’s, and some scientists are calling it the most important Alzheimer’s discovery in 20 years.
So, what exactly is the TREM2 gene, and why are people so excited about it? A normal brain (with a normal TREM2 gene) is helped by a good immune system; when brain inflammation (such as that which occurs in an individual with Alzheimer’s Disease) strikes, the immune system helps by sending in anti-inflammatory molecules called microglia cells. These cells are also useful to the brain due for their ability to clean up amyloid plaque, a dangerous build-up responsible for killing brain cells. Basically, imagine the microglia cell wearing an apron and holding a tiny feather duster.
With the TREM2 variant, however, these friendly microglia cells turn not only ineffective, but also calamitous. Now, instead of stopping inflammation, the cells release cytokines which actually produce inflammation. Whereas before microglia cells were bustling little workers, with the TREM2 variant they become lazy and stop cleaning plaque. This plaque can build up and destroy healthy brain cells; cell destruction plus inflammation is a sure recipe for decreased brain function and dementia-type symptoms.
One of the signs that Dubai is continuing to show recovery after the 2008 Financial Crisis is through the growing health insurance industry. Many of the leading health insurance providers in the region are all reporting increasing numbers of insurance quotes and information requests from people interested in obtaining medical insurance.
Globalsurance continues to expand its services and operations in the region, attributing the influx to more and more inquiries from new clients and expatriates that are relocating to Dubai.
Tim Slee, Global Sales Director for Bupa International commented on this growth: “There is an exciting new level of increased activity across the Middle East, this increased interest has led to a strong conversion rate of international medical insurance sales in the UAE.” Bupa International has seen encouraging performances and maintains a strong presence in the region because of the diversified products they offer with their cooperation with Globalsurance.
Globalsurance continues to see differing indications of the state of the health insurance industry in China. Most analysts concur that the country’s high-income earning population are not likely to buy comprehensive health insurance in the short term. Many of the health insurance companies that have invested in developing on-shore solutions for health coverage continue to see varied results. While some insurers are re-figuring their China strategy, others continue to develop new products to further test the market.
Earlier this month and after little success, ICBC AXA eliminated its ‘China Executive Plan’ that was launched in December 2011 and targeted high-income Chinese nationals. The ‘China Executive Plan’ featured benefits that were below more typical expatriate policies but higher than domestic Chinese policies. One particular point of interest was that the plan had options for covering preexisting conditions, an option readily available with many health insurance policies.Read the rest of the China’s Emerging Wealth not Buying Medical Insurance as Expected article.
The distribution of offshore International health plans to wealthy individuals in South America has been a successful and lucrative market for many decades. IHI Denmark in particular, had built a considerable amount of its success in this part of the world over the years. In 2012 however, a combination of location regulation and poor plan performance has resulted in most key offshore providers pulling out of Latin America.
Bupa and IHI Bupa, who had perhaps the biggest offshore portfolio in South America, have stopped selling offshore plans into the market. In 2004, Bupa took over the IHI portfolio after acquiring IHI Denmark. The insurer then went on to purchase US-based AMEDEX Insurance in 2005 which serviced 100,000 people in 42 countries throughout Latin America.
Bupa are now looking to push the Latin American product range, citing reasons for the change being driven by compliance requirements. Several countries in Latin America have raised the stakes as international insurers are now exposed to draconian punitive fines for selling health policies within their country without a license. These potential fines are measured in sizeable percentages of global revenue. Bupa’s response is understandable; as they try to fill the gap with onshore Bupa Latin America plans (Bupa LA is now available in Brazil once more). However, Globalsurance analysts believe that Bupa’s offshore plans were better value for money, and that clients can now find deals from local onshore providers who have become competitive. That said, clients in the region are sensitive to branding, and the Bupa brand remains strong, thereby enabling it to access a large part of the market.
Cigna is in a strong position to see growth in its international and commercial healthcare coverage, according to BMO Capital, a financial services company that provides clients from businesses and government’s access to a wide variety of services and products. BMO believes that some of the most important parts of the health insurance providers business are also strengthening.
Furthermore, the company’s stock prices are also projected to increase, as analyst Dave Shove increased his 12-month anticipation for the price of the company’s stock from USD $60 to $65.
Earlier this month at its annual investor day presentation, Cigna Corp released their projections for 2013, with adjusted earnings of about USD $5.80 to $6.25 per share. These figures are lower and more conservative than average expectations from other analysts, which set expectations at about USD $6.33 on average, according to FactSet, a multinational financial data and software company.
In what began as a careful partnership, Globalsurance is working even more closely with Now Health, as the young health insurance company has shown promise, especially in regard to its strong organization, service and claims capabilities.
Now Health, which was only launched last year, is the creation of a management team comprised of former Good Health employees, including Martin Garcia, who served as Good Health’s managing director. When Good Health was bought by Aetna, there was a significant number of employees who left and followed Mr Garcia. The group, under Mr Garcia’s direction, aspired to develop a new international health insurance company. This goal was finally realized in April 2011.
Globalsurance continues to witness the falling rates of global health insurance inflation in the high-end sector, typically referred to as International Private Medical Insurance (iPMI). Average rates of inflation per year have typically hovered at around 11% over the past 5 years, but this year, AXA PPP has published an annual increase of just 8%.
As a key player in the health insurance sector, AXA PPP has the competitive advantage of being one of the largest and longest-running insurers in the world and they set a standard for different areas in the industry, including international health insurance inflation rates. One of the most influential factors for determining the cost of health insurance premiums is the cost of claims, and with that, the increase in premiums is typically a good indicator for the monetary changes in the cost of care and treatment.
Thanksgiving means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. For some, it’s a hectic day of travel and family reunion; for others, it’s all about the big game and the even bigger turkey; but nearly everyone can agree that Thanksgiving is an absolutely excellent excuse to eat good food with good people.
Unfortunately, Thanksgiving is also a time when insurance claims spike. Due to just a few dangers associated with the holiday, that final Thursday in November can expect to see claimants file for house fires, road accidents, and personal injury. These issues are to be expected, what with hubbub and hassle in the kitchen, along with long car journeys and unexpected bouts of wintery weather. However, you may be surprised to learn what many firefighters as well as other health and safety workers deem Danger Number One on Thanksgiving – deep fat turkey fryers.
President Obama meets today with both Myanmar’s party leaders in Rangoon, the country’s commercial centre. It will be the first official visit for a sitting US President to Myanmar (also known as Burma) in an effort to support recent reforms undertaken by its President Thein Sein. Obama has revealed a strategy that ‘re-focuses on engaging fast-growing Asian nations’, choosing South East Asia as his first destination since his re-election as Head of State.