High increases are expected in 2013 across the Cigna Global Expat plus plan recently acquired from Van Breda. Currently undergoing a re-branding under the Cigna name, these latest increases will undoubtedly dissapoint policyholders and leave them questioning their faith in Cigna.
Numerous providers (Bupa International, Aetna Global Benefits, AXA PPP) have released their annual increases and have been performing well under the trend of the past 5 years. Policyholders attached to a Cigna Global Expat plus plan however, can expect to see an increase of 29% on their premium for all renewals in 2013 and it is understood by Globalsurance that increases could reach up to 50% in certain markets (Singapore, China, Hong Kong).
Globalsurance analysts are not considering these increases to be related to medical insurance inflation, but rather adjusting to the pricing in the market. This drastic increase may cause customers to wonder whether these increases would have occurred if Van Breda was not now a part of Cigna and may blame Cigna’s own ‘economic model and costs’ plan as the cause of the increase in premiums.
It has emerged within international private medical insurance industry that A+ International Insurance may not offer policyholders the option of renewing their medical insurance policies in the future.
A+ International Insurance’s decision to not offer clients a renewal on their IPMI policies may be due to Cigna’s purchase of Van Breda International; Van Breda International was integral to A+ International’s plan offerings and policy administration.
Cigna, a leading US based international insurance provider, purchased Vanbreda International in August 2010 in order to access the Belgian insurer’s international reach.
A+ International’s partnership with Vanbreda International is through Justitia NV. Justitia, an independent insurance company within the Vanbreda Group of companies, is responsible for underwriting A+ International’s international health insurance plans.
Justitia NV generated premium collections of EUR 18.5 million (US$ 26.3 million) in 2008.
While A+ is a relatively new entry to the global health insurance market, the company does have a significant number of policyholders worldwide; the potential denial of renewal terms to existing customers may leave a substantial number of consumers without adequate medical insurance coverage.
A+ policyholders are advised to contact the company, or their intermediary, in order to understand their health insurance options in the event that they are not offered a renewal of their current policy.
At present there has been no official confirmation from A+ International Insurance regarding future business, but policyholders who have contacted the company have been informed that there may not be renewal terms on their policies.
Philadelphia-based health insurance company CIGNA has announced the recent acquisition of privately owned Vanbreda International, a leading international health insurance company headquartered in Belgium. The deal between the two companies gives CIGNA unprecedented access to the larger international expatriate health insurance market; the two companies have an estimated 700,000 policyholders worldwide.
CIGNA President, William L Atwell, was positive about the deal between the two insurers, stating that “the acquisition demonstrates CIGNA’s growth strategy to go deep into existing segments, to go global – seeking worldwide opportunities to diversify our earnings stream, build on strengths and serve customer needs – and to go individual, as Vanbreda International has a growing portfolio of international individual business.”
Despite the acquisition of Vanbreda, the company will still continue to operate as an independent business under the leadership of current CEO Rudi Bertels, who said “as we join forces with CIGNA, we look forward to building on our proud legacy of service and adding enhanced capabilities for our customers, such as CIGNA’s leading suite of health and wellness offerings.”
Vanbreda has been a target for CIGNA for some time now as “there is little overlap between our current businesses and capabilities, bringing mutual opportunity to both,” according to Atwell, who also identified the strong “cultural fit” between the two companies as a key motivator for the acquisition.
While CIGNA is a dominant presence in the American health insurance market, providing integrated health services, Vanbreda has a much larger operation in both Europe and Asia. As such, the deal between the two companies is a key component in CIGNA’s global strategy, and a vital part of their plans for worldwide growth.
The last 12 months has seen increased movement in the international insurance market, following in the wake of the 2008-2009 global financial crisis. In a global trend, many insurance providers are looking to expand their global presence, with Europe and the developing markets in Asia being cited as the biggest opportunities for success. The acquisition of Vanbreda by CIGNA is the latest development of this movement.
UBS Bank was the financial advisor to CIGNA for the deal, however financial details of the acquisition have not been disclosed.
Insurance Companies Mentioned
A global health service company dedicated to helping people improve their health, well being and sense of security. CIGNA Corporation’s operating subsidiaries provide an integrated suite of medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy and vision care benefits, as well as group life, accident and disability insurance, to approximately 46 million people throughout the United States and around the world.
With over 50 years of experience in the international medical insurance market, Vanbreda covers a myriad of policyholders worldwide. Headquartered in Belgium, Vanbreda believes in product innovation and superior service to customers.