Posted on May 05, 2011 by Sergio Ulloa
On May 4th 2011, Aviva PLC, the world's sixth largest insurance group, announced an array of benefit enhancements to further improve upon their award-winning international private medical insurance services.
To better meet the needs of their expanding base of international clients, Aviva has been upgrading its international private medical insurance products. Aviva's 'International Solutions' modular private health insurance products have been specifically designed to cover globally-mobile people who are living and working outside their country of nationality, such as expatriates. The policies offer flexible coverage options to handle the large discrepancies in cost and quality of healthcare available when living overseas. A recent study conducted by Aviva concluded that medical coverage issues have remained a key concern in customers' travel planning.
Under the company's new updates, International Solutions will raise the overall core benefit limit from £1.5 to £5 million (US$2.4 to US$8.2 million) and the previous newborn lifetime cover of £20,000 (US$33,000) for 112 days will improve fivefold to £100,000 (US$165,000) for 112 days. Routine chronic cover annual benefit has been further doubled from £7,500 (US$12,400) to £15,000 (US$25,000), while the medical practitioner annual benefit limit has been increased from £1,500 (US$2,480) to £2,500 (US$4,130).
In addition to raising the limits of their international offerings, Aviva has transferred a number of benefits from its supplementary cover options into the core cover for International Solutions products. This includes coverage for vaccinations, which had previously only been available to customers purchasing the Wellness Option module. There is also now an option to remove compulsory per claim excess on individual insurance policies.
Several of Aviva's optional benefit packages have also been updated. The maternity option benefit cap has been lifted from £7,500 (US$12,400) to £10,000 (US$16,500) and there is now an increased annual compensation limit for consultations with a specialist, diagnostic tests and specialist-referred surgical procedures and physiotherapy, rising from £1,000 (US$1,650) to £2,500 (US$4,130). Improvements have also been made to dental and optical services, as well as increased out-patient service options for both individual and corporate International Solutions insurance policies.
To complement International Solutions' coverage enhancements, Aviva has added a StandbyMD medical consultation service. This exclusive arrangement grants Aviva customers 24 hour access to a physician offering medical support and advice. The healthcare concierge service is available through 4,000 cities, across 86 different countries worldwide. StandbyMD provides international health insurance customers with prompt telephone access to a qualified physician. Policyholders can also elect to arrange face-to-face consultations or home visits.
Additionally, a new repatriation benefit rider has been developed for expatriate customers with the compassionate travel option, which will enable policyholders to return to their home country (or country of nominated residence) if certain medical treatment is not available locally. If a policyholder possessing the benefit is evacuated, Aviva will now provide compensation for someone to accompany them on their journey, even if the individual in question does not possess an Aviva international health insurance policy.
For expatriate clients, Aviva has introduced a new electronic service which will enable customers to keep important health records and allow prompt access to said vital information while abroad. The Aviva 'My Health Passport' is available through two different formats: a small software version used to store practical information such as personal details and GP and insurance contact information, and a printed booklet which covers more comprehensive health information.
Aviva has set up a new provider network in the United States through a partnership with Miami-based Olympus Managed Healthcare. This arrangement incorporates an additional 6,000 hospitals, over half a million doctors and 57,000 pharmacies into Aviva's health provider network across the US. Aviva policyholders will be able to locate a qualified American doctor or hospital through the comprehensive online network. If customers choose to go within the health provider network they will have their bills settled directly by Aviva, removing the need for individuals to handle costly medical bills themselves.
Olympus Managed Healthcare are market leaders in claims management, handling over 125,000 claims a year on average. Aviva believes that this joint venture will provide customers with additional security, dedicated support and improved access to healthcare in the United States.
Teresa Rogers, international business lead of Aviva UK Health, commented on the inception of International Solutions policy updates: "By listening to our intermediaries and customers, we've been able to focus on improving the right things. We've enhanced the benefits and support that our customers tell us are most important to them. This not only includes increasing monetary limits, but also adding expert support services such StandByMD to further improve the peace of mind our customers receive from their policy."
All new benefits will become available from July 2011 for both new customers and existing policyholders looking to renew their International Solutions service.
Aviva has been very proactive in expanding and upgrading its operations to attract more potential clients worldwide. Aviva has established a presence in many of the increasingly lucrative Asian insurance markets through joint ventures with locally based insurance companies in order to capitalize on the rising demand for insurance products and services in the region. The company has been able to maintain growth across key markets
and will look to further improve upon its level of service to sustain strong performance through 2011.
Insurance Company Mentioned
Europe's fourth largest insurance company, with more than 300 years of experience in the global insurance industry, Aviva is committed to the safety and satisfaction of its customers. They sell a broad range of insurance products including motor and property insurance, protection and health insurance, business insurance, life insurance and pensions.
Olympus Managed Healthcare
Olympus Managed Healthcare offers medical claims administration and cost containment services in the international marketplace. The company also provides third party administrator, call center, and consultations services, as well as other specialty programs. Olympus Managed Healthcare operates through a network of doctors and hospitals around the world. The company was founded in 1994 and is based in Miami, Florida.
StandbyMD is a healthcare concierge service that provides insured persons with personalized physician oriented access to healthcare services 24 hours a day, seven days a week and includes an assortment of both hands-on and referral based medical solutions.