Posted on Jan 21, 2013 by Sergio Ulloa
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.
By 2003, MSH China had collaborated with reinsurers China Re to create an international plan that could be licensed and regulated by the CIRC (Chinese Insurance Regulatory Commission) in China. The benefits included medical insurance on an international level, but with the added convenience of paying and claiming in local RMB currency. As the sole state owned reinsurer in China, China Re provided MSH an opportunity to serve clients to a higher standard both locally and internationally. 2005 saw the implementation of the first CIRC international plans catering to over eight hundred companies in China.
As MSH was well received in the region, hospitals were eager to join the provider's network of facilities. In order to become part of this network, and to encourage the relationship with the insurance provider, hospitals around China began offering lower, discounted treatment costs for clients in both public and private wards. This network of facilities has grown since 2001, and by culturing these long standing relationships, MSH has become one of the largest insurance providers in China today.
In order to cover the wide range of clients, MSH tailored their benefit options to specific requirements. One option made available was to restrict coverage at all High Cost facilities, while another was to increase the flexibility options for maternity benefits. Policyholders can now add maternity on as an extra, avoiding the unnecessary cover for those who do not require it. This worked particularly well at combating high perpetual premium increases caused by the influx of low cost maternity plans. The maternity benefit plans do appear expensive in the first year; however MSH is confident that they have been designed to ensure very stable premium increase rates at renewal. These new options have allowed MSH to avoid large claims loss ratios.
One recurring issue faced by MSH China in the region was the frequent need for expatriate clients to relocate outside China. Under the initial plans, clients were unable to transfer onto international coverage; a common service provided by other major international competitors. The problem was tackled by opening international bank accounts that allowed for payment to be made and plans to continue internationally. There are still areas to improve on however, as the plans remain based in China and require original documents to be submitted for every claims reimbursement.
Since its inception, MSH has arranged the highest standards of customer service with regards to medical emergencies. The international emergency medical assistance line is equipped with multilingual medical staff ready to respond in Mandarin and most major European languages. This essential service has been central to the structure of MSH, who stand by the values of efficiency and effectiveness, especially in cases of emergency.
MSH China has maintained a level of service that keeps policyholders happy by offering fast payment options, reasonable premiums and an excellent level of professionalism. Furthermore, the provider has met every situation pragmatically and effectively, ensuring that client's continue to retain their services in the future. Their international presence and experience gained from successful local endeavours since its arrival has led to MSH being a leading insurer in China for over a decade and this looks likely to continue in the foreseeable future.