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Globalsurance Offers Clients New Comprehensive Yet Affordable Health Insurance with the Release of Cigna's Advance Plan.

Posted on Feb 07, 2013 by Sergio Ulloa ()

Coverage from top insurers,  such as Cigna, can often involve high premiums as benefits are generous and the levels of servicing offered are of the highest quality.  The "Global Health Options" (GHO) issued by Cigna roughly one year ago was aimed at such clients looking for high quality health insurance. Now, Cigna is aiming to provide health insurance that will appeal to clients who may not be able to afford high end plan premiums and have launched their latest product, the GHO "Advance". The benefits of this plan have been reduced slightly, but the premium is much more appealing while still incorporating the level of service that is normally associated with Cigna.

Cigna's GHO plan was the first individual plan from the health insurer that was made available to international expatriates in order to challenge other high end plans from providers such as Bupa International and Allianz Worldwide Care. The plans were purposely aimed at high net worth expatriates and offered exceptional comprehensive benefits, including the finest servicing levels. These levels were already implanted on an international platform by their corporate international plan launched in the 1970's. The GHO plan was designed so Cigna could match the current requirements for wealthy expatriates needing individual coverage, including superior maternity benefits and no limitation on pre-existing illnesses. The plan has proven popular in the market, especially for Cigna in China who have a joint venture with Partner CMC. Cigna and Partner CMC have impressively surpassed the milestone of 1 million policies sold. As Cigna aim to offer the best service and make it available to all types of clients, they recently created the "GHO Advance" plan for expatriates with smaller budgets. The benefits and extra co-payment options are more limited compared to the normal GHO plan, but this results in premiums that are, on average, 30% cheaper. The Advance plan has broadened the scope of potential clients, which shows how attentive Cigna is to the Individual Private Medical Insurance market. The Advance plan is identical to the original GHO plan in that it covers similar treatments. The benefits are very alike, but financial limits and caps have been added to the benefits, so the overall premium is lowered. There is a considerable difference to note between these plans, which is the withdrawal of routine maternity for the Advance plan. By doing this, it has had an ample effect on the premium due to the fact that there are incredibly high costs involved with international maternity treatment. By excluding this option, it reduces the premium by a significant amount. There is a negative effect to limiting maternity benefits as there can be complex and unexpected procedures associated with pregnancies. In order to solve that problem, Cigna have included benefits for complicated maternity and they are built into the Advance plan, but the coverage limit has been reduced from $28k to $14k. The health insurer has also included newborn care benefits, but have reduced the coverage limit from $156k to $75k, in addition to keeping the benefit for congenital conditions. Many benefits that were previously included without particular limits on the GHO plan have been capped on the Advance plan to help control the cost of the premium. The largest cap that has been put in place on this plan is the maximum limit of the "International Medical Insurance" core module, which covers inpatient benefits. This coverage limit has been reduced from $3 million to $1.5 million. Despite the financial caps and reduced coverage, the limits still remain higher than plans that are currently available from competitors. Some further sub-limits have been applied, including Psychiatric care $10,000, Physiotherapy $5000, Home Nursing $5000, and Advanced Imagery (CT, PET and MRI scans) $10,000. In spite of these limits applied to these benefits, the cover is still sufficient enough to contend with many other mid-range health insurance plans. The benefit reduction that has had the largest effect is associated to the lessening of the "International Medical Plus" module, which covers outpatient benefits from $78K to $10k. There is also a noteworthy sub-limit of $2000 for dressings, as well as prescribed medication. The limit was included in the plan in order to help control the increasing costs of medication for pre-existing and long-term conditions. In addition to that, visits for chiropractic and osteopathy treatments have been lessened from 30 to 15 visits per year, along with acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine, which has been decreased from 15 to 10 annual visits. An additional option to the Advance plan that is not actually included on Cigna's top GHO plan, is the option to add further co-payment on inpatient or outpatient treatment in order to make the plan more appealing and to help reduce the premium levels. In regards to inpatient treatments, potential clients now have the choice to include 10% or 20% co-payment and both options allow clients to choose an "Out Of Pocket" expense of either $2000 or $5000. By doing this, if a client opts to include the "International Medical Insurance Plus" module, they can also add a 10% co-payment. This will also helps to reduce the overall premium of the plan and helps clients with lower incomes. Globalsurance is pleased with Cigna's latest plan launch and will be happy to provide its clients with further information if needed.
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