In November last year Aetna announced its plans to acquire UK-based InterGlobal from the group led by majority shareholders, Alchemy Partners. This week Aetna completed the takeover, the terms of which were not released.
InterGlobal, which specialises in individual and group plans in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, has 65,000 members worldwide, which will augment Aetna’s 500,000 members. InterGlobal’s customer base includes individuals and families; employers; diplomatic staff; international schools and affinity groups.
Evidence suggests more insurers will offer plans through the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges during the next enrollment period, Modern Healthcare reports. The next enrollment period begins in November, with more plans set to be available and existing insurers looking to expand their offerings.
According to Modern Healthcare, insurers are busy analysing the results from the initial enrollment period to decide which offerings will be the most competitive on the exchanges. Insurers in most states have until May or June to submit their health plan options to be offered, and until September to withdraw any such offerings.
International health news
- Social media and mental health - Recent studies suggest using Facebook makes us miserable and increases anxiety, should we be limiting our use of social media?
- Cancer-seeing goggles help surgeons - Goggles could help surgeons identify cancer cells from healthy ones when cutting out tumours.
- Outgoing people are happier - A global study shows, across different cultures, outgoing behaviour boosts happiness.
Despite recognising the importance of correct medical insurance, a quarter of UK businesses cannot afford to arrange health insurance for employees overseas, reports The Telegraph. The survey of 1,000 decision makers from UK companies, commissioned by Expacare, found a worrying 16 percent thought travel insurance would cover their staff.
Travel insurance covers some health expenses and emergencies, but is designed for short trips abroad and cannot be extended after the policy expiry date. This leaves overseas employees open to huge medical bills and the possibility of being refused treatment if they don’t have sufficient insurance.
The Global Healthy Workplace Awards and Summit have revealed the healthiest workplaces from 33 countries. The annual awards, held in Shanghai this year, announced winners in several different categories in the hope of promoting healthy workplace practices around the world.
In the Multinational Employer category IBM took the top award. With its long-standing tradition of creating healthy work environments, IBM continues to integrate health and wellbeing into the workplace. It has introduced 10 global priorities for health promotion which are applied to the thousands of IBM employees around the world.
International health news
- Millions wasted on flu drug - Tamiflu, stockpiled by governments in case of a major flu outbreak, is no better than simple paracetamol claims a controversial study.
- European Work Directive risks care - Since 2009, regulations limiting the number of hours junior doctors can work means they have 128 fewer days of experience.
- New hepatitis C cure sees 95% success rate - The experimental drug, if approved, could compete with current treatment which costs $1,000 a day.
Researchers from the University of Michigan have created an iPhone app which offers “shortcuts” to help travellers beat jet lag. The creators, who are mathematicians, explain that jet lag is a “mathematical problem” which can be solved with their new app called Entrain.
Jet lag, medically referred to as desynchronosis, is the feeling of tiredness and confusion you experience when travelling across multiple time zones. It’s caused by disruption to our internal body clock, or circadian rhythm.
According to the Dutch Healthcare Performance Report, Dutch households spend up to a quarter of their income on mandatory health insurance. The report was of particular interest in Ireland, where the Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly, plans on introducing a similar universal health insurance (UHI) scheme.
A Dutch family with a combined income of under €50,000 a year were paying almost €11,500, or 23.5 percent of their income, on health care in 2012. The analysis, commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Health, detailed how much people were contributing and where the money was spent.
Held annually on April 7, World Health Day marks the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organisation and each year highlights an aspect of public health. This year’s theme is vector-borne illnesses and the bugs that transmit them.
Vectors are organisms which transmit pathogens from one infected person (or animal) to another – vector-borne diseases are caused by these pathogens. This type of infection is commonly found in tropical areas and places where access to clean drinking water and clean sanitation is limited.
International health news
- Blood test to diagnose cancer? - A simple blood test to detect tumour DNA could be used to identify the stage and type of cancer, after promising study results this week.
- Ketamine hope for severe depression - Researchers have found the horse tranquilizer can cure depression, even in patients who stop responding to other drugs.
- World Health Day 2014 - The theme of this year’s WHO World Health Day is how to prevent insect bites and lower your risk of malaria and other insect-borne diseases.