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Aetna launches new international health plans

US-based health insurer Aetna has launched a new suite of International Healthcare Plans (IHP) for employers with globally mobile employees.

Aetna said employers can select from one of four base plans then choose from a list of up to 49 additional benefits and limits, with flexibility in providing private health care cover for employees working around the world to maximize their health care investment and manage costs.

The IHP Essential, IHP Plus and IHP Elite plans include new benefits of hospice care; vaccinations and inoculations; compassionate emergency travel enabling expatriates to return home should a close family member be taken seriously ill, and prosthesis coverage, depending on the plan chosen. Aetna Global Benefits (AGB) also offers an IHP core plan design.

The IHP plans are available immediately in Europe, the Middle East and Hong Kong, and will be rolled out over the coming months in China, Jakarta and Singapore.

According to the health insurer, the features and enhancements of the all IHP plans cover: accident & emergency cover outside the designated geographic area; innocent bystander cover for members injured as a result of conflict, civil unrest or terrorism; congenital anomalies cover which has been extended to include conditions identified in child dependents up to 12 months old; and improved waiting periods for dental and pregnancy cover. Plan sponsors with 10 employees or more can remove waiting periods entirely.

New IHP optional benefits now include: infertility treatment; routine or restorative dental and orthodontic options; extended emergency evacuation; routine pregnancy; wellness and vision options; and traditional Chinese medicine.

The insurer also said many of the options can be flexed. For example, while all plans cover complications of pregnancy, employers opting to include routine pregnancy can choose from eight benefit limits and co-pays. Extending its health and wellness theme, AGB’s wellness benefit now includes three levels of cover making quality health care more affordable and more accessible.

In addition, IHP members will also have access to Aetna’s wellness resources and services to help them achieve optimum health and productivity, including the online AGB wellness center, cancer outreach program, and a health risk assessment tool available in 12 languages and customized to fit cultural differences.

Aetna Global Benefits (AGB), the organization’s international benefits segment head Donna Otten said that Aetna has redesigned the health plans to provide a richer level of base benefits to work with different budgets and included wellness features to help employees make positive changes that can lead to lasting healthy lifestyles.

"At the same time, we’ve provided the most flexible selection of add-ons and limits yet, so that employers can purchase the features they need to tailor benefits packages to cater for regionally diverse needs and make the most of their health care investments," Otten said.