Aviva adds Bahrain and Jordan to their expat international PMI health insurance cover
Gone are the days when Spain and Australia were considered the choice of expats, meaning insurers have had to adapt policies to provide cover in countries that they normally would not have provided cover.
The quality of healthcare can vary widely around the world, and can differ from the quality of care you are used to back home. Also, as a foreign national, you and your family will not likely be entitled to any free or subsidised healthcare.
Recent research from the Institute of Public Policy has shown expatriate population growth across the Gulf region, with around 12,000 UK expatriates in Bahrain and 8,000 in Jordan. The Gulf, which draws expats to its growing oil, gas and mineral industries, is also seeing considerable expansion in the financial services and medical sectors.
Aviva, which launched Aviva’s Gulf Solutions at the start of 2014, offers fully compliant health insurance for corporate clients with employees in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait, Oman or Qatar, and for individual customers in Oman or the UAE.
Following this success, and to enable their policyholders to have access to private medical insurance cover whilst in Bahrain and Jordan, Aviva has opted to partner with local insurers and providers to meet demand. Aviva, through their Gulf Solutions private medical insurance cover states ‘that this approach enables them to provide the international market with a single compliant approach to medical insurance in the Gulf region.’
Legal and regulatory requirements for health insurance vary across the Gulf and can be complex. Moreover, research from Aviva’s forthcoming Relocations Report reveals that employers who send their employees on foreign assignments consider local rules and regulations as the biggest challenge when relocating employees, with 58% stating this is their key challenge.
The addition of compliant coverage in Bahrain and Jordan to Gulf Solutions will provide increased flexibility to individual and corporate clients in the region, especially multinationals with employees posted across different Arab countries or whose employees frequently work across these countries. All members of Gulf Solutions are also additionally able to access benefits if they travel outside the region.
Aviva has partnered with key providers in both countries to ensure customers benefit from local knowledge and understanding of differing legal requirements. In Jordan cover will be provided by Arab Orient Insurance Company and in Bahrain by the Bahrain Kuwait Insurance Company, both members of the Gulf Insurance Group.
Alongside these additions, Gulf Solutions also has newly enhanced benefits for expats in Dubai and the other United Arab Emirates, to reflect new regulations set out by the Dubai Health Authority. These include maternity cover as standard in order to comply with local mandatory requirements. This ensures full compliance with the Dubai Health Authority.
All members across the Gulf region have a consistent claims management service, provided by NAS Administration Services, who have a network of over 2,000 healthcare providers across the region.
In addition, Aviva has collaborated with Dutch insurer OZF Achmea to offer a solution to provide fully compliant health insurance cover in the Netherlands as well as cover when travelling outside the Netherlands. These geographical extensions form part of Aviva’s ongoing plans to expand cover for members in emerging and key expatriate markets.
In the Netherlands, Aviva has collaborated with OZF Achmea to provide Dutch approved State medical cover for individual and corporate International Solutions policyholders living or working in the country.
Often regarded as the gateway to Europe, the Netherlands has a significant number of expatriates, with an estimated 48,000 British expats living and working there. Under Dutch law, expats are normally required to have compulsory Dutch national health insurance provided by a local insurer.
Through Aviva’s new collaboration with OZF Achmea, members in the Netherlands can be covered by the local insurer at reduced rates, as well as benefiting from cover provided by Aviva’s International Solutions if they travel to other countries, with a significant reduction in standard rates.
Head of International at Aviva UK Health, Teresa Rogers, says: “This expanded offer for our members in the Gulf region and the Netherlands continues our programme to develop our global footprint in key expatriate markets and to deliver quality healthcare cover that fully complies with local legislation.
“I’m delighted we have secured partnerships with leading insurance providers in Bahrain, Jordan and the Netherlands, which will ensure our members benefit from local knowledge and understanding of each country’s legal requirements. We also believe that using NAS as our single claims management service across the Gulf region will provide valuable continuity for our customers if they are co-located across Arab states.
“By expanding our capabilities in Bahrain and Jordan, multinational employers who place employees across the Gulf region will in particular benefit from a simple healthcare solution that not only has a consistent claims service and product structure, but has been adapted to ensure compliance with each local legislative practice.”
The change in cover for Dubai came into effect for all new and renewing policies from 1 January 2015, in line with the Dubai Health Authority timelines. All other changes take effect from 1 March 2015 for new and renewing individual and corporate customers with either Gulf Solutions or International Solutions cover.