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Club Level Feature Article: Cigna Health Care Reform

Improving the Health, Well-Being and Sense of Security of the Globally Mobile Employee

Improving the health, well-being and sense of security of employees on international assignments is becoming extremely complex as more regulations are being promulgated around the world that impact health care access, coverage and delivery.

Unlike in the past, rarely can an employer just purchase a local policy in the employee’s temporary location, let alone a home country policy, and rest assured that the employee will be able to access adequate care, as well as meet local requirements necessary for work visas or comply with other multinational compliance requirements. With the addition of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known as US Healthcare Reform, PPACA or the ACA), the complexity for Americans working abroad and non-Americans working in the US has become even more complex.

Employers of American citizens working outside the US, as well as employers of non-US citizens working in the US, should all review their current health insurance plans to determine compliance with the ACA. Failure to offer the right type of plan could result in fines against employers beginning in 2014. Equally important, the failure of an American citizen (even though working outside the US), or of a non-US citizen working in the US, to have the right type of insurance could result in fines against these individuals beginning in 2014.

Yet offering a policy that is compliant with the ACA could result in non-compliance or other complexities in a non-US location of assignment. For example, an ACA-compliant policy will not suffice for purposes of a work visa in certain countries or for locally required certificates of coverage, which could result in delays, fines, or even deportation. Thus, the choice of an international benefits expert is essential for navigating the complex regulatory environment when moving employees around the world.

As part of one of the largest global insurance companies in the US, Cigna Global Health Benefits is uniquely positioned to help companies maneuver the complexities of this new US law, especially when trying to comply with it along with the complex laws of other nations.

Cigna Global Health Benefits is uniquely positioned to help address the complex needs of multinational employers and expatriates with:

  • local licenses and partnership agreements providing sales capability in 30 countries and jurisdictions (including the US and the UK), servicing expatriates employees and globally mobile individuals virtually everywhere in the world;
  • worldwide coverage and physician-directed access to local doctors and hospitals;
  • 24/7 24-hour assistance via a global network of health care professionals;
  • 24-hour assistance for hospital admission support;
  • Clinical resources around the world for outreach, coordination and intervention; and
  • A secure customer website with self-service capabilities, including claim submissions in virtually any language and reimbursement in a variety of currencies.

As one of the world’s oldest and largest providers of global benefits, Cigna Global Health Benefits has unrivalled expertise from helping its over 850,000 expatriate customers be successful in their cross-border assignments.

Cigna has also been a leader in advocacy efforts to bring attention to the implications of US Health Care Reform on expatriates, international plans, and multi-national employers. Cigna executives share papers on many reform topics with those that make the law and those who must implement it. Cigna believes that together, we can lead people to greater health, choice, and quality of care.

To learn more about “Health Care Reform – Decisions & Implications for Cross Border Employers”, please join us at the Union League of Philadelphia on Tuesday, October 16th from 8 – 10:00 am. Registration information is available here. For more information about Cigna Global Health Benefits, please go to www.cignaglobalhealth.com/.

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