The U.S. district court for the District of Columbia in February 2017 has blocked health insurer Anthem’s proposed merger with Cigna, citing antitrust concerns in respect of large national employers. Anthem announced it will appeal the decision, whilst Cigna “evaluates its options”. U.S. district judge Amy Berman Jackson found that “the merger is likely to result in higher prices”. Earlier in 2017, the same U.S. district court had found

Cigna Global Health Benefits in June 2016 announced the appointment of Neil Irwin as Head of Global Distribution. In this role, Neil will be responsible for cross-market growth and development of Cigna’s globally mobile group health business across multiple client and customer segments around the globe. Before joining Cigna, Neil was Managing Director at Marsh and was responsible for developing client relationships and driving growth, strategic insurer relationships, marketing

Cigna Global Health Benefits in September 2016 announced an expanded partnership with African-based insurer, Hollard Insurance Group. Hollard and Cigna have created a fully compliant health insurance product in sub-Saharan Africa, Hollard Cigna Health, that meets the legal requirements of globally mobile staff as well as regional expats and key local nationals from corporations with operations in the region. A pan-African product, it is able to cater to national

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in January 2017 found that Aetna’s proposed merger with Humana fell afoul of antitrust laws and ordered it to stop. According to Judge John Bates, the efficiencies generated by the merger will not be sufficient to mitigate the anti-competitive effects for consumers, specifically in respect of individual Medicare Advantage plans and of individual commercial insurance on the public exchanges in

Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC (MMA) has acquired J. Smith Lanier (JSL), a group of middle market insurance agencies. JSL will operate as MMA’s Southeast Region hub with D. Gaines Lanier, JSL’s chief executive, and Gary Ivey of MMA at the helm. MMA will absorb all of JSL’s over 600 employees. JSL, founded in 1868 and which has annual revenues of approximately $130 million, is a provider of insurance,

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the U.S. has reported the death of a Reno, Nevada, woman in her 70s from septic shock, after contracting an infection that was resistant to all antibiotics. This comes on the heel of warnings about carbapenem-resistant Enterbacteriaceae (CRE) bacteria that is resistant to all currently available antibiotics. The strain of bacteria that caused the Reno woman’s death is known as Klebsiella pneumoniae.

The MAXIS GBN pooling network on February 7, 2017, officially opened its new headquarters in London, U.K., located at 11 Monument Street in the City. Since its launch in 1998, MAXIS, an AXA-MetLife partnership, had been managed from Paris and New York City. According to CEO Mauro Dugulin, in the present context of diminishing returns on multinational pooling; increasing interest in the use of captives; a greater thirst for

Global broker Arthur J. Gallagher in January 2017 announced its acquisition of Chicago’s Gruppo Marcucci. Gruppo Marcucci specializes in human resource and benefits technology solutions for benefit brokers and consultants, employers, insurance carriers, and service providers as well as the investment community. The acquisition compliments Gallagher’s growing employee benefits and consulting operations. Partners Rhonda Marcucci and Ed Barry, leaders of Gruppo Marcucci, will continue to operate from their Chicago

In response to the urgent call for new vaccines to treat emerging infectious diseases, the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, established a global coalition in January 2017 that is committed to developing safe and effective vaccines against known infectious disease threats. Buoyed by an initial investment of US$460m from the governments of Germany, Japan, and Norway, plus investments from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome

Humanis, a large French group insurance carrier, since 2013 has published a yearly survey of French expatriates. Here are some key takeaways from the January 2017 edition: French expats like living abroad, and 95% of them would recommend that their friends give expatriation a try. 64% of French expats do not expect to return home in the next five years.   39% of French expats would like to create

Optum, a health services company and part of UnitedHealth Group is merging with Surgical Care Affiliates (SCA). The primary and urgent care delivery services business works with over 80 health plans, and will acquire SCA, enabling the company to create expanded capabilities in outpatient surgical procedures. Surgical Care Affiliates is an ambulatory surgery center and surgical hospital provider. The combination of OptumCare and SCI will create a comprehensive ambulatory

The March 31, 2017 imposition of Article 50 has nervous Britons rushing to transfer their final salary pensions into overseas schemes. According to deVere Group, a large independent financial advisory organization, the percentage of inquiries about transferring pensions has risen 21% since the beginning of December. While there has been interest since the Brexit vote in June 2016, the surge to transfer pensions overseas intensified during December and promises

Generali in January 2017 promoted its Group Head of Corporate Finance Luigi Lubelli to Group CFO, replacing Alberto Minali who leaves the group. Mr. Lubelli will join the Group Management Committee and Minali will not immediately be replaced in his role as General Manager as defined by the articles of incorporation. All the first-level business functions previously reporting to Minali now report directly to the Group CEO, Philippe Donnet.

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After Aetna and Humana in December 2016 extended the deadline of their proposed merger to mid-February 2017 ( see here ), Anthem in January 2017 extended to April 30, 2017 its own deadline for completing its proposed merger with Cigna. All four healthcare providers await U.S. federal court rulings to decide the legality of their respective deals.

Following the successful conclusion in January 2017 of the bilateral agreement on insurance and reinsurance between the European Union and the U.S., industry body Insurance Europe welcomed the deal, supporting in particular the removal of the discriminatory collateral requirements that E.U. reinsurers were subject to when placing business in the U.S.. This change is expected to support bilateral trade in insurance and reinsurance. However, the National Conference of Insurance

There’s a joke among insurers that there are two things that health insurance companies hate to do – take risks and pay claims. But, of course, these are the essence of their business!

My outlook for 2017 and beyond is that the U.S. economy will likely see another recession. Yes, the economic picture currently looks wonderful. The Dow and S&P 500 are at record levels. Unemployment is well below 5 percent of the labor force. Inflation is still tame. The U.S. dollar is strong.

– how Spieker Point’s platform, DECK DecisionWare, helped MSH International innovate in the global mobility industry with the Aviator product.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, came closer to repeal as the U.S.Senate and House on January 12, 2017 passed a “budget reconciliation” order to launch a formal legislative process that may lead to substantial repeal. Or maybe not.

It is hardly unusual for Cabinet nominees to leave more questions than answers after their confirmation hearings. Yet for the millions whose lives hang in the balance depending on the future of the Affordable Care Act, Rep. Tom Price’s (R-Ga.) answers were surprisingly vague on January 18, 2017 – especially coming from a man who has authored a detailed, 242-page replacement for the ACA, more commonly called Obamacare.

Successful Captive Programs: The Insurer’s Evolving Role Jayesh Patel As Republicans Dismantle Obamacare, Insurers Likely to Bolt J.B. Silvers Fixes, Not Repeals, More Typical for Major Legislation Like Obamacare John McDonough Tom Price, Short on Specifics In Trumpcare Hearing Miranda Yaver Get Ready for The Coming Economic Recession Jay Zagorsky Leveraging Big Data and Software for Competitive Advantage Greg Campbell Sara Hallberg

Worldwide Broker Network (WBN) in January 2017 announced that three current members of its Board of Directors have been reelected to three-year terms.  The reelected directors include Juan Carlos Arias of Panama; Pavanjit Singh Dhingra of India; and Steve Hylant of the U.S. The 16-member WBN Board of Directors now is comprised of: Daniel de Swaan, WBN board chairman and Director at Meijers Assurantien in the Netherlands Juan Carlos

Interest in using captive programs as risk-management tools has been slowly growing within the Employee Benefits (EB) community for some time. But recently it has been gaining momentum, as multinational corporations have begun to realize the potential the concept holds.

U.S. health insurance providers Aetna and Humana in December 2016 announced they had come to an agreement to extend the deadline for their proposed merger from December 31, 2016 to February 15, 2017, as U.S. federal courts are poised to decide whether to allow the merger to proceed. The decision is expected by mid-January. The deal was first announced in August 2015.

One of the major events of 2016 was Generali Employee Benefits’s 50th anniversary celebration with the GEB Forum held in Brussels, Belgium on November 21, 22 and 23, 2016. The three-day conference gathered approximately 300 delegates from over 60 countries including 52% from outside the E.U. . Business leaders and experts discussed and shared insights on the future of the employee benefits industry. The agenda included inspirational keynote speakers,

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