Employer-provided health care benefits costs are expected to increase modestly around the globe in 2019, according to the 2019 Global Medical Trends Survey of medical insurers published in November 2018 by Willis Towers Watson (WTW). Insurers blame the high cost of medical technology and the overuse and overprescribing of services as major factors in escalating costs and caution that soaring pharmacy costs will become a significant factor over the

Aon has identified that many UK employees do not accurately record sickness absence. Published in November 2018, this insight was obtained by conducting group risk market reviews for employers. Group risk insurers require information on who is absent, the reason for their absence, duration, and more information such as prognosis. Aon, through its market review activity, has seen that some employers either do not record their employees’ absences or

We study how the flu virus spreads between people. While we strongly encourage everyone to get the flu vaccine, the findings from our study on the stability of flu viruses in the air can provide useful information for parents, teachers and health care officials to limit the spread of flu in the community.

Cross Border Benefits Alliance Europe was launched on 6 December 2017 in Brussels, and advocates and lobbies for easing cross border pensions and benefits across EU borders. They hold an annual plenary conference in Brussels each year and hold local seminars and meetings such as this one, in different cities in the European Union.

We are ten years on from the Financial Crisis and I’m sure many readers of this article will think of the television pictures of the Lehman Brothers‘ bankers clearing their desks into cardboard boxes and leaving their building on 14 September 2008. That was one of the immediate physical manifestations of the crisis that had started in 2007 and whose root cause were the losses in the US sub-prime crisis (see “The Big Short” movie for a full explanation of it). But what exactly is the legacy of the Financial Crisis? It is tempting to answer, like others have done to past revolutions, that it’s too early to tell…

The mandatory pension plan in Mexico is, as of today, a Defined Contribution (DC) type. This plan was formally introduced in 1997; before this, the mandatory pension plan was a Defined Benefit (DB) type on a PAY-AS-YOU-GO basis. Workers who entered this mandatory pension plan after July 1, 1997 had to join the new plan. On the other hand, workers who were already in the labour market before that date could choose between either of the plans to retire.

For over a century, we have relied on a simplistic measure to determine if someone is a “healthy” weight or not. This is the body mass index (BMI) – the ratio of a person’s weight to the square of their height. The limits of this ratio are clearly demonstrated by professional rugby players; most of whom would be classified as “overweight”, despite having less than 10% body fat.

In the early 20th century, the leading cause of death was infectious disease. Epidemics erupted with little warning, seemingly out of the blue. When the “Great Influenza” struck in 1918, it killed thousands of people a week in American cities and spread like wildfire around the globe. My great aunt, still a teenager, and living in the San Francisco area, was one of its estimated 50 to 100 million victims worldwide.

During my second year of graduate school, I moved in with my sister’s family to save money. “You must get the flu shot if you are going to live here,” my sister declared. Both of my nieces were under the age of 5, putting them at a high risk of flu complications; therefore, it was critical that I do my part in, first, getting vaccinated to minimize my risk of getting the flu, and second, not passing the flu to a vulnerable population. A key part of this was, and still is, washing my hands regularly.

If you do nothing else the next few days, get a flu shot. The best time to get a flu shot is by the end of October, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises. Considering the severity of last year’s flu, it is especially important for everyone over age six months to be vaccinated. This includes pregnant women.

In the November 2018 issue The Financial Crisis – A Decade Later – Lessons Learned? – Peter Devlin Unraveling Public Pensions in Mexico, The Example of Universities – Denise Gomez CBBA Academic Conference, Paris – A Report Stop Measuring Obesity with a Ruler – Tim Spector The Best Foods for a Good Night’s Sleep – Sophie Medlin Flu Lasts for More Than an Hour in Air and on Surfaces – Seema Lakdawala, Linsey Marr Get A Flu Shot Now – Patricia Schnabel Ruppert Influenza’s Wild Origins in Animals – Jonathan Runstadler Why Washing Your Hands Well Is So Important to Protect from The Flu – Michelle Sconce Massaquoi

In the November 2018 issue The Financial Crisis – A Decade Later – Lessons Learned? Peter Devlin Unraveling Public Pensions in Mexico – The Example of Universities Denise Gomez CBBA Academic Conference, Paris – A Report Stop Measuring Obesity with a Ruler Tim Spector The Best Foods for a Good Night’s Sleep Sophie Medlin Flu Lasts for More Than an Hour in Air and on Surfaces Seema Lakdawala, Linsey

The 2018 edition of the annual event of the Cross Border Benefits Alliance-Europe (CBBA-Europe) will deal with both pensions (November 27) and healthcare (November 28 in the morning) at cross-border and pan-European level. High-level speakers including representatives of the European Parliament, European Commission, multinational companies, social partners, pension funds, insurance companies, national and international trade associations and academic experts will discuss these topics, against a backdrop of the most

AIG in November 2018 appointed Peter Bilsby to the newly created position of global head of specialty, reporting to Christopher Townsend, chief executive officer of AIG General Insurance. Bilsby will have responsibility for the global energy, marine, aviation and credit insurance lines businesses – which includes trade credit. Previously, Bilsby was CEO of Talbot Group, acquired by AIG in July 2018 as part of Validus. Before serving as CEO,

Pension assets continued to rise in 2017, to the tune of USD 43.4 trillion in the OECD area for the first time, with almost all countries showing positive investment results according to the new Pension Markets in Focus 2018 report published in October 2018 by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). This annual report, which now covers 87 countries, gives an overview of private pension systems worldwide

OECD, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, in November 2018 issued a new report, The Institutional Structure of Insurance Regulation and Supervision, which presents the results of a stocktaking of the institutional structure of insurance regulation and supervision practices in 50 OECD and non-OECD countries. The report is based on responses to a questionnaire circulated to OECD and non-OECD countries, with cooperation from the International Association of Insurance

Generali Global Health (GGH) in November 2018 announced the appointment of John Kaye as Head of Business Development, EMEA. He reports to Chief Commercial Officer Stuart Leatherby and is located in London. Prior to joining GGH, Kaye worked at Cigna International for 16 years, with roles in Client Services and Business Development in the Middle East and Asia, before becoming Managing Director for Europe. Previously, he was Client Manager

A survey conducted by Swiss Life in Switzerland, France, Germany, Austria, and the United Kingdom and published in November 2018 found that only 46% of respondents feel confident about their current financial situation. The differences in the individual countries are huge: 65% of Swiss respondents said they feel comfortable with their finances and only 27% feel financially stressed. By contrast, financial confidence in Austria (48%), Germany (44%) and the

Generali Global Health (GGH) in November 2018 appointed Ran Wang as Head of Market Development for the Asia-Pacific Region, based in Singapore and reporting to Chief Commercial Officer Stuart Leatherby. GGH is Generali’s specialist division for international private health insurance (iPMI). Both GGH and Generali have a strong focus on the Asia-Pacific region. Ran joins GGH from Aetna International, where he held the position of Regional Head of Strategy and

Generali in September 2018 changed its organizational structure. Group CEO Philippe Donnet adapted Generali’s organization to carry out the new Strategic Plan 2019-2021 and better support “integrated projects at Group level and a strong involvement of the operating companies within the Group.” A new position of General Manager reports to the Group CEO. Frédéric de Courtois is in charge of the Group CFO; Group Chief Marketing & Customer Officer;

Lloyd’s in October 2018 confirmed it will be able to write facultative and excess of loss treaty reinsurance on Lloyd’s Brussels paper from January 1, 2019 across all markets in the European Economic Area (EEA). Should the UK not secure Solvency II reinsurance equivalence in 2019, Lloyd’s will be ready to process proportional treaty reinsurance business through Lloyd’s Brussels from January 1, 2020. In any event, the market said

Generali in October 2018 launched a new Cyber Insurance division as well as a start-up, CyberSecurTech, to address cyber risks. The new division combines cyber insurance products with Generali CyberSecurTech, led by CEO Remo Marini, and which will deploy cyber risk assessment methodologies for customers. Generali recently launched the in-house designed and developed Majorana technology platform. It collects and analyses customer data, starting from an assessment of the customer’s

AIG in October 2018 received approval from British courts for its European subsidiary, AIG Europe Limited (AEL) to transfer its business into two new entities: American International Group UK Limited (AIG UK), based in London, UK, and AIG Europe SA (AESA) in preparation for Brexit. AESA’s headquarters are in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg, and has 21 branches across the European Economic Area and Switzerland. It is led by Christophe Nicolas

In need of great employees to take your company to the next level? Look no further than Global Benefits Vision. GBV is proud to introduce GBV Open Jobs, where employers and recruiting firms can advertise open positions on the home page of the only independent, knowledge-oriented global employee benefits and global mobility website. Listings on Open Jobs can include links, embedded images, videos, and PDF files to help make

Aon in October 2018 announced it had established a “New Ventures” group and appointed its senior leaders. The stated goal is “to further accelerate the creation of new sources of value for [our] clients”. Aon in 2018 already created the “Aon Operating Committee”; appointed two new co-presidents – Michael O’Connor and Eric Andersen; and transitioned to a single Aon brand. The “New Ventures” initiative is a component of the

Global brokerage Arthur J. Gallagher (Gallagher) in October 2018 acquired global employee benefits and global mobility firm Richter International Consulting, based in Issaquah, Washington – U.S.A, near Seattle. Richter International designs international benefits programs for multinational companies and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and their employees. Offerings include: expatriate health plans, international employee assistance plans (EAP), international medical and security assistance programs, traveler medical insurance, business travel accident insurance, disaster preparedness

IPMI provider Generali Global Health (GGH) in October 2018 enhanced its Global Choice iPMI product by adding the My Digital Doctor app. Using a smart phone or tablet, beneficiaries now can schedule video and phone consultations with a global, multilingual team of doctors 24 hours a day. Through the new app, GGH members are able to discuss all aspects of primary care; manage ongoing conditions with a doctor and