As consumers and providers increasing engage in medical tourism and global telehealth initiatives, many wade through the waters of insurance. Does it have to be cash only? What insurance is available throughout the world? Consumers may also choose to purchase international health insurance when travelling abroad. While there are numerous options out there, here is a list (in decreasing order of size) of some of the largest insurers around the globe.
Zurich Insurance Group, based in Switzerland, is the largest global insurer. Founded 144 years ago, they have a presence in 170 countries.
Express Scripts, based in the United States, is essentially a complex PBM (pharmacy benefit management company), providing a host of related services for health plans, employers, and government agencies.
United Healthcare, based in the United States, is the largest health insurer in the U.S. covering more than 70 million individuals. Over the past couple of years, the company has merged with Amil Participações S.A., which was one of Brazil’s largest health insurance companies.
Aviva, based in the United Kingdom, services over 33 million customers in 16 countries, including Europe, Canada, and Asia. They are the second-largest insurer in Canada and one of the top foreign insurers in China.
Axa, based in France, is a well-known global brand. Regarding the company’s health insurance arm, the largest footprint is in the United Kingdom where they operate the brand AXA PPP Healthcare with a headquarters in Kent, England.
Blue Cross Blue Shield, based in the United States, is actually a federation of 36 different health insurance companies. All combined, they service over 100 million Americans.
Aetna, based in the United States, services over 35 million Americans and recently has announced its plans to acquire insurer Humana (see below).
AIA, based in Hong Kong, has a presence in 18 markets in Asia-Pacific and proudly proclaims that the company is “100% Focused on Asia-Pacific”.
Allianz, based in Germany, has over 85 million customers in 70 countries.
Humana, based in the United States, services over 13 million consumers. As mentioned above, Aetna is currently in the process of acquiring Humana, pending approval by the U.S. government.
Regardless of where these insurers are based, we see that many have expansive international operations. Their plans vary throughout the world as they take into consideration different lifestyles and needs of consumers. These are just a few of the companies you may want to review when considering building out your medical tourism program and/or your global telehealth initiatives.