Aetna International is set to take over Aviva UK’s IPMI division
Leading global health care benefits provider, Aetna International has entered an agreement to acquire Aviva UK’s International Private Medical Insurance (IPMI) operations. From May 2018, Aviva UK will no longer provide IPMI cover for new customers or for existing customers wishing to renew their policies.
Serving over 700,000 million members worldwide, Aetna International offers a multitude of services, delivering comprehensive health care benefits, alongside customised technological and health management solutions, covering health care systems, government entities and large employers.
Under the agreement, existing Aviva IPMI customers will be offered continuation terms at policy renewal with Aetna International. Existing Aviva customers who renew their policy will then become Aetna customers and will no longer have a relationship with Aviva.
- Contractors picked for £400mn Public Health England HQ
- Syapse partners with Roche to further its precision medicine operations
- Biopharma company Celgene is set to acquire Impact Biomedicines
David Healy, CEO EMEA at Aetna International said: “We are delighted to have reached this agreement with Aviva.
We are committed to delivering Aviva’s IPMI customers continuation of cover with Aetna that provides comparable benefits and an excellent level of service. This is very much in line with our business strategy to deliver comprehensive health care benefits worldwide.
Our scale, expertise, customer service infrastructure and technological focus in IPMI allow us to make a significant contribution to improving people’s health and the quality of care they receive.”
Advances in health "must ensure self-sovereign identity"
The UK government has announced that from September onwards COVID-19 vaccine passports will be necessary to gain entry into places with large crowds, such as nightclubs.
This has reignited the debate between those who believe having proof of vaccinations will enable people to gather in public places and travel safely, and those who view the digital certificates as an attack on personal freedom.
The arguments have increased in intensity since the recent announcement to drop COVID-19 restrictions in England, in a move to reopen the economy that has attracted fierce criticism both domestically and overseas.
Cross-party ministers are set to defy the government’s latest plans to introduce vaccine passports over civil liberties concerns. A number of MPs have already signed the Big Brother Watch declaration against “Covid status certification to deny individuals access to general services, businesses or jobs” in recent months.
However Mark Shaw, CEO of Tento Applied Sciences, says the Big Brother Watch campaign is based on false assumptions. “Big Brother Watch puts forward a compelling argument based around civil liberties, but some of the assumptions they make are simply incorrect” he says.
“For example, the BBW campaign claims that all Covid passes are discriminatory, counterproductive and would lead to British citizens having to share personal health information with anyone in authority, from bouncers to bosses. However, there are already privacy-first digital wallets that give individuals the freedom to store and share anonymised medical documents, work credentials and other types of documentation quickly, simply, and securely.
“I wholeheartedly agree that individuals should not be required to share their own personal health information with unknown third parties or with anyone in authority who demands it" Shaw adds. "But I strongly disagree with the suggestion that ‘events and businesses are either safe to open for everyone, or no one’. It creates a false dichotomy that either everyone is safe, or nobody is safe. If employers or event organisers don’t take action to properly manage workplace or venue safety, then they risk curtailing the safety and freedom of movement for the majority."
The subject of personal health data is under scrutiny in the UK at the moment, following controversial plans for the NHS to share patient data with third parties. These have been put on hold following public criticism.
Meanwhile a new report has found that the majority of the British public is willing to embrace digital healthcare tools such as apps and digital therapies prescribed by a trusted healthcare professional.
Shaw adds: “The vital point to make is this: innovations in health technology must ensure self-sovereign identity. This means the data held about an individual is owned by the individual and stored on their device. And, in the case of medical data, that data can be delivered from healthcare professionals to the device in an encrypted format, and the user chooses how they share their information."