Can Americans Buy Health Insurance Offshore?

October 21st, 2014


Yes, but you can’t reside in the United States although you can elect to take treatment there. Here is an excerpt from an offshore health insurance policy marketing piece:


To ensure that you only pay for the cover you really need, you can choose whether or not you want to include the USA in your Lifeline insurance cover.

Please Note: Due to the extremely high cost of healthcare treatments in North America, coverage which includes the USA is generally an average of three times the cost of cover for other parts of the world. Therefore, unless you will be spending significant amounts of time in the United States, we recommend that you DO NOT select this option.

Some Americans want to self-insure their health risk up to a point. But under current law, Americans can’t purchase a plan with deductibles higher than $6,600. Gone are the days with Americans could purchase $10,000 deductible plans from carriers like Blue Cross. It is now illegal for an American health insurance company to sell you a deductible of $10,0000, $25,000 or more.

Buying health insurance offshore allows a full array of choices in plan design, at costs significantly lower than one would expect.

A LLoyds syndicate, for example,  could underwrite a health policy to be sold to Americans with coverage extended to the USA . However the purchase would necessarily have to be made offshore. To our knowledge no one has come up with such a product yet. The first one that does will do well.

Editor’s Note: Imagine coming back from a trip abroad, going through customs and having to answer the common question we all get asked: “Do you have anything of value to declare?”………..”Why yes, a high deductible health insurance plan from an English insurance company, reinsured through a consortium of carriers from India, China, Singapore, Austrailia and Peru,  which I purchased from while I was in Costa Rica deep sea fishing.”

Ebola Insurance

October 20th, 2014


Oct 17 (Reuters) – Two privately owned insurance brokers have teamed up with Lloyd’s of London underwriter Ark Syndicate to sell hospitals a product that insures against any loss of profit from Ebola quarantine shutdowns.

British broker Miller Insurance Services LLP said the product it created with U.S. broker William Gallagher Associates would also protect hospitals against any potential losses to revenue in the aftermath of a quarantine. (

The policies, which Ark began underwriting on Friday, are the first of their kind.

There has been “considerable interest” in the product throughout the United States, Mark Sleet, Professional Risks broker at Miller, told Reuters.

The news comes as U.S. health officials said they were monitoring 16 people in Ohio, including one in quarantine, who had close contact with Ebola-infected Texas nurse Amber Joy Vinson.

Aon Plc said it had created an Ebola task force to monitor the outbreak and help its clients prepare for potential risk exposures, duty of care and human capital concerns.

“The healthcare industry is at the forefront on the Ebola situation and faces a unique and augmented set of risk exposures,” said Gigi Norris, managing director of Aon Risk Solutions’ healthcare practice.

The death toll in the epidemic has risen to 4,546 out of 9,191 known cases in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, including 239 health workers, according to the World Health Organization. (Additional reporting by Carolyn Cohn in London; Editing by Simon Jennings

Why Health Insurance Companies Are Doomed

October 20th, 2014


“If something cannot go on forever, it will stop” – Herbert Stein

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Custom Design Benefits Presents TrueCost Referenced-based Pricing at Conference

October 19th, 2014


Julie Mueller, Disruptive Health Care Revolutionary

TrueCost offers employers a simple payment structure in which health provider reimbursements are based on fixed Medicare pricing plus a set percentage. “Using a reference based pricing model is consistent, rational and transparent,” said Julie Mueller, president of Custom Design Benefits. 

“TrueCost has caught on with many local healthcare providers that have embraced its simplified and efficient reimbursement system.”

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Government Preparing To End Loophole

October 17th, 2014

loop12Insurance consultants were shocked recently to learn that Obama administration rules allow large companies to offer 2015 worker health plans that don’t include hospital benefits. Now the administration is concerned too.

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Consultant Advises 2,000 Life Case To Remain Fully-Insured

October 17th, 2014

mulebriar   By Molly Mulebriar October 17, 2014

Last night a +2,000 life South Texas school district was advised by their insurance consultant to remain fully-insured.

The consultant informed the Board of Trustees that over a 6 or 7 year period there would only be a 4% savings under a self-funded arrangement. The consultant informed the board that he has clients with three to four thousand employee lives and “they are, and should be fully-insured.”

A survey  of the district’s employees was conducted to determine if plan participants wanted to remain fully-insured or participate in a  self-funded health plan.

During the presentation a  board member opined that a self funded employee health plan  could jeopardize district bond issues “because losses come out of reserves.”

The district is in the midst of a Request for Proposal for Group Medical Insurance for district employees.

Editor’s Note: Mulebriar is a free lance reporterette from Waring, Texas and former Miss Texas.  (




From A Consultant

Who is the consultant? Who is the district? Are you hiding their identity to protect them from public embarrassment?

From An Insurance Agent

Makes perfect sense to me. What better way to hid agent commissions

From A TPA

It is obvious there was a hidden agenda here. The consultant was simply “going along to get along.”

From A Former TPA Owner

There is a software app that tells what a broker makes on a case.  It is available by State, Region, and Nationwide.  It’s called miEdge.  I have used it and it appears to be pretty accurate.

Cost Plus / Reference Based Pricing Gains 10% Market Share

October 16th, 2014

Managed Care Contracts & Trend Factors

October 14th, 2014


From an actuary:  “Medical cost trends include components for many drivers.  Net unit price increases from providers drives half of the effect in general.  So a 5% increase in a schedule will drive a 10% overall cost increase.  The rest of the components include: increased utilization, coding creep, deductible leveraging, etc…”

Editor’s Note: Is this confirmation from an experienced actuary/underwriter that escalator clauses common to all Managed Care Contracts are the driving force behind trend factors?

Coverage For Lawsuit Doughnut Hole

October 14th, 2014



New Hepatitis C Drug Costs $94,500

October 13th, 2014

'The upside of this drug is you'll live longer. The downside is that you'll live in poverty.'

(Bloomberg) — Gilead Sciences Inc. won U.S. approval for the first all-oral hepatitis C treatment for the majority of people infected with the virus.

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