David Healy on health insurance | Aetna International | Video

European CEO interviews David Healy, General Manager of Aetna International, on its private medical insurance services for international businesses


Founded in Hartford, Connecticut, Aetna is one of the leading providers of healthcare and employee benefits in the US. General Manager David Healy talks about the ways Aetna works to make its international private medical insurance offering unique, implementing new technology to improve customer service, and the future for Aetna.

European CEO: Tell us about the purpose of your private medical insurance, and why people need it?

David Healy: International private medical insurance is an important and growing need. We operate in a very global, international marketplace. A lot of companies such as financial services, mining, engineering, student bodies, missionary groups, diplomatic people – they all travel and live on a cross-border basis, and therefore they have a very specific need for health insurance. They need to have access to high quality medical care wherever they are in the world, and they also have to have that at affordable prices. Some of them will also need very specific repatriation and evacuation requirements.

So, it’s important for employers and plan sponsors to have one single contract with a controllable cost base, that they can provide for their members wherever they may be on a global basis. And our products address that need.

Our products are complex by nature, and therefore we’ve got a razor-sharp focus on making sure that they do the right thing for and by our members

European CEO: So in the context of the competition, what’s different about Aetna International?

David Healy: What I would say differentiates Aetna International is our size and our scale, and our truly global nature. We have regional presence in the Americas, in Europe, in Asia, in the Middle East. We’ve got offices in places such as London, Dubai, Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong – you know, we are where our members need us.

We’ve got more than 500,000 members that we insure on a global basis. We’ve got arrangements with medical facilities, where we have contractual arrangements, where we’ve negotiated specific discounts and direct settlement facilities. So we have a real global presence.

Also I think where we differentiate is our desire to really empower our members to lead healthier lives. And in doing that across more than 200 countries that we operate in, we have a real focus on legality, and of course compliance. Our products are complex by nature, and therefore we’ve got a razor-sharp focus on making sure that they are compliant, and that they do the right thing for and by our members. And I think that differentiates us.

European CEO: Tell us about Aetna Inc and how they support the Aetna International business.

David Healy: So, Aetna is one of the largest health insurance companies in the US. They’ve been around for more than 160 years. So, there’s a phenomenal amount of knowledge, of expertise, of history, of delivering excellence to customers. So, that’s something that we learn from, that we leverage off, and have access to.

Aetna is leading the debate on affordable healthcare in the US, and employ 40,000 people globally, so it gives us that knowledge, that expertise, but also the financial strength and the support that we need to grow a real, truly global franchise.

Aetna is leading the debate on affordable healthcare in the US

European CEO: Technology has been a driving force in your sector, tell us how you’re using technology to benefit your clients.

David Healy: So obviously technology is very important. We’ve put a lot of work in developing our websites, our provider portals, our member portals. So the member experience is as straight-forward, as easy, as user-friendly as it can be.

We’ve got advisory tools and translation tools on our sites, so that makes the member experience a whole lot more smooth and transition-free, I think.

Also on the mobile technology, we’ve developed a lot of capability around our mobile applications, so people no matter where they are in the world, can have access to the nearest hospital, where we have direct settlement capability, and therefore they won’t have to have out-of-pocket expenses.

So, the mobile technology is evolving on iPhones etc, and we’re leading the development of that for our market.

European CEO: And finally, what are your key operational priorities at the moment, and the strategic vision going forward?

David Healy: I would say strategically our key priority is our customer journey. You know, our customers need us most at very crucial times in their lives when they have health issues or health needs, and that’s when we need to be there for them. So the whole customer journey, the whole customer experience, is absolutely crucial.

Our strategy is to make sure that we are absolutely market-leading in everything that we do with our customer, and that we put the customer at the heart of the whole member experience.

European CEO: David, thank you.

David Healy: Thank you, Nick.