Managing health for an on-the-go workforce

Taking care of health and wellness can improve employee engagement, retention, and productivity, says David Healy


European CEO talks to David Healy, CEO of Aetna International, about the challenges CEOs are facing when supporting employee wellness around the globe, and the company’s efforts to make the experience easier through improved technology.

European CEO: The international private medical insurance industry has seen a dramatic uptick, as more jobs require an on-the-go workforce. One individual at the helm of dealing with this demand is David Healy. He joins me now.

European CEO: Can you tell me about some of the unique challenges that CEOs face in the marketplace?

David Healy: Sure, so we work with a lot of large global and complex organisations, and I think one of the big challenges for CEOs in those companies is just managing their workforce, and in particular managing the health and wellness of that workforce. And the more they do that the more it improves employee engagement, the more it improves retention, and of course productivity.

So in order to do that they need to work with a partner who can support them in that, and they need a partner who provides not just wellness and support, lifestyle support campaigns but also strong insurance and health insurance, and that’s something that we work a lot with our partners on.

European CEO: So you are representing the international arm of Aetna, can you tell me how does the international health insurance you provide differ from your competitors?

David Healy: So first of all Aetna is a huge organisation; we’re a 106 year old company, Fortune 50 US company supporting over 23 million members in the US. Also on the international stage we’ve got over 50 years experience, we support more than 600 000 members globally, we’ve got regional offices in Asia, South East Asia, in the Middle East, in Europe and in the Americas.

We are where our members need us to be, our provider network is vast; we’ve got over a million arrangements in place with providers in the US, over 120,000 on a global basis. So we have a very broad footprint, our core product offering both on the medical management side but also on the health insurance side.

We provide very portable flexible high benefit products that include things like repatriation and evacuation as standard, but more importantly to that we also provide support and assistance to our members as they go through any traumatic situations they may be in. We’ve got a highly qualified member assistance team and we’ve got excellent clinical support, so our conditions are there to support the members in any challenges that they face, with any of our products or propositions.

European CEO: So you must of course, rely heavily on technology to be able to connect with your customers globally, tell me about some of that technology.

David Healy: I mean technology is very important in our business and our industry and I think there are two sides to that.

The first is making the whole experience a lot easier for our members and for our plans sponsors, so we spend a lot of time developing our web capability and our mobile applications capability. We’ve got a set of capabilities that allow for online submissions of claims of course, and easy access to providers on a global stage.

But I think the other side of technology, which is equally important, is understanding the plethora of medical data that exists out there. And so the diagnostics and analytics that we do on that data help us to understand global health trends, and that understanding allows us to be very innovative in the products that we develop and take to market.

European CEO: Finally David, how are you scaling up your business in emerging markets?

David Healy: Across the globe we are looking to grow our businesses in the all of our regions. We have recently done an acquisition of a company called InterGlobal, which was a super company which had a great reputation for service delivery. Those acquisitions and our own organic growth is giving us a much broader footprint, to cover our membership globally, it’s giving us scale but also and very importantly it’s giving us a service proposition that we believe will be absolutely leading in the marketplace.