CIGNA Extends International Health Care Service Links

September 8, 2006

CIGNA International has extended its expatriate benefit service through the expansion of its “CIGNALinks(R)” chain to Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Spain and five countries in the Middle East – the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, and Kuwait.

“CIGNALinks is the latest development in our long-standing tradition of creating and maintaining close relations with the best health care providers around the globe,” noted Virginia Hollis, VP-Network and Alliance Management and head of the CIGNALinks program for CIGNA International Expatriate Benefits (CIEB).

“The CIGNALinks program simplifies the administration of health care payment and claims for expatriates and their families, addresses local compliance issues in those countries where government regulations may affect benefit offerings and access to care, and, through negotiated rates with providers, has the potential to save money for employers and their expatriate employees,” the bulletin explained.

“Under CIGNALinks, if a covered member goes to a network provider within the CIGNALinks program, usually he or she simply presents an identification card, pays any applicable coinsurance, and receives treatment,” it continued. “Questions from members and providers can be answered by the CIGNALinks local call center or by CIGNA International’s Customer Service Center available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

CIEB first introduced the service in Australia in June 2004. It was then expanded to the U.K., and will cover Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia in the future.

“CIGNALinks is just one of the tools that CIEB is using to ensure members receive the most appropriate care in the most appropriate setting,” Hollis continued. “Whatever health condition an expatriate may have, and wherever he or she is stationed, we coordinate quality care in the country or arrange to transfer the expatriate to the country where the best care is available.”

The bulletin notes that there are nearly 240,000 expatriate members and families covered by CIEB in 170 countries around the world. It offers life, accident and employee benefits – including health care insurance – in selected markets around the world, and is the “world’s largest provider of employer-sponsored insurance plans for expatriate employees and their insured family members.”

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