Swiss Re's commercial insurance launches medical travel insurance offering

22 July 2008, Overland Park

Swiss Re's Commercial Insurance announced today they now recognize medical travel coverage as part of their existing stop loss offering. Employer stop loss is available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, through Westport Insurance Corp., a member of the Swiss Re Group, which underwrites the company's stop loss products.

"By recognizing medical travel coverage offered by our self-funded stop-loss employer client base, we facilitate the availability of top-quality health care at more affordable levels than is possible in the U.S.," said Matt Leming, Vice President and Sales Leader within Swiss Re's Commercial Insurance division.

A dramatically growing number of uninsured and underinsured U.S. patients are traveling to countries with high-quality hospitals and staffs that offer services at costs often significantly lower than those available in the U.S. Heart by-pass surgeries by highly trained surgeons in India may cost only $10,000 as opposed to $130,000 in the U.S (TIME, "Outsourcing your heart", May 21, 2006). Similarly, high quality hip replacements, and other major medical procedures can also cost far less in selected countries overseas than in the U.S.

Swiss Re has selected WorldMed Assist (www.worldmedassist.com) as the third-party medical logistics provider to manage its medical travel option.

"WorldMed Assist is honored to have been selected by Swiss Re to provide logistical assistance for clients utilizing their medical travel benefits. This is another opportunity to fulfill our mission of improving lives by helping patients receive high quality medical treatment at international facilities at affordable prices ," said WorldMed Assist CEO Wouter Hoeberechts. "This agreement is new to the US marketplace. Swiss Re will be the first carrier to recognize medical travel coverage on a national basis".

WorldMed Assist, as Swiss Re's medical logistics provider, will ensure that strict standards for the level of care offered by the medical staff, the hospital, clinic and any recuperative care facilities are followed. Selected medical facilities will have to meet the criteria of the Joint Commission International (JCI) and/or an equivalent accreditation.

Coverage will be coordinated with the employer's primary policy and with the patient's primary physician in the U.S. For more information about Employer Stop Loss or to be directed to a licensed agent, contact Swiss Re at 1-866-266-0902.

"This non-traditional alternative will create a win-win situation for both our self-funded policyholders and their employees. We believe this is one way to address rising healthcare expenditures in the marketplace ," says Leming. "When our program is fully utilized, it will enable our policyholders to cover their employees more completely and at less cost. It will also allow employers to offer another quality network and more choice to their employees".

Notes to editors

Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd

Swiss Re is a leading and highly diversified global reinsurer. The company operates through offices in more than 25 countries. Founded in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1863, Swiss Re offers financial services products that enable risk-taking essential to enterprise and progress. The company's traditional reinsurance products and related services for property and casualty, as well as the life and health business are complemented by insurance-based corporate finance solutions and supplementary services for comprehensive risk management. Swiss Re is rated "AA-" by Standard, Poor's, "Aa2" by Moody's and "A+" by A.M. Best.

Swiss Re's Commercial insurance

Swiss Re's Commercial Insurance protects insureds with specialized needs in niche markets in the U.S. and Canada. Products include property and casualty insurance, professional liability insurance, excess medical expense and risk management services. Swiss Re's Commercial Insurance has served the primary insurance community since 1908 and is committed to providing service, creative solutions and security for its clients.