Pacific Prime Predicts Little Value for Clients After Cigna Re-branding Van Breda

Pacific Prime will now be selling the former Van Breda Global Expat plan under the Cigna brand after a recent acquisition.

Nov 14, 2012, 09:02 ET from Pacific Prime

HONG KONG, Nov. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Pacific Prime will now be selling the former Van Breda Global Expat plan under the Cigna brand after a recent acquisition. However, in 2013 Pacific Prime clients will also see large annual premium increases across the plan and although unrelated to the re-branding, policyholders are likely to associate the hike in premiums with the Cigna acquisition and brand.

Numerous international medical insurers have recently published their annual increases for 2013 and many have come in well below the 5 year trend. Pacific Prime clients paired with a Cigna Global Expat plus plan however, will witness a 29 percent renewal increase and certain markets such as China, Singapore, and Hong Kong could see increases as high as 50 percent as Pacific Prime understands. Analysts put this increase down to market pricing adjustment but the untimely introduction of Cigna's own economic model to run the Expat plus plan will likely raise doubts among Pacific Prime clients.

Pacific Prime clients may not fully understand the reasons behind such dramatic increases in cost and this will create management challenges. Neil Raymond, CEO of Pacific Prime expressed his concerns: "The dramatic change in premiums is going to be very disappointing for our clients who will likely put this huge increase down to the Cigna acquisition and consequent re-branding. We normally prefer insurers to adjust medical premiums in a more balanced way rather than in such a dramatic jump."

In addition to a hefty premium increase, Cigna has also recently launched its own new global type health plan – Global Health Options. Running somewhat in competition with the former Van Breda Expat plus plan, Pacific Prime analysts are concerned that client perceptions behind premium increases will spill over to impact Cigna as a whole and consequently, the Global Health Options plan may not perform as expected.

Cigna has the capability to be a leader in this competitive market and it is understood by Pacific Prime that there are lots of positive developments in the pipeline for its clients; however management of the premium adjustment on the Expat Plus plan in 2013 is going to be a challenge.



SOURCE Pacific Prime