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Bupa & Jelf International: at the forefront of innovation in healthcare

In the complex world of health and wellbeing, your business needs someone it can trust

Mo Farah winning Bupa 10k last year. The running event is just one of many Bupa has put on to raise awareness of world health issues
Mo Farah winning Bupa 10k last year. The running event is just one of many Bupa has put on to raise awareness of world health issues 

When it comes to health and wellbeing, not all insurers are the same. Bupa, one of the world’s leading healthcare organisations, has been at the forefront of healthcare for over 65 years now and its specialist knowledge and global experience help to set it apart from the competition.

Bupa… has been at the forefront of healthcare for over 65 years now

Bupa identified diabetes, cancer, heart disease and dementia as four of the biggest health threats to the world’s population and has challenged itself to reduce the risk of these conditions, by funding research and raising awareness at every opportunity.

A prime example of this is Bupa’s collaboration with the World Heart Federation. On World Heart Day 2013 the two organisations teamed up to launch the Ground Miles Challenge, promoting walking as a way of reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease (such as heart attacks and strokes) with a global target of walking five million miles in various initiatives.

A digital marketing campaign featuring Chad Strider, to support the Ground Miles App and help promote the health benefits of walking, reached over one million views on YouTube within two weeks of launch in November 2013. The app is now being used in over 110 countries and 1,820 cities worldwide. This and other initiatives, such as the Be Healthy, Be Mobile programme in partnership with the World Health Organisation and ITU, will support Bupa’s 2020 ambitions of helping millions of people manage their health, and making quality healthcare accessible and affordable.

Bupa and Jelf International

  • In 2013 Bupa’s online health content had over 1.3m visits, a 40 percent increase on 2012.
  • The Ground Miles Challenge is a global movement to walk 5m miles (8m km) to encourage heart-healthy walking, unlocking funds for rheumatic heart disease projects to prevent early heart-related deaths in children.
  • “As a client of Jelf for many years, I can truly endorse their professionalism and business acumen.” Joan Barke, HR and Operations Manager at Clayton, Dubilier & Rice.

Bupa’s partnership with Alzheimer’s Disease International is another success story. Since joining forces they have put together a joint Global Dementia Charter, which is helping countries to develop National Alzheimer plans and tackle this life-changing disease head-on.

What’s noticeable about Bupa’s approach to chronic diseases like diabetes and cancer is that it treats the person, not the condition. By offering the right emotional support along the way – online, offline and face-to-face – it helps customers come to terms with their illness. As a result, people are starting to realise that cancer can be a treatable condition, rather than a terminal diagnosis. With its focus on chronic disease management, Bupa provides people with the tools to help them make healthy diet, nutrition and exercise choices, and therefore reduce their risk of chronic disease.

As a global company Bupa focuses on all regions and, recognising the high prevalence of diabetes in the UAE for example, has recently launched a diabetes-screening programme for a major client in the region.

Moving with the times
Bupa’s proposition has evolved a great deal over the years. Besides being synonymous with private healthcare in the UK, it is now a global organisation with over 14.5 million customers in 190 different countries.

What’s noticeable about Bupa’s approach to chronic diseases like diabetes and cancer is that it treats the person, not the condition

Members have access to 24-hour medical helplines, multi-lingual staff and expert advice – on everything from fitness and nutrition, to insomnia, pregnancy and regional health risks. Before going for treatment, members can opt to discuss their diagnosis with an independent medical expert, and are offered a second medical opinion at no extra cost.

Bupa even has its own in-house assistance team (WMA) who make sure that evacuations and repatriations are dealt with quickly, efficiently and with the utmost professionalism. They are great in a crisis and have saved the lives of countless Bupa members – by arranging air ambulances, locating appropriate medical facilities and speaking directly to consultants to ensure no time is lost.

“Bupa’s WMA team of doctors, nurses and international coordinators manage all medical assistance on behalf of our customers,” said Bupa’s Medical Director. “They deal with everything from relatively mundane bone fractures to high-risk clinical evacuations and, sometimes, the associated security risks in certain countries.” The team were closely involved in organising Bupa’s response to the tragic hostage situation at the Westgate Mall in Kenya in September 2013.

Last year, WMA’s life-saving evacuations also included a car-crash victim in Somalia, which involved repatriation to the UK via air ambulance; a cancer scare in Botswana involving evacuation to South Africa for further investigations; and a complex pregnancy in Nigeria requiring an emergency air ambulance to save the life of the pregnant woman. They also helped secure the safety of many Bupa customers after Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines.

Together with Jelf International
Forming working relationships with the right people and organisations has always been one of Bupa’s greatest strengths. Healthcare practices vary throughout the world and collaborations with insurers, governments, hospitals and brokers have all helped to ensure that individuals and businesses continue to get the best healthcare products available.

Bupa’s latest partnership with Jelf International is a typical example of how two heads are better than one. It matches benefits and price to lifestyle and value, while providing Bupa reassurance – great news for international businesses and their employees.

Jelf International has been advising on international benefits for the past 15 years. Its dedicated team understands how managing the benefits of employees living and working abroad presents its own unique challenges.

Working with smaller companies that are looking to expand into emerging markets, as well as larger corporates, Jelf International has expertise in striking a balance between costs and the level of cover provided. They can also help provide that all-important peace of mind for employers covering duty of care for their employees.

Director of Jelf International, Doug Rice, says: “Post global recession, many organisations will be feeling more confident and looking to take advantage of overseas growth opportunities. We expect UK businesses to be more pioneering in their approach than before and look to develop their businesses further afield. With pressures to gain that first-mover advantage and establish themselves in new markets, it will be vital to be agile, responsive and competitive in terms of relocating existing staff and hiring employees in new territories.”

[P]eople are starting to realise that cancer can be a treatable condition, rather than a terminal diagnosis

Through Jelf International, companies can access a broad range of products and services, covering the physical, emotional and financial wellbeing of international employees and their families. Jelf International believes there will be a general broadening of international benefits packages as employers understand that their duty of care extends beyond the provision of international private medical insurance (IPMI) and incorporates health and wellbeing, as well as more specific aspects of employees’ finances, including the likes of protection, savings and asset protection.

So their recently extended product proposition spans from IPMI and business travel insurance, to include areas such as global wills and savings, plus more niche services such as protection for kidnap and ransom, which can be a great risk in certain regions. Jelf International is completely independent, but also works closely with the leading insurers including Bupa International to offer market-leading cover, giving clients the best of both worlds.

The Jelf International Umbrella Scheme is at the heart of its product offering. This International Private Medical Insurance policy, underwritten and provided by Bupa International, is designed to benefit low-risk clients through the pooling of risk.

According to Jelf International, the growing complexity of local legislation and licensing means that territory-specific independent advice will become more relevant to all employers. It’s for this reason that the company also provides international coverage, which it is continually looking to expand. This enables its team to provide a solution that meets companies’ specific needs, with support at a local level.

Jelf International also believes there’s a growing fraud risk (which some estimate equates to 15 percent of all claims spend), so insurers and employers will also be closely monitoring this from a cost-management perspective. An integral part of Jelf International’s corporate audit service includes monitoring these corporate risks and putting in place mitigating measures. This service is tailored to each individual client’s needs and includes elements such as membership audits, claims experience and a complete benefits review, to ensure companies are maximising value for money.

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