Global News Alerts
For Our Customers: Medical Evacuation Concerns Surrounding the Coronavirus Pandemic
Considering the developing situation with the current outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), expatriates around the world may be concerned about medical evacuation protocol. If emergency medical treatment is not available locally and you’ve elected to include International Medical Evacuation coverage in your insurance policy through Clements Worldwide, reasonable transportation costs to the nearest center of medical excellence may be covered. Per the terms of our Cigna health care plans, medically necessary claims related to infectious diseases and medical conditions are covered. Learn more here and always refer to the terms in your plan for coverage specifics.
In addition, if you’ve elected to include International Medical Evacuation insurance, then you’ll have coverage for reasonable transportation costs to the nearest center of medical excellence if the treatment is not available locally in an emergency. However, please keep in mind that travel restrictions have been put into place in many countries.
To learn more, please refer to the terms in your plan for additional coverage information.
Details on the 2020 Coronavirus Outbreak
An outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a new strain of coronavirus has been detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. Thousands of cases of this viral pneumonia have been reported in China, with the virus spreading from person-to-person throughout the country and in a growing number of international locations, including the United States.
To stay up-to-date on the latest news regarding the recent coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, read the special report by UnitedHealthcare Global. You can also view a current map of COVID-19 cases throughout the world, provided by Johns Hopkins’ Center for Systems Science and Engineering.
For Travelers and Expatriates
All transportation into and out of Wuhan has been suspended. Other cities within Hubei Province are subject to less transportation restrictions but may still cause significant delays for travelers attempting to leave. Major cities like Beijing have not imposed serious transportation restrictions but that situation could change with short notice as the number of infected people continues to rise.
Any medical evacuation from China could be delayed due to patients being required to test negative for 2019-nCov (the new coronavirus strain) prior to departure from the country. Travelers and expatriates are advised to factor in the potential lack of health care resources for any other health care concerns since several Chinese cities are struggling to keep up with the demand for health care, including a shortage of supplies, equipment, and staffing.
Travelers on outbound flights from China are subject to additional inspection in the form of health screenings and temperature checks. Suspected cases may be quarantined. Some countries have banned direct travel from China and require travelers to spend at least 14 days in a country free of the virus before entry is granted. Countries that neighbor China are taking precautions to prevent further spread of the virus. Mongolia, Russia, and Singapore are closing their land border entries with China and cross-border rail and ferry services are being greatly reduced or completely halted.
Stay up to date on travel restrictions to and from China by visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The illness may vary in severity (mild, moderate, severe). Other details about the virus include:
- Symptoms may involve fever, cough, shortness of breath
- Symptoms may appear in as few as 2 days or as much as 14 days after exposure
- Human-to-human transmission has been confirmed
- Recent travelers from China, namely the Wuhan area, should seek medical attention if they are experiencing fever or respiratory symptoms
These items may seem like common sense but to reduce the risk of infection, keep the following in mind:
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to clean hands often
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Stay home while you are sick
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands
- Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces
- Sleep at least 3 feet away from anyone with a respiratory infection
- Face masks may prevent you from touching your mouth or nose but do not necessarily prevent infection
- When visiting markets in areas currently experiencing cases of the coronavirus, avoid direct contact with live animals or the surfaces in contact with animals
- Consumption of raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided
- Handle raw meat, milk or animal organs with care
- There are currently no vaccines available
For More Information
To ensure you have the right health care coverage while you’re abroad, learn more about Clements Worldwide’s international health insurance.
What is Brexit?
British Exit = Brexit
On June 23, 2016, the United Kingdom (UK) voted to leave the European Union (EU). The result consisted of 17.4 million people (51.9% of the total) voting to leave the EU and 16.1 million people (48.1% of the total) voting to remain.
The UK government invoked Article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union in March 2017, triggering a two-year process of negotiations. The UK was originally scheduled to leave the EU on March 29, 2019 but that date was pushed back. January 31, 2020 now marks the official date that the UK left the EU.
What happens now?
Following the official departure from the EU, there will be a transition period until the end of 2020 while the UK and EU negotiate additional arrangements. All current rules governing trade, travel, and business will remain in effect during the transition period.
The Withdrawal Agreement involves a complex set of negotiations and has many uncertainties. However, it provides more time to plan and mitigates the risks associated with the discontinuation of passporting, which enables firms that are authorized in any EU or European Economic Area (EEA) state to trade freely in any other with minimal additional authorization.
How does this affect the insurance industry in the UK?
Currently, it is business as usual. During the transition period, Clements Worldwide will continue working the same as before the UK left the EU.
EU insurers and brokers can still enter into and service insurance contracts for customers in the UK (and vice versa) through local branches and passporting across borders.
What has Clements Worldwide done to prepare?
Clements Worldwide has opened Clements Belgium SPRL, a new office location in Brussels, Belgium. A branch of Clements Belgium SPRL has also been set up in our London location. This enables Clements Worldwide to continue operating in the EEA from the UK office.
For More Information
If you have further questions about the impacts of Brexit on your insurance coverage, please contact us for more details.