Aetna (NYSE: AET) a leading global diversified health care benefits company, has been named "Health Insurer of the Year" for 2013 by MENA Insurance Review (MIR), a leading magazine covering the insurance sector in the Middle East and North Africa.
In recognizing Aetna, MIR pointed to the company's rapid growth in the Gulf region and its focus on helping its members lead healthier lives.
"We are very excited to receive the MIR Health Insurer of the Year award and be recognized for our growth and care management programs. Our goal is to give people in the region easy access to affordable, high-quality medical care and provide prevention and wellness programs that can empower people to live healthier lives," said Stuart Leatherby, Aetna International's general manager, Middle East and Africa.
"As one of the largest providers of health care benefits in the U.S., we believe we can have a significant impact applying our extensive knowledge to health care in the Middle East," he said.
Aetna, which has had offices in Dubai for more than 10 years, provides global health care cover and health care management services in most of the GCC countries. Its benefit plans are available for groups and individuals.
In 2012, the company expanded the geographical scope of its product offerings through insurer alliances in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Jordan, complementing its existing licensed products and services offered through insurer alliances in the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco. Last year, Aetna increased its medical portfolio in the UAE by 35 percent.
"We are quite impressed with Aetna's comprehensive programs to improve the health of the population in the Gulf," said Ronan McCaughey, editor of MENA Insurance Review. "We like the way Aetna supports wellness and prevention programs, such as breast cancer screenings, flu shots and check-ups, and encourages its members to have a primary care doctor. This award also recognises the quality of Aetna's care management programs, where, for example, Aetna nurses call patients after a hospital discharge to make sure they understand their treatment and medications."
Aetna has been a pioneer in using mobile technology to help its customers manage their health. The company offers a mobile app that allows its members to locate nearby health care providers in its Middle East network. Aetna also has apps that can help its customers understand their symptoms, monitor their exercise and eating habits, and track their claims. Its website offers region-specific information in six languages, including Arabic.
Aetna offers access to more than 70,000 hospitals, doctors and clinics in its non-U.S. global network, including a direct billing arrangement through an insurer alliance with the SEHA government hospitals in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. In the United States, more than a million health care providers are part of Aetna's network. In Dubai in 2012, Aetna also established a multi-lingual call centre offering French and Arabic to serve a selection of clients from the Middle East region.