Last year, Pacific Prime, and the International Health Insurance industry at large, was witness to one of the biggest and most significant events of the decade: Aetna’s acquisition of Interglobal. First announced back at the end of 2013, the official acquisition was complete by April 2014. Being the biggest acquisition news of the year, let’s take a look at how the first six months of operations went and what you can expect in 2015 and beyond.
Overview of the parties involved
At the time of the acquisition, Aetna, a health care benefits company with roughly 44 million worldwide members, was the third largest health benefits company in the US. InterGlobal on the other hand, focused on International corporate groups, small to medium businesses, and expats, offering its popular UltraCare plans.
With the acquisition, Aetna has been able to further enhance their global health insurance package for individual, corporate, and family insurance sectors.
While certainly a large acquisition, it did not come as a surprise to many largely due to the fact that Aetna has made similar moves before, namely with its acquisition of Goodhealth over a decade ago.
Pacific Prime believes that this acquisition will further strengthen not only the products offered by Aetna, but also the network of health care providers available to holders of plans under both companies.
Operations in 2014
Mergers and acquisitions can often be a tough time for the parties involved. As such, 2014 saw no major changes made to the operations of both of the companies. It appears that, unlike other acquisitions, Aetna is taking a more careful and structured approach.
In the run-up to the end of the year, the two companies largely operated as separate entities, making no major alterations to services, products, or handling of claims. That being said, there were changes made to the overall management structure. In the latter half of 2014, InterGlobal’s senior managers began to take positions in the larger Aetna team. Beyond that, in November InterGlobal changed its name to Aetna Insurance Company Limited, a change which has been reflected taken up by all InterGlobal offices, and applied to all documentation.
What to expect in 2015
The ‘slow and steady’ approach taken in 2014 presents some clear expectations for the year ahead. Throughout 2015, InterGlobal’s assets and plans will be assimilated into the overall Aetna structure. For the time being however, InterGlobal plans will continue to carry the same brand name, while new plans currently in production by both companies will carry the Aetna brand.
Beyond plans, Aetna’s handling of the acquisition to date suggests that they plan to leverage InterGlobal’s expertise, client network, Gross Written Premium, and overall network to create what Pacific Prime believes to be positive changes, namely to brand recognition, the quality of plans offered, and the overall level of service provided to customers - especially those located in Asia.
On a more granular level, the merging of existing infrastructure, providers, IT systems, online tools, brokers, etc. will bring about more effective plan development, and the ability to better leverage successful plans from both companies in both new and existing markets, especially in Asia and Africa.
While this acquisition will undoubtedly result in some job losses, Pacific Prime is confident that Aetna will come out stronger because of it. As a Top Producer for both companies, Pacific Prime welcomes this acquisition and is eager to work with Aetna in 2015 and beyond.