Sanitas App Wins Second Place in the Swiss Insurance Innovation Prize
Following the place on the podium in 2014 for the medicine check, Sanitas won another award in 2015.
“We’re delighted with this recognition of our work” says Sandro Weber from Digital Market Development at Sanitas. “Since the start of this project, our goal has been to offer customers practical added value. This award proves we’re on the right track and motivates us to continue to develop this app for our customers.” Launched at the end of 2014, the Sanitas app allows customers to manage their insurance affairs more conveniently – any time, any place.
Innovation award of the Swiss Insurance market
Each year late in autumn, the “Schweizer Versicherung” trade journal, the Swiss Insurance Brokers Association (SIBA), the Swiss Association of Insurance and Risk Managers (SIRM) and the management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company Accenture award the Swiss insurance innovation prize.
The five operational public limited companies that make up the Sanitas Group offer both mandatory basic (Sanitas, Wincare, Compact) and supplementary insurance solutions (Sanitas and Wincare). With around 825,000 customers and a premium volume of around CHF 2.5 billion, Sanitas is one of the biggest health insurers in Switzerland.
From left to right: Otto Bitterli, Sanitas CEO, Isabelle Vautravers, Head of Communications and Healthcare Policy, Sandro Weber, Project Manager Digital Market Development
New Tax Measures for Health Insurance Products in China
The China Insurance Regulatory Commission (“CIRC”) issued Circular 82 which introduced pilot administrative measures for health insurance products qualifying for preferential individual income tax (“IIT”) treatment (“IIT-preferential health insurance policies”).
CIRC issued Bao Jian Fa  No. 82 (“Circular 82”) introducing pilot administrative measures for health insurance products that will qualify for preferential IIT treatment as prescribed in the Notice on Individual Income Tax Treatment on Commercial Health Insurance (Cai Shui  No.56).
Why This Matters
The extension of preferential IIT treatment for a broader range of qualifying health insurance products should encourage individuals (and their employers) to take out insurance policies to help them meet their health coverage needs, get more people covered by health insurance and offer tax-savings potential.
Circular 82, effective 10 August 2015, makes it clear that IIT-preferential health insurance policies are those commercial health insurance products issued in accordance with Circular 82 and purchased by individuals in the specified pilot cities. Life insurance companies and their affiliates (collectively called insurance companies) that engage in the business of IIT-preferential health insurance policies should satisfy the requirements as stated in Circular 82.
The CIRC will shortly release a list of the qualified insurance companies and update the list regularly.
Circular 82 elaborates on the types of insurance policies qualifying for preferential IIT treatment, and introduces detailed administrative measures for these policies:
- IIT-preferential health insurance policies should provide universal health coverage comprising a medical insurance component and a personal accumulation account. The medical insurance component should be linked to the basic medical insurance and supplementary medical insurance administered under the China social insurance schemes and is to be used to cover personal medical expenses incurred in excess of those covered by the basic and supplementary medical insurances. Personal medical expenses can only be claimed once. The accumulated balance in the personal account can only be used for purchasing commercial health insurance products and covering personal medical expenses after retirement.
- IIT-preferential health insurance policies developed by insurance companies should be marked as "个人税优健康保险" and reported to the CIRC for approval. Insurance companies should issue receipts designed specifically for IIT preferential health insurance policies to policy-holders as proof for the IIT deduction after receiving insurance premiums.
In addition, Circular 82 provides specific administrative measures on the financial management, information system management, information disclosure, and supervision of insurance companies.
Further Details about Impact of Cai Shui  No. 56 and Circular 82
Cai Shui  No.56 provides that taxpayers in the pilot cities who earn income from the following sources will be eligible to claim a tax deduction in the amount of the premium they pay for qualified commercial health insurance products against the respective categories of assessable income:
- wage and salary;
- remuneration for providing services;
- production or business operations conducted by self-employed households;
- contracted or leased operations of enterprises or social service providers partly or wholly funded by state assets.
The KPMG International member firm in the People’s Republic of China (“KPMG”) anticipates that qualified insurance companies will gradually roll out several IIT-preferential health insurance policies to the market in the near future.
Employers should keep a close watch on the list of qualified insurance companies to be announced by the CIRC, and make a considered assessment of such so that informed decisions can be taken on the selection of appropriate commercial health insurance products for their employees – and thus, make proper use of the preferential tax treatment available to them, and, if appropriate, adjust their remuneration packages.
Also, KPMG recommends that companies confirm the "个人税优健康保险" status of the commercial health insurance policies when selecting IIT-preferential health insurance policies for their employees, and obtain IIT-preferential health insurance receipts from the insurance company for IIT deduction purposes.
This article is excerpted from “Updates on Health Insurance Products Qualified for Preferential IIT Treatment,” in China Tax Alert (Issue 23, September 2015), a publication of the KPMG International member firm in the People’s Republic of China.
For more information, please contact Yifei Yao. T: +86 10 6363 18 86
Inspiring Healthy Living and Providing Innovative Solutions in Canada
Innovative and intuitive online tools, and engaging videos on health and wellness are important to people in today’s world. Great-West Life has developed solutions to make plan sponsors’ and plan members’ lives easier.
Personal Health Risk Assessment (“PHRA”) is Great-West Life’s improved health and wellness solution. It provides plan sponsors with an accurate profile of their organisation’s current state of health, and helps them determine where their health and wellness program can provide the most value.
Completing the PHRA provides plan members with interactive health and wellness tools, based on an in-depth online questionnaire focusing on mental health, disease history, and work limitations.
Recent improvements to the PHRA include:
- an option for plan members to save their progress at any time while answering the questionnaire, so that they can complete it at another time
- a profile page allowing participants to view their current health status, compare results, and view changes over time
- reports for plan sponsors (only available for larger groups) providing an in-depth look at the health factors impacting their organisation and helping them to identify areas to focus on.
Drug Coverage Search Tool
This January, Great-West launched a Drug Coverage Search Tool on GroupNet™ Mobile to help plan members find answers even when out and about. Whether they are at their doctor’s office or at the pharmacy, they can search for drug cost coverage information from any location and at any time.
Plan members can:
- search drugs by name or identification number
- find out if a drug is covered and at what percentage, and if prior authorisation is needed
- access a library of drug information to learn about interactions, side effects and more.
Great-West’s free GroupNet™ Mobile app is another tool designed to make plan members’ lives easier. The app can be used anywhere and at any time to submit claims, check coverage limits and balances, and sign up for direct deposits of claims payments. Recently, Great-West also added the ability to set up email or text notifications that alert plan members when their claim has been processed.
Consistent with Great-West’s ongoing commitment to innovation, a wide selection of engaging and informative videos for plan sponsors and plan members have been created. The videos are short, easy to follow, and through the information provided can:
- reduce time spent by plan sponsors on plan administration tasks
- create a positive plan member experience by providing self-serve options
- empower plan members.
Videos and additional information on Great-West’s benefits and features can be found at www.greatwestlife.com.
For more information, please contact Vanessa Donke. T: +55 11 347 23 91 6
Promoting a Stronger Retirement Savings Culture in Spain
Determined to turn itself into the Spanish benchmark for retirement and life insurance, VidaCaixa follows a clearly focused vision, which has been validated by several awards.
At VidaCaixa, retirement is understood as a set of actions designed to enable customers to create a comfortable retirement through resources that provide both income and ongoing complementary services. VidaCaixa uses its corporate values of trust, quality and dynamism to help it create value for all stakeholders: customers, shareholders, employees, society and the environment.
Socially responsible management and sustainability
VidaCaixa initiatives such as CaixaFu[Tu]ro illustrate its approach. During this initiative, the company organised multiple events for ordinary people, whether clients of VidaCaixa or not, to increase awareness, give advice and design solutions to help them look forward to a secure retirement. At the same time, VidaCaixa used these events to promote a more active retirement savings culture among Spanish citizens.
The company is also involved in developing socially responsible investments in Spain, and actively promotes the Global Compact Principles and Principles of Socially Responsible Investment of the United Nations.
Excellent results show customer confidence
VidaCaixa offers personalised welfare and savings solutions for groups and companies, SMEs, and the self-employed. Corporate pension funds managed by VidaCaixa amounted to EUR 8,622 million in 2015, a 4% rise over the same period the previous year. In terms of premiums and contributions to savings insurance and pension plans, VidaCaixa wrote EUR 8,400 million, an amount 24.5% higher than in the same period the previous year.
A major sector event
VidaCaixa ran several events for professionals to raise awareness of the importance of planned retirement. These included the annual Control Committee Forum for members of corporate pension plans. Now running for eight years, excellent speeches and dynamic debates were enjoyed by over 300 members of pension plan control committees, companies, consultants, brokers and labour unions.
Throughout 2015, VidaCaixa received recognition for its excellent pension fund management and results. It gained three awards from Morningstar, which recognize funds that achieved good results over the past year while also showing long-term consistency. The awards were for:
- PlanCaixa 10 Ahorro: Best Pension Plan with Euro Fixed Income Investment
- PlanCaixa Global Ambition: Best Pension Fund with Moderate Mixed Investments
- PlanCaixa Opportunity: Best Pension Plan with Aggressive Mixed Investments.
VidaCaixa also won an award from Allfunds Bank: Best Pension Fund with Investments in Global Equities, for its PlanCaixa Bolsa Internacional. This award takes into account not only the results of the past year, but also those of the last three years.
In addition, ADECOSE brokers, the Spanish association of large insurance broker companies, named VidaCaixa as the best company to do business with in life insurance for both risk and savings.
For more information, please contact Ana Delgado. T: +34 93 227 89 57