Aetna Global sets up African direct settlement network

Aetna Global Benefits (AGB) is planning to establish a new direct settlement network in Africa comprised of more than 31,000 healthcare professionals.

The arrangement should means that members on international assignment in Africa will be able to reduce their out-of-pocket expenses at the point of care for eligible inpatient hospitalisation and specialised outpatient procedures received at these facilities.

AGB will work with South African-based Medical Service Organization to implement the new network. Implementation will initially begin in South Africa, Kenya and Angola, with plans to roll out to the rest of Africa by the end of 2009.

AGB's direct settlement network currently includes approximately 2,000 healthcare professionals in over 110 countries. Members can also access care at healthcare professionals with similar arrangements through several AGB business partners, including HTH Worldwide, MD Abroad and World Assist.

AGB, which acquired medical insurer Goodhealth Worldwide in 2007, currently has approximately 400,000 members worldwide and has offices throughout the US, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

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