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Swiss Re To Enter China TPA Market

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A reinsurer hopes to take advantage of opportunities to help cover the health of people in China.

Swiss Reinsurance Company, Zurich, has received permission from Chinese regulators to form Beijing Prestige Health Consulting Services Co. Ltd., Beijing, a “third party administrator” that will administer employer-sponsored health plans and other plans in China.

Swiss Re will own all of Beijing Prestige, but Beijing Prestige will operate independently, Swiss Re says.

CheeKok Poh, who has been running the medical insurance business in Swiss Re’s Beijing branch, will be the chief executive of the TPA firm, Swiss Re says.

Swiss Re notes that commercial insurance pays only about 6% of Chinese patients’ $137 billion in annual health care expenses, and that Chinese patients pay about 52% of the total out of their own pockets.

The new TPA in Beijing will be getting some help from a 5-year-old Swiss Re TPA joint venture in India.

Chitra Nair, who has been running the operations of the TPA joint venture in India, will be the chief operating officer of the Beijing TPA, Swiss Re says.

The TPA will start with about 50 employees, Swiss Re estimates.