Bupa International has announced a strategic partnership with America's largest health insurance group in a deal expected to create the largest global healthcare provider network.
Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) is currently the largest provider network in the US (over 96% of US hospitals).
The partnership will combine BCBS's US network, their existing international network (accessed through their IPMI product, GeoBlue), and Bupa's non-US international hospital network.
The network will include 11,500 hospitals and 750,000 medical professionals in 190 countries.
Bupa and BCBS will also develop new international health insurance products, which will be available to customers and employers worldwide for coverage in 2015.
This announcement follows Bupa's purchase of a 49% stake in Highway to Health Inc in December 2013.
Robert Lang, managing director of the Bupa Global Market Unit, said: "I'm delighted Bupa has joined forces with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield organisations - this is the biggest partnership the international health insurance market has ever seen.
"We're creating the biggest global provider network for people who require international health coverage, and we'll develop new products utilising the leading capabilities from our organisations."
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