UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH), the biggest U.S. health insurer by revenue, is partnering with a Dubai-based insurance company to provide service throughout the Middle East.
The announcement is further proof of a trend for U.S. health insurers seeking to expand internationally in the face of business uncertainty at home.
UnitedHealth's plan is to expand insurance through an alliance with Al Sagr National Insurance Co. They will now offer expanded service in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Qatar, Oman, Lebanon, Bahrain, and Kuwait.
In expanding its international presence, UnitedHealth is following recent decisions by peers Cigna Corp. (NYSE:CI) and Aetna Inc. (NYSE: AET) in recent months.
UnitedHealthcare International is committed to addressing the challenges faced by our clients across the globe, by making seamless access to high quality health care easier, said Simon Stevens, president of global health for the Minnetonka, Minn., company.
In the Middle East we are helping people to live healthier lives by working to prevent diabetes, modernize hospitals, and provide primary and emergency care. Providing comprehensive global health coverage for expatriates and employers is an important next step, he added.