U.S. health plans seek profits abroad

U.S. health insurers, facing uncertain times in the wake of healthcare reform, are expanding overseas in a bid to increase profit, reports The Wall Street Journal. Cigna Corp., for example, is launching new products in Spain, Belgium and China.

While China has a growing market — the government there hopes to extend basic healthcare to the country's billion-plus population by 2020 — European markets offer opportunities for complementary private coverage as residents grow dissatisfied with public offerings.

Meanwhile, United Health Group has been hired by Britain's National Health Service to run disease-management programs, and Aetna in 2007 bought GoodHealth Worldwide to offer individual policies to expatriates.