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2014 IPMI Inflation Review - Introduction

For an introduction to our annual International Private Medical Insurance inflation rate survey and review, please check this page. Introduction and background for a variety of regions and insurers in the IPMI industry.

2014 International Private Medical Insurance Review

*To read the 2015 IMPI Report, just click here.

It's that time once again. Time to delve into the fluctuations that have taken place over the past 12 months with regards to International Private Medical Insurance price inflation. From August of 2013 through July 2014, Pacific Prime has marked price increases from various insurers in different regions all over the world.

Part One - Southeast Asia

Part Two - Middle East & Rest of the World

Part Three - Insurance Providers

Results for this year's survey utilize the same insurers as last year's survey (which can be found here) and include the following insurers:

Aetna Global Benefits – IHP Plan
Allianz Worldwide Care – International Healthcare Plan
AXA PPP – International Health Plan
Bupa International – Worldwide Health Options Plan
Globality Health – World Plan
IHI Danmark / IHI Bupa – International Health and Hospital Plan
InterGlobal – Standard and Comprehensive UltraCare Plans
William Russell – Elite Plan

In order to provide a wider view of the insurance landscape, we have selected differently sized insurance companies to review. So while companies like Bupa International represent the largest corporates in the world of International Private Medical Insurance (IPMI), more specialized niche providers are also included. Even so, all companies included have portfolios worth well over USD$50 million gross written premium. It should be noted that all results included below are measured by numerical averages, and not weighted based on a given companies size. Also, the percentage increases mentioned within this document are for individual policyholders, and do not include changes in the prices of corporate health insurance plans.

Moving on to the regions included, the countries that are the most relevant to the IPMI market have been selected. While Asian countries, in recent years, have been stalwarts for market growth, and, thus, make up a majority of the nations tracked, other countries have been included for their importance, and as representatives of their greater regions. The countries we have included are Brazil, China, Dubai, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Kenya, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and the United Kingdom. Information covering the past 5 years (2009-2014) is covered in the review.

While data for elite level private medical insurance plans is available for all insurers, for the purposes of this review, we have chosen to track each companies most common plans to better represent trends that affect the largest number of insurance consumers. Additionally, the age range included mirrors that commonly seen with regards to purchasers of IPMI.

Our objective in collecting and presenting the information within is to first identify trends in the world of IPMI, and then disseminate that information to interested parties; both to professionals in the insurance industry and to consumers. Only data from the included insurers was used for the purposes of this survey, and no additional opinions or editorials have been included on their behalf.

It would be logical to assume that increases in the cost of healthcare lead to similar increases in health insurance premiums, but this may not always be true. Do not forget that 50% of total health insurance costs are not actually related to healthcare costs. The other half of the cost is dictated by other market forces. Increased competition, for example, would oftentimes lead to lower premiums for customers.

As mentioned previously, this survey is focusing on identifying trends, but it should be noted that it is unlikely that we will be able to pinpoint the underlying causes of an increase or decrease in costs in any given region or for any particular insurer. What we can assume, however, is that increases or decreases in insurance premiums are directly related to a similar increase or decrease in insurance cost.

Another important point to stress is that this survey is specific to the International Private Medical Insurance market, and is not reflective of the entirety of the insurance market worldwide. The typical IPMI market consumers are expatriates in a senior management position or high net worth local nationals, and, therefore, are not representative of typical general health insurance consumers worldwide. For this reason, care should be taken to not attempt to draw broader conclusions about healthcare costs or medical insurance inflation in the global market.

This year's survey/review format mirrors that of past years', in which we first analyze data by region and country, and then by insurer. Conclusions about the overall state of the IPMI market will be drawn at the end.

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