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The most and least expensive countries for private international health insurance

Just over a week ago, we announced the release of our Cost of International Health Insurance report for 2017. This annual study collects the prices of international plans in 100 different countries and compares them to give insurers, intermediaries, and consumers a better understanding of what their own premium costs are. This week, we’re looking at the data from our Cost of International Health Insurance report again and are interested in making some comparisons between international insurance companies with the highest and lowest costs.

What’s in the Cost of International Health Insurance report?

Each year, we prepare this report so that people will have an overview of the current state of international medical insurance. Using ten global insurances companies that represent 70% of the total number of plans sold worldwide, we consider the average prices per country, compare them within their region and against the world, and discuss the factors contributing to the costs of insurance for the past year.

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In short, Pacific Prime believes that the four primary factors influencing the cost of international health insurance in most countries are:

  • Increased demand for international quality private care
  • Increased cost of health care
  • Increased regulation
  • Continuing challenges related to fraud

How these factors have an impact on how much people pay for insurance around the world is described in detail in the report. For more information, download your copy today.

The highs and lows: who’s got the most expensive and cheapest insurance around the regions?

The report also separates countries into five regions in order to make faster comparison between neighboring countries. These regions are Asia, Africa, the Americas, the Middle East, and Europe. Taking into account plan prices for individuals, couples, families, and retirees, here are the countries per region with the highest and lowest overall international insurance premium:

Asia

Asia is an interesting case for international insurance premiums. While China does feature near the more expensive end of our rankings, Singapore has finally moved one spot ahead of it to take second place for the first time in three years. The most expensive Asian country for international insurance continues to be Hong Kong, who also retains its place as the second most expensive country in the world.

On the other end of the spectrum, we see Pakistan rank as the least expensive Asian nation for international insurance, with Laos and the Philippines its closest rivals.

Most Expensive

Least Expensive
Hong Kong

Average premium cost:

USD 12,585

Pakistan

Average premium cost:

USD 7,391

Africa

Africa is a region where many of the lowest international insurance prices exist. This may be because of lower numbers of expats, the lower cost of healthcare, or a great unfamiliarity of the region’s health capabilities for insurers. In fact, the region’s country with the highest insurance premium average, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, has a cost that’s little higher than the lowest average country in Asia. Côte d’Ivoire is the second most expensive country in Africa, followed by Cameroon as the third most expensive location.

The countries with lowest average international insurance in Africa are tied, with all three countries possessing the lowest prices worldwide. Ethiopia, Angola, and Mali may be similar as insurers may assess them similarly in terms of risk and apply a blanket premium price among them.

Most Expensive

Least Expensive
Democratic Republic of the Congo

Average premium cost:

USD 8,226

Ethiopia, Angola & Mali

Average premium cost:

USD 7,027

The Americas

With the Americas, it’s inevitable that the United States will leave the rest behind in terms of insurance costs. The country has the most expensive healthcare in the world. Canada, for the average cost of international plans, sits at second place with just over half the cost of the US. Argentina rounds out the top three.

The least expensive country in the Americas for international health insurance is Panama, though it should be said that there is very little difference in the cost of insurance in South American countries.

Most Expensive

Least Expensive
United States of America

Average premium cost:

USD 19,274

Panama

Average premium cost:

USD 8,137

The Middle East

Regional insurance comparisons in the Middle East have been significantly impacted by legal changes in one of the region’s most popular expatriate locations; Dubai. New mandatory insurance laws have made predicting where premiums might head for the Emirate tricky, although Dubai still sits as second most expensive behind Israel. Israel itself is the 5th most expensive country in the world for international health insurance.

Azerbaijan, however, is the region’s least expensive country for insurance premiums.

Most Expensive

Least Expensive
Israel

Average premium cost:

USD 9,989

Azerbaijan

Average premium cost:

USD 7,248

Europe

Considering the number of countries included in the Europe comparisons (25 in total), there is a wide variety of international insurance plan prices across the board. The United Kingdom stands as the most expensive location for international health insurance in Europe, and is also the 7th highest overall in the world. Greece and Russia take spots two and three for most expensive.

At the other end of the scale, Poland, Ukraine, and Serbia make up the least expensive locations, with Serbia the lowest ranked overall and 79th when compared globally.

Most Expensive

Least Expensive
United Kingdom

Average premium cost:

USD 12,585

Serbia

Average premium cost:

USD 7,077

Pacific Prime: simplifying insurance

At Pacific Prime, we’re committed to ensuring that our clients get the best service possible. This means also proving that we’re market leaders in not just selling insurance, but in understanding the market and the people within it. As a result, there are a range of guides and infographics we’ve produced to help you make the best insurance decision possible for yourself, your family, or your company.

If you want to see the Cost of International Health Insurance Report 2017 for yourself, click here to download. There you can find out more about the countries we’ve analysed, the international insurance companies we’ve used for our comparisons, and the drivers we think are impacting the costs of insurance worldwide. For a free quote or some helpful advice, contact the team at Pacific Prime today.

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