Pacific Prime looks at international medical insurance inflation

Cover of the 2017 medical insurance inflation report

We are proud to announce our latest report focusing on medical insurance inflation has been released. Titled, International Private Medical Insurance Inflation -2017 this report (available for free here), like previous years takes a look at private insurance premiums around the world and what’s driving them up. Again, we look at the insurance products of eight global insurers that offer the same products in 10 selected regions around the world.

In this blog post, we’re going to briefly highlight some key points from the report. The report itself will be of high interest to individual and corporate clients who are watching their budgets, while insurers and brokers alike may use the information to help inform their clients about the cost of insurance around the world.

Key results

The new report shows that the average percentage increase of IPMI around the world was 9.2%. While being exactly the same as 2015’s inflation rate, the IPMI report also shows which insurers came in this year with the lower average premium increase worldwide, and the average for the last five years:

Top 3 Global Insurers with Lowest Average Premium Increase (2017):

Top 3 Global Insurers with Lowest Average Premium Increase (2009-2016):

  • Aetna International – (InterGlobal)
  • Allianz Worldwide Care
  • William Russell


It should be noted that these are not the insurers with the lowest premium prices, but those whose rate of premium price inflation was the lowest in the areas the report focuses on.

Drivers of inflation

Again, the IPMI report focuses on some key factors that positively or negatively impacted the rate of premium inflation for this past year. Across the regions (Asia, the Middle East, and the Rest of the World), Pacific Prime found that the drivers present in previous reports were still relevant for this year:

  • New medical technology
  • An imbalance of healthcare resources
  • Increased compensation for healthcare professionals
  • Healthcare overutilization

In addition to this, three new drivers have been proposed as having the potential to significantly impact premium increases in the future:

  • Unstable economies (New for 2017)
  • Changing population dynamics (New for 2017)
  • The increasing availability of technology (New for 2017)

These newer drivers take into account the tougher economic times the world has been facing and explain how the population of insurance consumers has been impacted in the various regions. Places like Hong Kong and Singapore have noticed a clearer division in the age and experience of expats arriving to their shores, while countries like Indonesia and the UAE have noticed a significant shrinking of expat numbers.

The impact of technology in monitoring, analysis and creating efficiencies in the insurance sector are another new driver. While it was expected to have a significant impact on the price of IPMI insurance, the report has found that insurers are still some way from fully realizing the benefits of technology. Wearable tech and big data use is still in its infancy, yet many insurance companies are making headway with online portals and smartphone apps.

Major change from previous reports

Another feature of this year’s IPMI report is that Dubai has been significantly changed by its 2015 introduction of compulsory health insurance laws. Over the past year, all residents (local citizens and expatriates alike) have been required to obtain a minimum level of health insurance coverage. Those not complying are soon due to face fines for not meeting the new laws.

In the report, the usual Dubai section has been replaced with a discussion on how these changes have impacted both insurers and their products in the UAE. Some insurers have chosen not to replace the IPMI offerings that were found to be non-compliant with the new laws, while those that did replace their plans had premiums driven by the law change as opposed to the inflation drivers affecting the rest of the world.

The International Private Medical Insurance Inflation Report 2017

The  International Private Medical Insurance Inflation 2017 report is available as a free download, directly from the Pacific Prime website. An online version of the report, complete with interactive graphs and sections, is also available here. View the report today. 

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