The most and least expensive countries for private international health insurance

reading glasses on a map representing someone comparing international insurance companies

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.

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 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


Average premium cost:

USD 7,391


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


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

Average premium cost:

USD 9,989


Average premium cost:

USD 7,248


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


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.

New report focuses on the average cost of international health insurance

2017 Cost of International Health Insurance Report

Pacific Prime is excited to announce the release of our latest report: The 2017 Cost of International Health Insurance. Now in its third iteration, this free report takes an in depth look at the average cost of international health insurance in 100 countries around the globe. Download your copy from our website today.

As with previous versions, this year’s report is divided into sections that together provide an important overview of the current state of international health insurance and the factors contributing to the costs seen in 2017. This information, in turn, has proven to be a useful tool for both companies and individuals looking to get the most out of their health insurance.

Open version of the cost of international health insurance report

Section 1: Ranking the top 20 most expensive and bottom 5 least expensive locations

The first section of this report provides a brief overview of the average cost of health insurance and ranks the 20 most expensive locations along with the 5 least expensive locations. Before we look at this ranking, it is important to explain the data used to generate this report.

To generate these averages and provide readers with a sound benchmark we have combined data from 10 of the top international health insurers who each offer three levels of plan:

  • Plan 1: Inpatient cover only
  • Plan 2: Inpatient + outpatient cover
  • Plan 3: Inpatient + outpatient + maternity

For each plan we have pulled premiums for four major demographics:

  • Individuals: Male, aged 36
  • Couples: Male aged 36, Female aged 35
  • Families: Male aged 46, Female aged 35, and two children aged 10 and 5  
  • Retirees: Male, aged 60

By taking the premiums for each of the demographics above along with the three levels of plan and averaging them together for each country we have come up with our ranking for 2017.

This year, average premiums are spread out from between USD 19,724 and USD 7,027 with the US again taking top spot as the most expensive country for international health insurance: Angola, Ethiopia, and Mali are all tied as having the least expensive average premiums.

Click here to view the ranking on our website. We have also provided the full ranking based on the demographics above in the Appendix section of the PDF, which can be downloaded here.

Section 2: In-depth analysis on the cost of international health insurance

When analyzing this year’s premiums we uncovered six major findings, which are discussed in-depth in the Analysis section of the report:

  1. Premiums in the US increased by an average of nearly 14% from 2016 to 2017.
  2. Singapore has replaced China as having the third highest average premiums.
  3. South East Asia has seen a marked increase in ranking in 2017, with 5 countries ranked in the top 20.
  4. Average premiums in Dubai actually decreased in ranking slightly in 2017.
  5. A number of countries saw a decrease in average cost between 2016 and 2017.
  6. Many countries have the same average premium.

For each of these six major findings, we have included an analysis of why these are important and the factors behind them.

Aside from that, we have also included an update on the four primary global drivers behind the cost of health insurance. These four drivers being:

  • There is an increasing demand for international quality health care.
  • Almost every country in this report has seen an increase in the cost of health care.
  • There is a trend of increasing regulation in many countries and regions included in this report.
  • Many countries and insurers face continuing challenges related to fraud.

Two versions of the report

We have two versions of this report available. The first is the online version which presents a paired down look at the ranking and first part of the Analysis sections along with an interactive overview of the average costs in different regions.

The second is the full written report in PDF format which can be downloaded. This version includes our full analysis (the four drivers along with the six findings) along with a complete ranking of the average cost of international health insurance in each of the 100 countries for each of the demographics.

Where to get your copy of the 2017 Cost of International Health Insurance Report

As mentioned above, there are two versions of the report available. Both are free and can be found on our website, or by clicking the links below:

Download the PDF –

Read the online version –

Should you have any questions about the cost of health insurance, or your premiums, please do contact us. Our expert staff can help you find the best plan for your budget today.

PP’s Neil Raymond featured in new IPMI interview

Globe to showcase IPMI

Over the past couple of years, Pacific Prime has been striving to launch an increasing number of beneficial reports on the International Private Medical Insurance (IPMI) industry. Our latest report published in the summer of 2016, the 2016 Cost of Health Insurance Report, has enabled clients and industry professionals alike to gain greater understanding of the cost of health insurance around the world and the major contributors driving these prices.

One of the biggest findings from this report is the fact that the US is once again the highest cost location for international health insurance. While there are many factors that contribute to the high cost of medical insurance in the US, one thing we highlight in the report is the fact that the Affordable Care Act has had a huge influence on what you can expect to pay for insurance.

ACA and international coverage

Since its implementation in 2014 many international insurers have been working on getting plans launched that not only meet the strict ACA mandates but also provide both inbound and outbound American tax payers worldwide health coverage.

In early November, a new international health plan that provides international coverage while also being ACA compliant was launched from Cigna. We believe that this is the start of a new trend and as such have created a new ACA information portal. This portal is designed to provide both inbound and outbound taxpayers everything they need to know about the mandated health insurance coverage.

What are Pacific Prime’s thoughts on the ACA and the cost of health insurance?

In the insurance industry, the release of the cost of health insurance report and the introduction of ACA compliant plans for international expats and residents has created a number of talking points, especially around how these will impact one another.

To that end, Pacific Prime’s CEO and Founder Neil Raymond sat down with Global Health Insider for an exclusive interview on the topic. The interview, available to read now on their website, covers a wide variety of topics including:

  • The recent launching of an ACA-compliant international health insurance plan.
  • Key findings from our latest cost of health insurance report.
  • Dubai’s rise to prominence in the international health industry.
  • Important IPMI trends
  • And more.

Check out the interview now for an exclusive in-depth look in at international health insurance.