Cost of International Health Insurance – 2016

Cost of International Health Insurance Report - 2016

To read the 2018 edition of our Cost of International Health Insurance report, click here.

Welcome to the second annual Cost of International Health Insurance Report. This year’s report presents an updated format that Pacific Prime feels more accurately portrays the current state of international health insurance, while also taking into account the various changes that have impacted the industry in the past year.

This year, Pacific Prime’s Cost of International Health Insurance Report includes 95 locations. In order to provide a more accurate overview of the individual international health insurance landscape, and to encompass the mergers/acquisitions in the past year, we have increased the number of insurers from six to ten. As with 2015’s Cost of Health Insurance Report, we have looked at three levels of plan from each provider available to four main demographic groups (see the Background section for more information).

Taking this into account, the average price of insurance for all plans and demographics spans from USD 17,335 to USD 7,608. As expected, the USA takes the top spot as the most expensive country for international individual plans, while Mali takes up 95th spot as the location with the lowest average cost of health insurance.

When looking at the different demographics, the range of premiums extends from:

  • Single plans - USD 3,668 (Mali) to USD 8,848 (USA)
  • Plans for couples - USD 7,277 (Mali) to USD 17,545 (USA)
  • Plans for families - USD 10,670 (Mali) to USD 25,424 (USA)
  • Plans for retirees - USD 8,815 (Mali) to USD 17,524 (USA)

During the analysis of the 2016’s premiums, Pacific Prime uncovered three major changes that we believe will have a major impact on the price of international health insurance going forward:

  • A number of countries increased in rank. The single biggest change is the increase in ranking of Dubai, which sits at 6th in 2016 - up 8 places from 2015’s Cost of Health Insurance Report. There were other changes to rankings as well including:
    • Canada’s replacement of Israel as one of the top four most expensive countries.
    • The emergence of South American plans into the top 20 most expensive.
    • Japan breaking into the top 20.
  • There was a decrease in the gap between the cost of insurance in the USA and the other locations when compared to 2015’s rates. It was found that when compared to the USA, premiums in the other countries increased on average 13.6 points over the average percentage differences between the USA and other countries in 2015.
  • There was an overall decrease in the average cost of international insurance in the USA.

Pacific Prime believes that the most important change of this report is the relatively drastic increase of premiums in Dubai. Through recent health insurance regulations combined with the largest percentage of expats, Dubai is now not only the most influential location in terms of international health insurance, but also an important case study of where the industry is headed.

We have provided an in-depth analysis of the major contributing factors behind the above changes in the Analysis section of our report.