IPMI Inflation in Singapore
Singapore saw an IPMI percentage increase of 9.5% in 2015, which means that Singapore is not only tied for having the largest annual rise in premiums in Asia, but also has increased the most year-on-year among the high-cost Asian countries (China, Singapore, and Hong Kong). When compared to the Consumer Price inflation in Singapore - 2.53% as of March 2015 - IPMI inflation paralleled an increase over the figures seen in 2014, which could indicate an overall increasing trend in the coming year.
Pacific Prime has identified three contributors, beyond the four major inflation contributors in this report, to the IPMI inflation figures seen in Singapore in 2015:
- The government is focusing on providing care for the 'pioneering generation'. People over 65 in Singapore have seen an increase in benefits. While they enjoy higher allowance/benefits from the government, there has been a rise in demand for access to GPs and specialists which has led to increased costs.
- Primary care services are largely controlled by the private sector. There is no fee guideline in Singapore for doctor’s fees, so from 2007 onwards (when the Fee structure was abolished), the professional fees for doctors have soared.
- Singapore is upgrading the healthcare system quite aggressively. The government is set to launch a few new hospitals in the near future and Singapore is a hub for medical tourism in the region, which means wealthy Indonesians fly to Singapore for treatments which in turn increases costs IPMI Inflation.
In Pacific Prime's view, the new Medishield Life (public/universal health insurance for Singaporeans which was scheduled to be fully revamped by end of 2015), combined with increasing costs at private facilities will drive inflation rates higher in the future.