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Pacific Prime has identified potential IPMI market trends for 2018

Recently, Pacific Prime China has released the fourth edition of their Cost of International Health Insurance report. The report presents and analyzes figures and insurance market trends in an easily digestible way. Anyone who is interested in learning about the cost of health insurance around the world will not be disappointed.

This year’s report presents premium data gathered from seven insurers in 100 countries, and showcases this information in tables and our Analysis sections. One of the highlights of the report is the presentation of potential IPMI market trends, which we will discuss in more detail in today’s article.

About the Cost of International Health Insurance report

Before we move on to the analysis of the report’s key findings, it is essential to understand the structure of the Cost of International Health Insurance report and how the data was used. In the 2018 edition, we have implemented a number of changes to the ways we utilized and generated data for this report. The main changes include:

  • The utilization of onshore plans in Dubai, Singapore, and China
  • A reduction of insurers from ten to seven for all countries except those with onshore plans
  • A reduction of demographics from four to two
  • The addition of a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) analysis

Our report showcases a ranking table of the top 20 and bottom 5 most expensive countries for international health insurance, divided by the individual, family, and average plan prices in 2018. The addition of a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) analysis helps showcase precisely by how much plans have decreased or increased since 2015.

Based on the above-mentioned data and calculations, our team of insurance specialists at Pacific Prime identified a number of potential IPMI market trends for 2018, and even 2019 and beyond.

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Key Findings from the COHI report: potential IPMI market trends for 2018

When analyzing the data for this report, Pacific Prime has identified five key findings. These are not only of interest to anyone with an IPMI plan but can also point to potential IPMI market trends that both individuals and businesses can benefit from being aware of:

1. Three countries in the top 20 most expensive have seen increased rankings.

Dubai, Canada, and Indonesia have jumped up drastically in this year’s ranking of the top 20 most expensive countries to obtain international health insurance.

Canada has jumped from being the 6th most expensive country in 2017 to 3rd in 2018, and interestingly, Indonesia has seen a massive jump from 19th place in 2017 to 6th in 2018.

Dubai has jumped from 9th most expensive in 2017 to 4th in 2018, and surpassed both China and Singapore (two countries that have always been ranked as one of the top 5 most expensive countries for health insurance in our past reports). Dubai is a very interesting case, as the mandatory coverage regulations in this city-state are very strict. Pacific Prime believes that one of the main reasons behind Dubai’s average premium increase is that all plans in Dubai must cover benefits such as pre-existing conditions and maternity, which otherwise are pricey additions to IPMI plans.

We have identified four more reasons behind premium increases in Dubai this year, and a wealth of analysis that help explain Canada’s and Indonesia’s ranking increases. To find out what they are, download our complimentary Cost of International Health Insurance report.

2. The gap between premiums in the US and everywhere else has increased.

When compared to previous versions of the Cost of Health Insurance report, the gap between average IPMI premiums in the US and elsewhere has expanded in 2018. For example, the difference between premiums in the US and Hong Kong, the 2nd most expensive country in our ranking, increased by 7.9 % from 2017. The difference in premiums also heightened between the US and Canada by 7.2%, regardless of Canada’s jump in ranking this year.

Among all of the IPMI market trends in this year’s report, this one has prevailed since the beginning of Pacific Prime’s publication of the COHI reports in 2015.

3. The Americas has emerged as a dominant region in the top 20 most expensive locations.

28 countries from the Americas are among the top 20 most expensive locations worldwide to procure IPMI plans in 2018. As a number of countries carry the same average premium, they have subsequently been ranked as the same. In fact, insurers grouping countries together is among the top reasons behind so many countries from the Americas featured in our top 20 most expensive locations. Higher costs of healthcare in North America and rapidly increasing costs of medical care in Latin and Central America also contributed to the increase in premiums in those regions.

4. Onshore premiums are not drastically different from their global counterparts.

To accurately reflect the cost of health insurance and regulatory trends in China, Singapore, and Dubai, we have utilized the onshore version of plans for these locations. What was a surprise for the Pacific Prime team is that despite switching calculations to onshore plans, the average costs and ranking did not change significantly.

Usually, onshore plans are cheaper than their international counterparts, and yes, Singapore and China have dropped in our rankings, but only by a few positions. The average cost of Singapore and China policies in 2018 is still relatively high, and all three countries remained in the top 20 most expensive countries ranking.  

5. Some countries have seen premiums decrease.

This is for sure one of the IPMI market trends that many of us would like to see continue into 2019 and beyond! And while some countries, such as China and the UK saw their average premium decrease, it does not mean that all plans in these countries are cheaper compared to 2017. The use of onshore plans for China, for example, did have an effect on the average premium levels there, as mentioned above.

Another reason behind this finding is that in 2018 two insurers decreased their premiums and had already lower premiums in 2017. Our results suggest that these two insurers were making internal changes around efficiency and likely better cost containment strategies. This also doesn’t mean that plans from these specific insurers are the cheapest. Instead, it means that their plans are now more in line with the market. We predict that this is one of the IPMI market trends that won’t last long.

Learn more by downloading the Cost of Health Insurance 2018 report!

This article only scratched the surface of this year’s key findings from Pacific Prime’s Cost of International Health Insurance report! To learn more about future IPMI market trends, and see for yourself the prices of different insurance plans around the world, download the complimentary COHI report today!

Feel free to contact us if you have any insurance-related questions and inquiries. Our experienced team at Pacific Prime China will advise you on the right plan for your needs, and guide you through the whole process of securing and managing a private medical insurance plan in China. Contact us today! 

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Content Creator at Pacific Prime China
Elwira Skrybus is a content writer at Pacific Prime. In her everyday work, she is utilizing her previous social media and branding experience to create informative articles, guides, and reports to help our readers simplify the sometimes-puzzling world of international health insurance.

When she isn’t writing, you are most likely to find Elwira in search of the perfect plant-based burger or enjoying Hong Kong’s great outdoors either at the beach or from the boat - the closer to the sea, the better!