Primary factors driving the cost of international health insurance

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A recent study has found a decrease in the gap between the cost of international health insurance in the USA and other locations when compared to 2015. What factors are leading to this shift in costs?

By Allianz Worldwide Care | September 14, 2016

Allianz Care - A recent study has found a decrease in the gap between the cost of international health insurance in the USA and other locations when compared to 2015. What factors are leading to this shift in costs?

In analysis from the 2016 Cost of International Health Insurance Report, Pacific Prime highlighted three major results that stood out in their report:

  • A number of countries increased in rank (the cost of international health insurance increased)
  • There was a decrease in the gap between the cost of insurance in the USA and the other locations
  • There was an overall decrease in the average cost of international insurance in the USA.

The authors of the report credit the overall increase in the cost of health insurance, to four primary factors:


1. Increased demand for international quality private care

Many of the locations which ranked highest for international health insurance costs, are also the most popular expat destinations. These locations have seen an increase in demand for healthcare which is on a par to that of an expat’s home country.
Local populations, whose wealth is increasing, are also driving the demand for better quality healthcare and insurance to cover it.


2. Increased cost of health care

Possibly the largest influencer of the cost of international health insurance is the increasing cost of health care. This is corroborated by Pacific Primes Individual Private Medical Insurance Inflation report, which found that the major driver behind premium inflation is in fact the cost of health care.


3. Increased regulation

Increased implementation of health insurance regulations in many countries, is impacting the cost of health insurance and the products offered.
Regulation in some countries, such as the UAE, are significantly impacting premiums as minimum health insurance coverage is being mandated for the likes of pre-existing conditions and maternity both of which are incredibly costly.


4. Continuing challenges related to fraud

Healthcare fraud is extremely common, and the evidence would suggest that it is increasing globally. In a 2014 report, BDO found that, “Since 2008, global average fraud and error losses in healthcare have risen 25% from 5.59% of expenditure to 6.99% [in 2014].”
While insurance providers take measures to reduce fraud, the rising incidence of fraud globally is inevitably having an impact on the cost of international health insurance.

Source Pacific Prime – Download a copy of the full report here



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