By Zainab Iwayemi
International Private Medical Insurance (IPMI) premiums for both individuals and families have declined due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a survey carried out in 100 locations by Pacific Primes, a global health insurance brokerage has shown.
The survey result shows that in 2020, out of 100 locations studied, up to 36 countries showed a decrease in IPMI premiums, compared to the previous year’s. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused people to avoid or delay healthcare treatment, as most countries imposed lockdown measures.
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In terms of ranking countries based on their average IPMI premiums, the US topped with average premiums of $7.70 for individuals and $21.82 for families, while Thailand had the cheapest average premiums of $1.93 for individuals and $7.26 for families.
Result of the survey further revealed that the United States emerged the country with the highest premiums as a result of its exorbitant cost of care as 12 out of 20 locations with the costliest health insurance premiums are located in the Americas. Meanwhile, Latin American countries’ premiums are expected to see a jump in the next five years due to a rise in expensive claims for behavioral and mental health conditions.
In addition, due to factors such as overutilization of health insurance and a rapidly aging population, amongst others, Hong Kong took a position as the second most expensive location in the world for health insurance while Singapore is the second most expensive location in Asia. The report shows.
With the sluggish demand amidst a global economic downturn, the survey further shows that China’s health insurance premiums are going through a correction phase after years of increase. The country’s insurance landscape is also witnessing digitalization, as insurtech takes center stage.
However, health insurance companies are beginning to refine and redefine their premium pricing strategy for each region to strike an optimal balance between service quality and operational sustainability, as well as to prepare for any crises that could arise in the near future, the survey further shows.