Globalsurance.com, an online international health insurance advisor, has revealed some unusual trends in the Hong Kong Medical Insurance market. Globalsurance reveals that expatriates in Hong Kong are eschewing international health insurance options in favor of locally provided Hong Kong Medical insurance products. This is the direct result of more than 10 years of increases in international health insurance premiums at a rate of roughly 10% per year; which themselves are the product of heightened levels of medical inflation in the city. Hong Kong is the second most expensive place in the world to receive healthcare after the United States of America. The charges associated with various treatments at Hong Kong's private hospitals can be seen in a scenario involving Maternity. Realistically, delivery of a child at a Hospital like the Matilda, Hong Kong's leading maternity services provider, can easily reach HK$ 156,000 – 234,000 (US$ 20,000 – 30,000) even if there are no complications.
A private room at this same hospital will run the patient HK$ 5,935 (US$ 761) for a single night. In the last 10 years, the levels of disposable income within Hong Kong's expatriate community have not risen at the same rate as medical inflation, and consequently the premiums charged by international health insurance providers. This is putting pressure on insurance premiums as the loss ratios of not adjusting for the heightened cost of medical care in HKSAR are not economically feasible. With a large proportion of the HKSAR expatriate community choosing to obtain local health insurance options, rather than their international variants, Globalsurance.com believes that further evolution of the international protection plans available in the city is not far off.
Potential restructurings may include the provision of selected service providers given that private medical facilities in the City are amongst the most expensive in the world; leading to less comprehensive healthcare options for individuals but also reduced premium charges. Any innovations within Hong Kong's iPMI market would be an attempt to stem the tide of expatriates choosing to purchase local health insurance options, but would also need to compete with the major players in the local market and allow access to superior treatment options to be successful.