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HCF Releases Highest Hospital Claims Data Of 2015

Australia’s largest not-for-profit private health insurer, HCF, has released data detailing its highest hospital benefit payments made to members during 2015. According to the fund, most Australians would be unaware of the potential high costs associated with hospital admissions, noting there were 136 benefit payments made by HCF in the last year that exceeded $50,000 in value, and for which the member was only in hospital for one night or less.

HCF Managing Director, Shaun Larkin, said, “Despite the common view that health insurance doesn’t deliver as much value when you’re younger, our data clearly shows the benefit of health insurance for all age-groups, with high-cost claims coming from children and young families, singles, as well as the elderly.”

In the 12-month period ending 31 December 2015, HCF funded almost 31,000 hospital admissions for which the benefit paid exceeded $10,000 each. Total hospital benefit payments for these high-cost admissions came to $639 million for the year.

Notable high-cost hospital claims handled by HCF in 2015 included:

  • The highest individual claim paid was $312,000 for a 61-year old member who was treated for a heart condition and spent 90 days in a NSW private hospital;
  • Of HCF members aged 18-40 years, the highest individual claim was $110,000 for a 36-year old male in NSW who received treatment in a private hospital for psychiatric care;
  • $21,000 for an 11-year-old with acute appendicitis and peritonitis;
  • $18,000 for a 7-year-old requiring bladder surgery
  • For a new born baby, the highest claim was $129,000 for 154 days in a public hospital;
  • The highest payment for a public hospital was $147,000 for an episode of hospital care involving 211 days for a 78-year old male;
  • The most expensive single prostheses claim was $139,000 relating to spinal fusion. This correlates with a significant increase in people aged 40 to 49 years undergoing spinal fusion;
  • Of the 136 benefit payments made by HCF that exceeded $50,000 in value, and for which the member was only in hospital for one night or less, over 110 of these admissions were cardiac procedures involving an Automatic Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (AICD).

Explaining the reasons for such high-cost admissions, Larkin noted: “For many of these claims, the prostheses costs are a significant component. We welcome the recent announcement by the Federal Minister for Health, Sussan Ley, that a Working Group will be established to review and redesign the Australian Government Prostheses List to make it fairer for private healthcare patients.

“Currently, the cost of prostheses doesn’t stack up for members. For example, an implantable cardiac defibrillator costs Western Australia Health $19,000, while the current listed benefit on the Commonwealth Prostheses list is $52,000; that’s $33,000 more expensive. The proposed reforms have the potential to benefit members directly and we look forward to working with the Minister on them this year”.

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VIDEO: IATA Releases 2015 Safety Performance - No Fatal Jet Hull Losses

The 2015 global jet accident rate (measured in hull losses per 1 million flights) was 0.32, which was the equivalent of one major accident for every 3.1 million flights. This was not as good as the rate of 0.27 achieved in 2014 but a 30% improvement compared to the previous five-year rate (2010-2014) of 0.46 hull loss accidents per million jet flights.

There were four accidents resulting in passenger fatalities in 2015, all of which involved turboprop aircraft, with 136 fatalities. This compares with an average of 17.6 fatal accidents and 504 fatalities per year in the previous five-year period (2010-2014). The 2015 jet hull loss rate for members of IATA was 0.22 (one accident for every 4.5 million flights), which outperformed the global rate by 31% and which was in line with the five-year rate (2010-2014) of 0.21 per million flights but above the 0.12 hull loss rate achieved in 2014.

The loss of Germanwings 9525 (pilot suicide) and Metrojet 9268 (suspected terrorism) that resulted in the deaths of 374 passengers and crew are tragedies that occurred in 2015. They are not, however, included in the accident statistics as they are classified as deliberate acts of unlawful interference (i).

“2015 was another year of contrasts when it comes to aviation’s safety performance. In terms of the number of fatal accidents, it was an extraordinarily safe year. And the long-term trend data show us that flying is getting even safer. Yet we were all shocked and horrified by two deliberate acts--the destruction of Germanwings 9525 and Metrojet 9268. While there are no easy solutions to the mental health and security issues that were exposed in these tragedies, aviation continues to work to minimize the risk that such events will happen again,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO. 

2015 Safety by the numbers: 

    • More than 3.5 billion people flew safely on 37.6 million flights (31.4 million by jet, 6.2 million by turboprop)
    • 136 fatalities compared to 641 fatalities in 2014 and the five-year average of 504. Including those who lost their lives in Germanwings 9525 and Metrojet 9268, the 2015 figure was 510.
    • 68 accidents (all aircraft types), down from 77 in 2014 and the five-year average of 90 per year
    • Four fatal accidents (all aircraft types) versus 12 in 2014 and the five-year average of 17.6
    • 6% of all accidents were fatal, below the five-year average of 19.6%
    • 10 hull loss accidents involving jets compared to 8 in 2014 and the five-year average of 13 per year
    • Zero jet hull loss accidents involving passenger fatalities, down from three in 2014, and the five-year average of 6.4 per year.
    • Although there were no passenger fatalities on jet transports there were two accidents with jet aircraft which resulted in loss of life:

1. Eight fatalities on the ground resulted from a runway excursion in the DR Congo involving a freighter aircraft.
2. A passenger jet and a smaller jet conducting an air ambulance flight collided over Senegal. Damage to the passenger jet was moderate and there were no injuries to any on board. The wreckage of the air ambulance has not been located and is presumed lost with the deaths of all 7 persons on board.

  • Eight hull loss accidents involving turboprops of which four were fatal
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Air Freight Growth Slowed To 2.2% In 2015

Global air freight markets showing cargo volumes measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs) expanded 2.2% in 2015 compared to 2014. This was a slower pace of growth than the 5.0% growth recorded in 2014. The weakness reflects sluggish trade growth in Europe and Asia-Pacific.

After a strong start, air freight volumes began a decline that continued through 2015, until some improvements to world trade drove a modest pick-up late in the year. Cargo in Asia-Pacific, accounting for around 39% traffic, expanded by a moderate 2.3%. The key markets of Europe and North America, which between them comprise around 43% of total cargo traffic, were basically flat in 2015. Latin America suffered a steep decline (-6.0%) while the Middle East grew strongly, up 11.3%. Africa also saw modest growth of 1.2%. The freight load factor (FLF) was at times the lowest for some years, falling to an average 44.1% compared to 45.7% in 2014, driven down by weak demand and capacity expansion.

“2015 was another very difficult year for air cargo. Growth has slowed and revenue is falling. In 2011 air cargo revenue peaked at $67 billion. In 2016 we are not expecting revenue to exceed $51 billion. Efficiency gains are critical as the sector adjusts to shortening global supply chains and evermore competitive market conditions. We have to adjust to the ‘new normal’ of cargo growing in line with general rates of economic expansion. The industry is moving forward with an e-freight transformation that will modernize processes and improve the value proposition. The faster the industry can make that happen, the better,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

The industry’s key challenges will be discussed in detail at the World Cargo Symposium (WCS) in Berlin, 15-17 March. The world’s largest gathering of air cargo professionals, the 10th WCS will bring together 1,000 delegates under the theme of ‘The Value of Air Cargo’ to debate solutions for strengthening air cargo and the vital service it performs for the world economy.  
 
Dec 2015 vs. Dec 2014FTK GrowthAFTK GrowthFLF
International 0.7% 6.6% 47.4
Domestic 1.4% 6.2% 30.8
Total Market 0.8% 6.5% 43.9
YTD 2015 vs. YTD 2014FPK GrowthAFTK GrowthFLF
International 2.5% 6.4% 47.6
Domestic 0.1% 4.6% 29.6
Total Market 2.2% 6.1% 44.1

Regional Analysis in Detail

The global freight growth rate in December was 0.8% compared to December 2014. Within that range there were considerable regional fluctuations. 

African airlines FTKs declined by 8.4% in December although for 2015 as a whole the region grew by 1.2%. The FLF in 2015 was 29.7%, the lowest of any region. The underperformance of the Nigerian and South African economies was a challenge throughout the year, but trade growth to and from the region was sufficient to drive a modest expansion in FTKs.

Asia-Pacific carriers were basically flat in December, expanding just 0.1%. For the whole of 2015, the region grew 2.3%. The FLF for 2015 was 53.9%, the highest of any region. Cargo expansion in the region has been hampered by a shift in Chinese economic policy to favour domestic consumption. A mid-year fall of 8% in trade to/from emerging Asia also led to declines but this appears to have bottomed out, with a rebound in the second half of the year.

European airlines grew by 1.2% in December but the performance for 2015 in total was a fall of 0.1% compared to 2014. The FLF in 2015 was 44.9%. Economic conditions in the Eurozone have been subdued, leading to suppressed demand for air freight, but imports have improved in recent months.

Latin American carriers continued the weak performance of recent months, declining by 6.2% in December and by 6.0% for 2015 as a whole. This was the weakest performance of any region. The average FLF for 2015 was 38.3%. Economic and political conditions in Brazil have worsened, and regional trade activity has been volatile.

Middle Eastern carriers grew 4.0% in December and for 2015 in total the region expanded 11.3% compared to 2014. The FLF was 42.8% for 2015. The region enjoyed a strong year as network expansion into emerging markets was supported by economic growth in local economies. Political instability and the fall in the oil price may impact on some economies in the region but growth as a whole remains robust enough to support further expansion in 2016.

North American airlines saw FTKs expand 1.4% in December compared to December 2014. For the year as a whole, North America grew just 0.1%. The 2015 FLF was 34.3%. Growth in 2015 faded after a strong start that was flattered by the West Coast ports strike. Recently there have been mixed signals from economic data, indicating an uncertain outlook for air freight in the coming months.
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International Tourist Arrivals Up 4% Reach A Record 1.2 Billion In 2015

International tourist arrivals grew by 4.4% in 2015 to reach a total of 1,184 million in 2015, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. Some 50 million more tourists (overnight visitors) travelled to international destinations around the world last year as compared to 2014. 

2015 marks the 6th consecutive year of above-average growth, with international arrivals increasing by 4% or more every year since the post-crisis year of 2010.

“International tourism reached new heights in 2015. The robust performance of the sector is contributing to economic growth and job creation in many parts of the world. It is thus critical for countries to promote policies that foster the continued growth of tourism, including travel facilitation, human resources development and sustainability” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.

Demand was strong overall, though with mixed results across individual destinations due to unusually strong exchange rate fluctuations, the drop in oil prices and other commodities which increased disposable income in importing countries but weakened demand in exporters, as well as increased safety and security concerns.

“2015 results were influenced by exchange rates, oil prices and natural and manmade crises in many parts of the world. As the current environment highlights in a particular manner the issues of safety and security, we should recall that tourism development greatly depends upon our collective capacity to promote safe, secure and seamless travel. In this respect, UNWTO urges governments to include tourism administrations in their national security planning, structures and procedures, not only to ensure that the sector’s exposure to threats is minimised but also to maximise the sector’s ability to support security and facilitation, as seamless and safe travel can and should go hand in hand”, added Mr Rifai.

Growth in advanced economy destinations (+5%) exceeded that of emerging economies (+4%), boosted by the solid results of Europe (+5%).

By region, Europe, the Americas and Asia and the Pacific all recorded around 5% growth in 2015. Arrivals to the Middle East increased by 3% while in Africa, limited data available, points to an estimated 3% decrease, mostly due to weak results in North Africa, which accounts for over one third of arrivals in the region.

Positive prospects for 2016

Results from the UNWTO Confidence Index remain largely positive for 2016, though at a slightly lower level as compared to  the previous two years. Based on the current trend and this outlook, UNWTO projects international tourist arrivals to grow by 4% worldwide in 2016.

By region, growth is expected to be stronger in Asia and the Pacific (+4% to +5%) and the Americas (+4% to +5%), followed by Europe (+3.5% to +4.5%). The projections for Africa (+2% to 5%) and the Middle East (+2% to +5%) are positive, though with a larger degree of uncertainty and volatility.

2015 Regional Results

Europe (+5%) led growth in absolute and relative terms supported by a weaker euro vis-à-vis the US dollar and other main currencies. Arrivals reached 609 million, or 29 million more than in 2014. Central and Eastern Europe (+6%) rebounded from last year’s decrease in arrivals. Northern Europe (+6%), Southern Mediterranean Europe (+5%) and Western Europe (+4%) also recorded sound results, especially considering the many mature destinations they comprise.

Asia and the Pacific (+5%) recorded 13 million more international tourist arrivals last year to reach 277 million, with uneven results across destinations. Oceania (+7%) and South-East Asia (+5%) led growth, while South Asia and in North-East Asia recorded an increase of 4%.

International tourist arrivals in the Americas (+5%) grew 9 million to reach 191 million, consolidating the strong results of 2014. The appreciation of the US dollar stimulated outbound travel from the United States, benefiting the Caribbean and Central America, both recording 7% growth. Results in South America and North America (both at +4%) were close to the average.

International tourist arrivals in the Middle East grew by an estimated 3% to a total of 54 million, consolidating the recovery initiated in 2014.

Limited available data for Africa points to a 3% decrease in international arrivals, reaching a total of 53 million. In North Africa arrivals declined by 8% and in Sub-Saharan Africa by 1%, though the latter returned to positive growth in the second half of the year. (Results for both Africa and Middle East should be read with caution as it is based on limited available data)

China, the USA and the UK lead outbound travel growth in 2015

A few leading source markets have driven tourism expenditure in 2015 supported by a strong currency and economy.

Among the world’s top source markets, China, with double-digit growth in expenditure every year since 2004, continues to lead global outbound travel, benefitting Asian destinations such as Japan and Thailand, as well as the United States and various European destinations.

By contrast, expenditure from the previously very dynamic source markets of the Russian Federation and Brazil declined significantly, reflecting the economic constraints in both countries and the depreciation of the rouble and the real against virtually all other currencies.

As for the traditional advanced economy source markets, expenditure from the United States (+9%), the world’s second largest source market, and the United Kingdom (+6%) was boosted by a strong currency and rebounding economy. Spending from Germany, Italy and Australia grew at a slower rate (all at +2%), while demand from Canada and France was rather weak. 

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Global Economy Faced $123bn Natural Hazard Impact In Warmest Year On Record

The Annual Global Climate and Catastrophe Report by Impact Forecasting, which evaluates the impact of the natural disaster events that took place worldwide during 2015, is out today. 

The report reveals that 300 separate global natural disasters occurred in 2015, compared to the 15-year average of 269 events, causing a combined total insured loss of USD35 billion – 31 percent below the 15-year average of USD51 billion, and the lowest annual insured loss total since 2009. The costliest event for insurers was a February winter storm that impacted much of the Eastern United States and resulted in public and private insurance payouts of more than USD2.1 billion.

Global economic losses from natural catastrophes in 2015 stood at USD123 billion – 30 percent below the 15-year average of USD175 billion. There were 14 multi-billion dollar economic loss events around the world, with the costliest being forest fires that burned out of control in Indonesia. At USD16.1 billion, The World Bank noted that the economic loss from the fires represented 1.9 percent of the country's GDP.

Meanwhile, 2015 replaced 2014 as the warmest year since the recording of global land and ocean temperature began in 1880.

Stephen Mildenhall, Chairman of Aon Analytics, said: "Global insured property catastrophes in 2015 accounted for just 28 percent of economic losses, in-line with the 10-year average of 29 percent. In many regions, economic catastrophe losses are very material relative to national GDP and yet are insured at much lower levels than inthe United States and Europe. Of our top five economic losses, four occurred outside the United States and yet none of these was a top 10 insured loss owing to low insurance penetration in the affected countries. With its abundant capital and sophisticated risk management tools, the industry should drive its own growth by better delivering on its core mission of providing critical risk transfer products to enable stable economic development in all regions of the world."

The study reveals that the three costliest perils – flood, severe thunderstorm, and wildfire – accounted for 59 percent of all economic losses during the 12 months under review. The deadliest event of 2015 was the magnitude-7.8 earthquake and subsequent aftershock that struck Nepal in April and May, killing more than 9,100 people and costing the nation and surrounding countries an estimated USD8.0 billion in damage and reconstruction.

Steve Bowen, Associate Director and Meteorologist at Impact Forecasting, said: "While a notable uptick in recorded natural disaster events did not directly translate to greater financial losses in 2015, the year was marked by 31 individual billion-dollar disasters, or 20 percent more than the long-term average. For just the fourth time since 1980, there were more than 30 such events in a year. Asia once again incurred the greatest overall economic losses, representing 50 percent of the world total and four of the five costliest events. Despite 32 percent of global economic losses occurring in the United States, it accounted for 60 percent of the insured loss and seven of the top 10 costliest insured events. The strongest El Niño in decades had definitive impacts on global weather patterns during the second half of 2015 that led to costly flood, tropical cyclone and drought events. These impacts will linger into the first half of 2016, and ironically enough, we could be discussing impacts from La Niña at this time next year."

By the end of 2015, the United States had extended its record to 10 consecutive years without a major hurricane landfall. While 32 percent of catastrophe losses occurred inside of the United States, the country accounted for 60 percent of global insured losses, highlighting the high level of insurance penetration.

The top 10 insured loss events in 2015 comprised of five United States severe thunderstorm outbreaks, one United States winter storm, one European windstorm, one Indonesian forest fire, and one United States drought. No region of the world sustained aggregate insured losses above its 15-year average in 2015; though EMEA, Asia Pacific and the Americas (non-US) were all above their respective medians.

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Top 10 International Private Medical Insurance Magazine Mergers And Acquisitions News Stories 2015

Merger and acquisition mania swept across the international private medical insurance industry in 2015 driven by various market factors at home and abroad.

Congratulations to Healix International on the acquisition of Capita Global Assistance. The story was the most popular published under the Mergers and Acquisitions News section. Other mentions include Aetna, Humana, Willis, PMI Health Group, AIG, ING Employee Benefits, ABRY, International Medical Group, Simplyhealth, AXA PPP Healthcare, Anthem, Cigna, ACE, Chubb, Chase Templeton and Atlas Consulting.

At International Private Medical Insurance (iPMI) Magazine we followed the insurers' appetite for scale with the following 10 news stories proving most popular to our global audience:

Healix Acquires Capita Global Assistance

Aetna To Acquire Humana For $37 Billion

Willis Drives Human Capital And Benefits Presence In UK Through Acquisition Of PMI Health Group

AIG Acquires Controlling Stake in ING Employee Benefits Global Network; Renames To AIG Global Benefits Network

ABRY Completes Acquisition of International Medical Group, Inc.

CMA Clears Simplyhealth’s Sale Of Private Medical Insurance Business To AXA PPP Healthcare

Anthem Announces Definitive Agreement To Acquire Cigna Corporation

Willis Group Completes Transaction With Miller To Form A Leading London Wholesale Specialist Insurance Broking Firm

ACE To Acquire Chubb For $28.3 Billion

Chase Templeton Acquires Employee Benefits Specialists Atlas Consulting

 

 

 

 

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Top 5 International Private Medical Insurance (iPMI) Magazine Global Medical Insurance Providers And Companies 2015

Congratulations to Globality Health, the most popular iPMI (international private medical insurance) provider of iPMI Magazine in 2015. 

Globality Health is the international health insurer with a special focus on expatriates. People who study, live or work abroad.

Special mentions also go to our runner ups including Cigna Global iPMI, Integra Global, Expatriate Group and ALC Health. 

Globality Health 

Cigna Global iPMI

Integra Global

Expatriate Group

ALC Health

 

 

 

 

 

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Top International Private Medical Insurance (iPMI) Magazine Risk Management Business News 2015

iPMI (International Private Medical Insurance) Magazine Articles Of Interest 2015

As another fantastic year in the world of iPMI draws to a close, iPMI (International Private Medical Insurance) Magazine looks back at the more interesting international private medical insurance and assistance articles and features of the year. Featuring Cigna, Aviva, Globality Health, Bellwood Prestbury, AIG, Wellaway, Aetna International, Allianz Worldwide Care, AIA + MORE.

iPMI Magazine Speaks With Arjan Toor Cigna Global iPMI Managing Director

Aviva Adds Expat Growth Destinations To International Private Medical Insurance

iPMI Magazine Speaks With Ida Luka-Lognoné, CEO, Allianz Worldwide Care

Insurance Companies And Products As We Know Them Today Will Have To Evolve

Aetna International Launches New Global Health Care Products For Groups And Individuals

Clements Worldwide Announces Launch Of International Disability Coverage For Expats & Organizations

AIG Responds To Booming Expatriate Population With New Health Product

AIA Introduces Bold Changes To New Zealand Health Insurance Market

Medical Insurance Plan Launched For International Contractors

Wellaway Limited Launches Oneworld, An International Healthcare Program, Geared Towards Expatriates Around The Globe

Cigna Global Health Benefits Expands Sales With New Expatriate Health Insurance Plan

The Rising Cost Of Global Healthcare: iPMI Providers Talk Medical Inflation And Healthcare Costs

International And Expatriate Healthcare And Insurance 2014

Cigna Hong Kong Launches "Cigna HealthFirst Elite Medical Plan"

iPMI (International Private Medical Insurance) Magazine Articles Of Interest 2015

 

 

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Insurance Companies And Products As We Know Them Today Will Have To Evolve

That's according to Griselle Chernys, CEO, at Wellaway, who took an executive seat on a recent iPMI Magazine round table business forum.

Although global risks have changed dramatically, medical inflation and the cost of employee benefits continues to cause concern. In the most recent iPMI Magazine Round Table Business Forum we spoke with leading C-Level executives from the world of International Private Medical Insurance about the rising cost of healthcare and medical inflation.

An AON report report shows that in 2015, medical costs are expected to increase by 10.15 percent before plan design changes and vendor negotiations—6 percentage points higher than the average inflation rate. In 2014, the global average medical trend was 10.34 percent. While the global average medical trend is expected to decline, three regions--Asia Pacific, Europe and Latin America--are projected to see an uptick in rates for 2015.

Talking to the IPMI round table group about the Aon Hewitt report Griselle Chernys, CEO, at Wellaway told us, “I think that the data is pertinent and probably correct. Healthcare is a commodity that providers will control and deliver as they want, especially in the private sector with IPMI coverage. Hospitals and physicians have the upper hand in the delivery and pricing, thus the need for integrated services. As I heard a physician administrator in a hospital say once, during some insurance pricing negotiation, “this is our price and if you do not like it, I would like to see you admit and deliver the medical care the member needs." As long as the relationship of providers and insurance is antagonistic, a solution will not be able to achieved. More and more hospitals and physicians will develop and deliver health plans via their medical facilities and I predict that the multi-hospital system will develop internationally as it has happened in the USA or as we see with Hospiten and the like.

Insurance companies and products as we know them today will have to evolve.”

ANDREW APPS, HEAD OF GLOBAL HEALTHCARE, BELLWOOD PRESTBURY added, “Competition between iPMI insurers is intensifying and will continue to do so as new entrants dip their toe into the market and dream of taking a slice of the ever expanding market. Price cutting particularly amongst the employer-sponsored plans is inevitable as the larger players jockey for position and greater market share, all of which is good for the employer in the short term at least. As the saying goes, there is always someone out there who will take the risk. But there has to come a point where underwriters have to make a return on their investment. At this point premiums have to rise and with the relationship between insurers and medical service providers becoming all the more strained as medical treatment fees increase, that day is not too far away. This makes the job of the adviser /broker all the more important."

ROMAN BEILHACK, CEO, GLOBALITY HEALTH said,Employers are operating in an environment where they need to provide high levels of healthcare for their employees, sometimes due to statutory requirements and other times due to the natural tendency of employers to look after the well being of their workforce. Employers are typically under pressure to keep their operating costs low and when they review their budgets during their annual business planning cycles they will aim to minimise the cost of employee benefits. Due to these cost pressures, there may be situations where employers will downgrade the insurance coverage so that they can afford a plan rather than removing the plan altogether. Globality seeks to find solutions for their clients in these situations.

The global average inflation rate is interesting for comparing one year to the next. However, when it comes to employer-sponsored plans then the specific features of those plans should be considered. This means considering the locations of the insured members, the benefit levels, the treatment providers and network access. Referring to a single global average can be misleading for many employers.”

One of the most common questions we hear within the IPMI industry is: how will the cost of international private medical insurance rise in the next 5 years?

ROMAN BEILHACK, CEO, GLOBALITY HEALTH told us, “Costs are expected to continue to rise at levels above general price inflation. There are continual advances in medical science with new treatments and medicines being developed all the time. It is normal that insured members will demand the best treatments and services available, particularly for expatriates. In order for insurers to offer these new treatments then there will inevitably be premium increases.

However, insurers should not use this as an excuse to increase premiums beyond what is necessary. As can be seen recently, Globality is holding 2016 rates at 2015 levels for many categories of its business."

ARJAN TOOR, MANAGING DIRECTOR, CIGNA GLOBAL IPMI added, “Medical inflation is driven by unit cost, i.e. the price of each service; and utilization, that is how many and what type of services are used. As the world’s health care standards continue to rise and the range of treatment facilities and breadth of treatment options available continues to increase, it is without doubt that both unit cost and utilisation will also continue to increase.

It’s our job as the insurer to understand these risks and continually evolve our proposition to protect our customers from the impacts of medical inflation as far as possible. We’re continually working on initiatives to help minimize the impact of inflationary volatilities including investments in expanding our medical network and claims teams globally, meaning we can counteract medical inflation spikes to a certain extent as we build long-term relationships with hospital groups. It’s a lot about experience as well - it’s imperative that our claims advisors know the expected cost of a hip operation in Singapore, for example, and can ask the right questions to ensure the costs are appropriate.

Ultimately, it’s impossible to say exactly how premium costs will rise over a 5 year period, but our focus will continue to be on driving forward our mission of helping the people we serve improve their health, well-being and sense of security.”

ANDREW APPS, HEAD OF GLOBAL HEALTHCARE, BELLWOOD PRESTBURY commented, “If I had a crystal ball, it would be easy to answer this; however, the reality is that no one really knows to what extent iPMI premiums are going to rise over the next few years. What is certain is that premiums will continue to increase due to the rising cost of medical treatment along with the ever popular demand for private medical treatment.

That said, increased competition amongst the iPMI providers has, to some degree, helped to keep premiums palatable for most policyholders (putting to one side the notion that nobody likes to see their premiums increase), with average year on year increases running between 5-10% depending upon where a person is living and working. How long this will continue is anyone’s guess, but the market is hotting up with yet more new provider entrants trying their hand.”

GRISELLE CHERNYS, CEO, WELLAWAY added, “The cost of international private medical insurance will rise dramatically and this will be driven by the development and demand for new treatments, pharmaceuticals and technology. Longevity is also playing a role in the inflation and utilization of medical services which creates more demand and demand will drive costs.”

TO READ THE COMPLETE ROUND TABLE, THE RISING COST OF GLOBAL HEALTHCARE, CLICK HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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