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Pacific Prime Clarifies International Private Medical Insurance Inflation

Pacific Prime has reflected on their annual International Private Medical Insurance (IPMI) industry reports, which set out to outline the rates of inflation among major insurers in various regions around the world. Click here to read the reports. The advisor further analysed findings in an effort to explore the methodology used in reporting inflation rates, along with indications of where care should be taken when drawing specific conclusions.

The article demonstrates a requirement for clarification between the data used in regards to promotions and discounts, taking them into account rather than omitting their significance by removing their impact on premium inflation analyses. The advisor deemed it "more beneficial to interested consumers to reflect true pricing at the time of our reporting to give a more accurate depiction of the current landscape of the market". The article makes it clear that this decision left some numbers open to interpretation due to the final figures being presented with an emphasis on inflation percentage. This explanation was given to a query on how some insurers have a seemingly high inflation percentage rate, which may not be an accurate reflection of a given year's rate.

The first example of this came in Pacific Prime's position for William Russell, who appeared to have the highest annual inflation of the year among insurance companies covered within the report. The advisor showed that, at first glance, there could be an assumption that William Russell simply raised premiums at a greater rate than others. However, the issue becomes clear when the context of temporary promotions given as an additional discount to Pacific Prime clients is explained.

Pacific Prime states they used this discounted rate as data for the annual IPMI inflation report, which was not truly indicative of William Russell's published book rates. When the promotion ended, the data was 'artificially exaggerated' and could not be considered a true representation of William Russell's actual inflationary rise between 2013 and 2014. They highlighted that William Russell actually had the 2nd lowest average inflation rate in 2013, and the lowest average inflation in 2012.

William Russell has a long established track record of providing quality insurance products at an excellent value, introducing new measures to combat inflation in the form of new provider and limited direct billing networks. Although the insurer seemingly had the highest inflation in the report, Pacific Prime would like to acknowledge that the percentage increase is not indicative of actual premium price, and expects a return to lower inflation rates in the 2015 report.

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