Key drivers shaping international health insurance premiums in Hong Kong

Weak negotiating position

Limited private hospitals with a lack of standardization of treatments and costs mean less negotiation power for insurers in Hong Kong. In most countries, insurers set up a network of medical providers as a cost-containment method. However, the limited number of hospitals in Hong Kong renders this method ineffective.

Weak negotiating position

Coverage plan gap

The big gap in coverage between international vs local plans means there are fewer options in between.

Coverage plan gap

Aging population

Hong Kong’s public hospitals are struggling with the aging population, resulting in higher wait times and increased demand for private healthcare. By 2064, it is expected that 33% of the population will be aged 65 or above. As the demand for healthcare increases, people have to turn to private services, which will raise their costs as well.

Aging population

Introduction of VHIS

By introducing the VHIS, or Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme, the Hong Kong Government is trying to steer the population to the private health sector to alleviate the burden on the city-state’s public healthcare system.

Aging population

Pre-existing conditions coverage

The VHIS will provide limited coverage for pre-existing conditions as long as the policy holder had no prior knowledge of the ailment. The scheme, which offers coverage for anyone up to 100 years old, aims to help address the needs of those without private insurance.

Aging population
international health insurance

Key drivers shaping international health insurance premiums globally

Increased demand for international quality private care

The growing demand for private healthcare and the rising population of High Net Worth and Ultra High Net Worth individuals across the globe is causing a dramatic increase in medical costs.

Weak negotiating position

Increased cost of healthcare

For 2019, the global phenomenon is that medical trend rates far outpace general inflation. Higher costs and the rise of chronic conditions are affecting the entire world.

Weak negotiating position

Increased regulation

Insurers across the globe are grappling with regulatory requirements that continue to evolve and expand. Some regulatory changes are a result of consultations with key stakeholders, while others appear more enforced than negotiated.

Coverage plan gap

Increased challenges with fraud regulation

Insurance fraud affects the industry and consumers in multiple ways, such as higher premiums for consumers and reduced earnings for insurers that keep paying fraudulent claims.

Aging population

The rise of insurtech

The accelerated use of technology in the sector is both disrupting and transforming IPMI plans globally.

Aging population

What is the cost of
international health insurance
in Hong Kong and Asia?

Hong Kong has dropped to the third most expensive country for individual IPMI after its number two ranking was replaced by Canada. In 2019, the cost of individual plans in Hong Kong is USD $5,738, which is a 4% difference from USD $5,496 in the previous year. Similarly, the cost of family plans in Hong Kong increased by 2% from USD $16,833 in 2018 to USD $17,140 in 2019.
Top 5 most expensive countries for individual and family health insurance in Asia
Average individual premium in 2019 (USD)
1. Hong Kong - USD $5,738
2. Singapore - USD $5,006
3. China - USD $4,633
4. Australia - USD $3,585
5. New Zealand - USD $3,725
Average family premium in 2019 (USD)
1. Hong Kong - USD $17,140
2. Singapore - USD $15,055
3. China - USD $13,422
4. Australia - USD $12,620
5. New Zealand - USD $12,012
Cost of International Health Insurance in Hong Kong Report - 2019
Cost of International Health Insurance in Hong Kong Report - 2019

An in-depth look at our key findings

A notable number of countries have witnessed increased premiums and rankings

97% of the countries listed in both the individual and family rankings saw their overall premiums increase, with the exception of 3 countries. Canada overtook Hong Kong as the second most expensive country for IPMI while Singapore and Australia saw significant jumps in their rankings.

The Americas is a dominant region in the top 20 most expensive countries

The Americas continue to be a dominant region in the top 20 most expensive countries around the world. Several countries share the same average premium, resulting in the same ranking. Reasons for this include growing demand for IPMI products, more expensive medical costs, and the fact that insurers often combine countries with similar attributes and apply the same premium.

China’s premiums are going through correction after years of increase

Many prominent insurers in China did not apply an increase to their premium in 2019, while others even reduced their premiums. Insurers have improved their ability to segment the hospital networks by identifying high-cost providers, making it possible to offer much cheaper plans.

African countries have some of the highest premium inflation rates

21 African countries saw inflation rates of 15% or higher for individual plans, while 10 African countries had inflation rates of 15% or higher for family plans. There are several factors that contribute to inflation in the region, such as technological advances and higher building rates.

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