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Characterized by an aging population, coupled with the impacts of the pandemic, we’re likely to see an acceleration of telehealth and digital innovation in Asia-Pacific. Mental health claims and delayed treatment will also remain a concern for insurers going forward. Meanwhile, economic uncertainty has increased demand for insurance products in countries like China, Singapore, Thailand, etc.
Update from Pacific Prime: We’ve acquired insurtech CXA’s brokerage arms in Hong Kong and Singapore, and incorporated their industry-leading flex benefits capabilities into our offerings for corporate clients.
Pandemic-related economic slowdown in the Middle East has negatively affected insurers, who are investing in technology to meet consumers’ expectations of an enhanced service offering. When it comes to government regulation, several countries like the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia have launched mandatory health insurance to meet the long-term healthcare needs of their population. Investment in healthcare facilities is also likely to shine the spotlight on the UAE’s medical tourism sector in 2021.
Africa’s insurance market is inconsistent. 91% of premiums are concentrated in 10 countries, and South Africa accounts for 70% of total premiums. Compared to other regions, Africa’s insurance market is also relatively immature - but there is scope for growth. Digital innovation will likely propel this growth, particularly as the pandemic has accelerated the shift to digital and remote channels. Mobile apps will be a focus for insurtech companies in the region.
Across Europe, insurers’ profitability was high for countries where the state shouldered most of the pandemic-related costs. However, we’re also witnessing patients delay medical treatment due to the pandemic. In some countries like the UK, the National Health Service (NHS) has been backlogged, which may increase demand for private health insurance.
In the US, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) makes a comeback, and the American Rescue Plan is rolled out to battle the pandemic and boost insurance coverage rates. Drug spending also continues to rise - especially concerning patented speciality drugs in Canada. Elsewhere in Latin America, insurers are customizing plans for a fast-growing market of working and middle-class population - amidst a backdrop of prevalent health conditions.
Against the backdrop of geopolitical tensions, insurers will need to navigate the tightening regulatory and reporting requirements.
Given rising unemployment and economic uncertainty, many individuals are facing pandemic-related hardships. In this context, insurers will need to proactively identify and engage with these individuals.
Dampened business confidence has lowered budgets, and insurers will need to suggest ways for companies to optimize group health plans. Employee benefits specialists will also play a vital role in analyzing a company’s claim data for effective decision making.
of insurers excluded coverage
during a pandemic
of insurers are expected to exclude
coverage during a pandemic
National health systems will adopt new frameworks to learn from the pandemic
Telehealth will rise in popularity
Advancement in genomics and gene editing will lead to new cures
AI and Blockchain usage will facilitate better healthcare and outbreak management
Cyber security will need to be prioritized as healthcare providers rely on technology
Healthcare experience will become vital
Patients have delayed seeking healthcare due to the pandemic, which will increase healthcare claims for insurers further down the line.
The burden of mental health conditions on insurers is expected to grow due to:
Loneliness arising from lockdowns and social distancing measures
Anxiety surrounding the fear of getting COVID-19
Financial woes amidst economic uncertainty
A word from our headquarters in Hong Kong:
"We have seen a spike in mental health claims due to COVID-19-related restrictions and border closures. International firms have also seen a higher number of resignations in Hong Kong, presumably because expats are relocating back home to be with family during these strange times."
- Pierre de Mirman,
Deputy Global CEO at Pacific Prime