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Introducing our 2018 Cost of International Health Insurance Report

In our newly released, complimentary 2018 Cost of International Health Insurance Report, you will find the answers to the questions that many of you ask when searching for health insurance, or while renewing your current plans, such as: What is the actual cost of health insurance? Where do these insurance companies take the numbers from, and what affects my premiums besides my health condition, or primary country of coverage? In which countries can I expect to pay the most for my health insurance? And, what about the least expensive countries for health insurance?

2018 Cost of International Health Insurance Report

In Pacific Prime’s 2018 Cost of International Health Insurance Report, you can expect to learn the average costs of international health insurance all over the world. This year’s report is based on the data derived from 7 global insurers across 100 countries for 2 plan demographics: individual and family plans.  

In our list of the top 20 most expensive, and bottom 5 least expensive countries to buy international health insurance, we have identified certain trends that did not change from the previous editions of our report and some that were entirely unexpected.

For instance, the US remains the most expensive country to buy health insurance, and its plans are on average about 46% more expensive than the 2nd most expensive country – Hong Kong. On the other hand, Singapore has dropped in our rankings from 3rd place last year, to 9th in the 2018 Cost of International Health Insurance report.

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Global trends

In Pacific Prime’s report, you will also find an extensive section that explains the shifts in the rankings, as well as accurate prices of plans. With the US and Hong Kong staying firmly on top of our rankings, Dubai’s sudden jump from 9th place in 2017 to the 4th position this year is quite drastic. This is because the UAE has introduced a 5% tax across the country, which also had an upward impact on insurance premiums in the region. Dubai has surpassed both China and Singapore, locations which have historically ranked either third or fourth most expensive overall.

You can view the full rankings of the 20 most and 5 least expensive countries to buy international health insurance, divided by types of plans, and additional CAGR analysis in our 2018 Cost of Health Insurance Report. Below, we’ve included a simplified list of the 10 most expensive countries for health insurance in 2018 (taking into account the overall premiums of both individual and family plans):

Rank Country Average Cost – USD
1 US $23,120
2 Hong Kong $12,927
3 Canada $10,361
4 Dubai $9,917
5 China $9,639
6 Indonesia $9,329
7 Mexico $9,252
8 Israel $9,244
9 Singapore $9,238
10 UK $8,786

Drivers behind the cost of health insurance

Since we first started producing this report on an annual basis, the US has continued to maintain its prime position as the number one most expensive country for health insurance. Other countries, however, have seen some significant changes. While there is a myriad of different factors that influence changes in IPMI premiums, we have identified four that can be applied globally:

  1. Increased demand for international quality private care
  2. Increased cost of healthcare
  3. Increased regulation
    Implementation of stricter insurance licensing
    Implementation of mandatory cover in some countries
  4. Continued challenges with fraud regulation

Increased demand for healthcare in both the public and private sectors is at the same time a key driver of its increasing cost. These two reasons are connected, and in our opinion, the strongest two reasons behind the changes in insurance premiums worldwide.

Moreover, while some countries have introduced mandatory healthcare, which for example in Dubai must also cover all pre-existing conditions, insurance companies are increasing their premiums to protect their business. Tighter government regulations has also had an upward impact on premiums in a number of locations this year.

At the same time, insurers are investing more in new technologies to fight insurance fraud, which for now, is still at high levels: reportedly 24% of all insurance fraud comes from the healthcare sector.

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How does Singapore rank in the 2018 Cost of International Health Insurance Report?

As mentioned above, Singapore’s cost of international health insurance has dropped, although the city-state still places itself in the top 10 most expensive countries in the world to obtain international health insurance. In this year’s edition, we have also utilized onshore plan data for Singapore, which we believe, partially explains the premium price drop in Singapore. The onshore plans are usually cheaper than their offshore counterparts, and yet those local plans are more suitable for people living in Singapore.

The average price of a private individual medical plan in Singapore is USD 4,520, placing it on the 9th place in our rankings, and the price for family plans is USD 13,955 per annum – making Singapore the 6th most expensive city to obtain such coverage worldwide.  

Download the 2018 Cost of International Health Insurance Report

Pacific Prime’s fourth annual Cost of Health Insurance Report is now available for download.

In it, individuals, families and companies alike will find valuable information on the cost of international health insurance around the world, key findings, and the reasons behind premium changes.

Get a complimentary copy of this year’s Cost of International Health Insurance Report today, and don’t forget to visit our resource section for more reports and insurance guides, or simply contact us and get a free quote and plan comparisons now!

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Content Creator at Pacific Prime Singapore
Elwira Skrybus is a content writer at Pacific Prime. In her everyday work, she is utilizing her previous social media and branding experience to create informative articles, guides, and reports to help our readers simplify the sometimes-puzzling world of international health insurance.

When she isn’t writing, you are most likely to find Elwira in search of the perfect plant-based burger or enjoying Hong Kong’s great outdoors either at the beach or from the boat - the closer to the sea, the better!