Posted on Nov 20, 2015 by rob.mcbroom
Singapore is widely known as having one of the best health care systems in the world. With public hospitals that offer efficient care, and a universal health system that enables all Singaporeans the right to this care. The problem is, the universal system is open only to residents of Singapore, which means that foreign workers are not covered by it, leaving them to foot the bill for the full-cost of care in the city.
That is why almost all expats either buy their own health insurance or secure it through their company. While there are many different plans available that adequately cover the cost of healthcare in the city, there is one thing they all have in common: you can guarantee that premiums will increase each year.
Despite the necessity for health insurance, premium increases can be a tough pill to swallow, especially when it comes to International Private Medical Insurance plans (IPMI). This is especially true for HR managers who need to justify premium increases. In order to help our clients better understand IPMI premiums, we have published our IPMI inflation report on an annual basis for the past several years.
Now, we are pleased to announce that we have released the latest edition of our report. Titled: International Private Medical Insurance Inflation Report 2015, this year's report retains the insurers, plans, countries, and regions used in the 2014 report - which is available here - but introduces a number of new elements to help readers gain a better understanding of the drivers behind IPMI inflation.
IPMI inflation at the global level
Globally, we saw IPMI premiums inflate by an average of 9.2% in 2015, up a considerable amount from the 7.1% inflation seen in 2014. As you can see from the graph below, after three years of decreasing averages, 2015 saw a somewhat sharp uptick, which we predict to continue.
This year, we included a new comparison element that allows readers to better compare inflation - the Consumer Price Inflation (CPI). When comparing CPI to IPMI inflation we found that IPMI inflation generally mirrors CPI at a consistent 5% higher. We explain why this is in our report, while also covering major drivers behind IPMI inflation seen in all countries.
IPMI Inflation drivers
While every country will have unique drivers behind IPMI inflation - which we cover in the analysis for each country in the report - we believe that IPMI Inflation is heavily influenced by the increasing cost of healthcare. In our report we identified four major drivers behind the cost of healthcare that have had a clear impact on health insurance premiums:
- New medical technology
- An imbalance of healthcare resources
- Rising salaries for healthcare professionals
- Overuse of healthcare
We provide an in-depth overview of these drivers in the report, which also sheds some light on what to expect from insurance premiums in the future.
IPMI Inflation in Singapore
Singapore is one of the countries included in the report, and in 2015 it saw an average premium increase of 9.5% - tied with Hong Kong and China. Of the plans included in the report, we saw premiums rise from between 6.3% to 13.4%.
Interestingly, when compared to the CPI for Singapore, IPMI Inflation does not seem to follow the same trend, which tells us that inflation is influenced more by global IPMI trends than local inflation.
To learn more about IPMI inflation, check out our new website where we have posted the whole report, which is also available for download. As always, if you have any questions regarding international health insurance, please don't hesitate to contact us.