What Are The Key Trends Shaping Health Insurance Costs Around The World?
While the cost of health insurance changes every year, the changes are even more dramatic as of late due to the latest COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the factors that health insurers use to calculate the price of international health insurance premiums include medical inflation, healthcare utilization, and cost of prescriptions, to name a few.
Written exclusively for Expat Network by Pacific Prime UK
On top of that, there are several key trends that shape health insurance costs around the world globally – which our friends from Pacific Prime are here to get our readers up to speed on.
Key trends shaping international health insurance premiums
International health insurance premiums are influenced by both regional and global factors. Based on the findings of our latest Cost of Health Insurance Report for 2020, there are several key factors that have influenced insurance premiums on a global scale, including:
Healthcare demands are evolving
Increased use of healthcare and expenditure is expected during times such as these, with hundreds of thousands of patients being admitted to hospitals around the world. Along with affecting people’s health, COVID-19 has also had a direct impact on their behavior surrounding health. Healthcare services have been delayed globally for reasons such as social distancing measures and concerns overburdening healthcare resources. In some cases, non-urgent care and dental work have been pushed back or canceled – especially in countries that are still under lockdown.
Conversely, patients themselves are avoiding seeking care for the time being for various reasons, with cautious healthcare spending being one of them. Telehealth has also become more popular during the pandemic, as patients look for ways to minimize contact and access healthcare services.
Healthcare costs keep rising
The growth in healthcare costs has exceeded general inflation due to a large number of cost drivers in many countries, such as the increasing cost of drugs, bad lifestyle habits resulting in a higher number of chronic illnesses, and an aging population. The global healthcare crisis has also severely affected health systems and changed patient behavior in ways that increase costs. These include hospital costs directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic, along with mental health costs that are directly and indirectly linked to the pandemic.
What’s more, insurance providers also witnessed an abrupt spike in healthcare costs due to social distancing measures, added safety protocols, personal protective equipment, and increase use of healthcare services.
Insurtech is on the rise
While the adoption of digital measures was imminent before the pandemic, it has now been fast-tracked by insurers who are trying to catch up with insurtech, which has, in turn, significantly impacted insurance premiums. Lockdown measures and movement restrictions are a couple of reasons behind the sudden increase of remote interactions and online platforms. Consequently, insurtechs have the opportunity to increase virtual interactions across the board, from sales and claims management to enhancing the customer experience.
In addition, the insurance sector is witnessing comprehensive adoption of telemedicine as patients turn to virtual solutions to avoid in-person healthcare services. Insurers are working with a multitude of players to provide value-added services like video consultations, wellness coaching, and healthcare products.
Fraud-related challenges continue
Health insurance fraud describes when health insurance companies are given misleading information by the policyholder or health services provider in a bid to get them to pay for unauthorized benefits. Some of the most common types of fraud in the insurance sector include misrepresenting non-covered treatments, billing a patient for more than the deductible or co-pay amount, and billing for more expensive services than what was actually provided.
As more people are working from home and using unsecured networks during the pandemic, healthcare fraud is at an all-time high. In fact, Kapinksy reported a 217% increase in global DDoS attacks from Q2 2019 and Q2 2020.
Learn more about the cost of health insurance around the world
Pacific Prime’s latest Cost of Health Insurance Report takes an in-depth look at the aforementioned points, along with other key trends and analyses of key findings. You can download the free report now to find out more about the average costs of private medical insurance in 100 countries for both individual and family plans.
Make sure you’re not spending more than you need to on healthcare by securing the right health insurance plan. As a reputable insurance broker, Pacific Prime compares medical insurance plans to make sure you get the best one for your needs and budget. Contact Pacific Prime for impartial advice or a free quote today.