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Cost of International Health Insurance Report 2018 Released

Pacific Prime Thailand is pleased to announce the latest iteration of its annual Cost of International Health Insurance Report for Individuals and Families. A welcome addition to our collection of guides and resources, this latest report utilizes valuable data from seven major insurers in 100 countries to reflect and analyze the current state and potential trends of global premiums as of 2018. Enhanced with ranking tables and clear explanations, it is a digestible read for anyone looking to secure international private medical insurance (IPMI).

For a pared-down look at our report, which only contains our rankings and analysis sections (primary global drivers behind the cost of IPMI), you may read our online version here.

For a complete ranking of the average cost of medical insurance in 100 countries for different demographics, as well as our full length analysis on the key drivers behind the five pivotal findings, download a free copy of our full report in PDF format here.

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Ranking the top 20 and bottom 5 most expensive countries

As with previous years, We have included ranking tables for both individuals and families to illuminate average costs by demographic.

We generate our rankings by taking the premiums for each of the demographics above, along with the three levels of the plan (namely – inpatient; inpatient + outpatient; and inpatient + outpatient + maternity plans), and averaging them together for each country.

Ranking based on the average price of plans (overall) are as follows:

Rank Country Average Cost – USD % of
1 US $23,120 100%
2 Hong Kong $12,927 55.9%
3 Canada $10,361 44.8%
79 Angola $6,201 26.8%


After taking into account the premiums for both individuals and families, we have come up with the above result. Unsurprisingly, the US ranks as the top country (USD 23,120) in the average price of international health insurance (for both individuals and families). Its average premium is 44% more expensive than the second most expensive country – Hong Kong (USD 12,927). The least expensive country is Angola (USD 6,201), which has a 73.2% difference with the US.

We have identified a number of notable changes when comparing the data of 2018 with figures in the past. For instance, an increase in ranking for Dubai, and a drop of average premiums in both China and Singapore. For a full version of our key findings, you can download a complimentary copy of our report, in which you can find an exclusive section analyzing the shifts in the rankings.

CAGR of the average price of plans from 2015 – 2018

In this new section, we have ranked the compound average growth rate of premiums in the 20 most expensive and the 5 least expensive locations for IPMI in 2018. While most of us would expect positive figures for this rate due to ever-rising medical costs, there are actually some locations that buck the historical trend and record a negative growth rate. The most drastic decreases can be found in Croatia (-1.49%) and the Dominican Republic (-1.25%).

Please note that a negative compound average growth rate only denotes a decrease in average premiums in that particular location since 2015. Even if a region has a negative CAGR, it does not mean all premiums will go down, since there are variations of premiums among different plans.

Key drivers behind IPMI premiums

IMPI premiums are prone to influence from a basket of factors, among which we have identified four that are globally applicable.

  1. Increased demand for international quality private care:

Improving living standards, aging population, and growing upper and middle classes in developing countries have driven up the demand for IPMI.

  1. Increased cost of healthcare:

This is the key influential factor in the increase of IPMI premiums. Global healthcare costs have been on the rise constantly throughout the past years, and will probably remain so in the foreseeable future.

  1. Increased regulations:

Regulations include implementation of stricter insurance licensing, and the implementation of mandatory cover.

The former refers to government regulations, like those in China and Singapore, where insurers must obtain licenses to offer local insurance plans, and thus insurers will require more capital, and have to exercise due diligence more extensively.

The latter concerns mandatory cover, like that in Dubai, where residents must secure compliant health insurance plans, and insurers must provide coverages including costly care types, such as maternity and diabetes.

  1. Continued challenges with fraud regulation:

Healthcare fraud continues to plague the industry, as stated in the previous three iterations of our report. Even with the input of advanced technological tools, experts believe that insurance-related frauds still lead to financial losses of tens of billions of US dollars each year in the US alone.

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

Thailand comes 23rd in the overall ranking on the average cost of IPMI premium, at USD 7,931, which amounts to 34.3% of the premium in the United States This makes the Land of Smiles the 7th most expensive country to obtain such plans in within Asia.

Compared with the figure in 2015, it has a positive compound average growth rate of 2.2%.

Download the 2018 Cost of International Health Insurance Report

To deliver on our goal of simplifying insurance, our team of professional advisors curates a selection of guides and reports annually to draw an accurate and comprehensive picture of the insurance industry. The Cost of International Health Insurance Report is one of the most important resources we provide each year. It is completely free, and available in two versions: an online version featuring selected contents, and a PDF version covering full rankings and complete analysis.

If you still have other insurance-related questions after reading our report, or otherwise, our specialists will be on hand to offer you impartial opinions and answers to your questions. Feel free to contact us today, get a free quote or a plan comparison!

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Content Creator at Pacific Prime Thailand
Anthony Chan is a content writer at Pacific Prime. He’s responsible for writing, translating, and editing articles, guides, infographics, leaflets, as well as other resources for Pacific Prime and Kwiksure.

When he’s not working, he’s usually on the hunt for great restaurants, playing badminton, and writing screenplays.