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Thailand is a country that is rich not only in food, culture, and tradition, but it is also known for its excellent medical services and facilities. Pacific Prime has identified 5 factors that directly influence the price of IPMI in Thailand.
Thailand has long cemented its position as the destination of choice for medical tourism, due to its wide range of world-class healthcare facilities and relatively affordable treatment options. Due in part to ever-growing demand for care, medical costs continue to rise in the Land of Smiles.
Public and private hospital prices can differ significantly in Thailand. The reason lies in the services provided by the two different types of facilities. Private hospitals run for profit, and invest heavily in the latest equipment and state-of-the-art facilities to attract clients looking for a premium level of healthcare. On the other hand, public hospitals are government-funded, and thus limited to the budget and resources allocated to them.
Thailand’s network of public and private hospitals allows the country to offer healthcare on many levels for locals and expatriates. Additionally, the healthcare options are extended to foreign travelers that visit Thailand as medical tourists seeking cost-effective treatment from private healthcare facilities and clinics. Thailand continues to be at the forefront of cosmetic surgery and other life-changing operations that many international visitors would have to pay significantly more for back in their home countries.
Thailand continues to be an attractive destination for expatriates to settle and work in. The main draw to the country is not only the excellent standard of living it offers, but also the high quality of care. The only concern for expatriates are the ever-rising costs of treatment that consequently influence the cost of IPMI for expatriates.
Certain facilities in the Land of Smiles are known for over-charging expatriates and those that have private medical insurance. For patients with individual private medical insurance, these costs are being reimbursed by insurers. If medical bills continue to rise, so too does the cost of IPMI, which gets passed down to their clients.
While there are a number of global and location-specific factors that influence IPMI premiums,
Pacific Prime has identified five macro factors that we believe have the most influence on the pricing of IPMI globally.
Across the globe, medical costs are increasing significantly due to a higher level of affluence, and in particular the rising middle class and High Net Worth (HNW) individuals across the globe. More individuals and families are able to afford and seek medical treatment in a private healthcare setting.
The cost of healthcare globally continues to outpace general inflation, and has not shown any signs of slowing down anytime soon. Cost drivers - such as declining health and global population aging - are factors contributing to this trend.
The mechanics of offering global health plans are becoming increasingly complex due to the introduction of regulations, such as the EU’s GDPR. Insurers are bearing the cost of adapting to ensure they remain compliant at all times.
Insurance fraud is having a costly impact on the entire insurance industry. In fact, fraud costs the industry approximately USD $80 billion every year, which results in lost earnings for insurers, and subsequently increased premiums for clients.
Insurtech is having an enormous impact on how the insurance industry operates, as well as how premiums are calculated and passed down to clients. Telemedicine, big data, and artificial intelligence are prominent insurtech trends that are bringing in opportunities for loss prevention and cost savings.
The first finding of 2019 shows that 97 out of the 100 countries listed in both the individual and family ranking tables saw an overall premium increase. On the other hand, Thailand experienced a decrease in individual premiums and the average family premiums remained the same as the 2018 rate.
Many countries from the Americas feature in our top 20 ranking of the most expensive countries for IPMI. Several countries from this region also carry the same average premium. A combination of high healthcare costs and inflation forms part of the explanation behind why many countries from North and South American have relatively high premiums compared to other locations.
The third finding illustrates how China’s premiums in 2019 are going through some amendments after several years of increase. In particular, a number of prominent insurers have chosen not to increase their premiums, while others even lowered their premiums. As a result, both individual and family health plan premiums have decreased.
Another standout finding is that many African countries have relatively high IPMI inflation rates compared to other countries around the world. The factors contributing to the high health insurance inflation rate in Africa include technological advances and the need for technical expertise to remain compliant.