by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Expat Investor : August 2009
HEALTHCARE INSURANCE The full price of a premium Check out our survey to see which healthcare insurance policies offer expats value for money. The latest figures from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) show that the number of people covered by Private Medical Insurance (PMI) continued to rise in 2008 despite the UK economy going into recession. Last year, a total of 6,224,000 people were covered by either personal or corporate PMI, with a further 1,111,000 covered through Healthcare Trust arrangements. A total of 7,335,000 people now have some form of private health cover in the UK, an increase of 2.7% on 2007. Nick Starling, the ABI’s Director of General Insurance and Health, tells Expat Investor,“The continued ExpaCare Executivecare Client Europe Middle East Single Male Age 30 Single Male age 65* Couple Age 40 & 35, & 2 Children aged 10 & 7 Specialcare Client Europe Middle East Single Male Age 30 Single Male age 65* Couple Age 40 & 35, & 2 Children aged 10 & 7 The premiums quoted are based on a nil excess, moratorium underwriting, and high level benefits. ExpaCare covers chronic conditions such as cancer in full, for the full duration of the condition as long as the policy remains in force. Policies have high overall annual limits. Premiums are heavily driven by claims experience, and ever increasing medical inflation across the globe and it should be noted that medical inflation can vary depending on the area in which treatment is taking place. For example, medical costs in Singapore have seen huge increases in recent years. Medical inflation is also affected with the introduction of new and expensive drugs, specifically related to cancer. £1,465.00 £10,756.00 £4,723.00 * Subject to satisfactory completion of a medical questionnaire. Premium rate change effective on 1 July each year. In order to get cheaper premiums, taking out a higher excess is a good option, although insured persons need to ensure they are able to financially meet these obligations should the need arise as it is normally in an emergency situation. Insured persons should also be wary of caps on benefits, as they can in certain situations be used up very quickly. For example, £50,000 looks like a lot of money to cover cancer, but in most parts of the world this is very quickly used up. Generally speaking, dropping or not selecting optional benefits (apart from evacuation) does not have a huge effect on premiums. The most costly benefits of an International PMI plan are evacuation, out- patient consultation and in-patient treatment. $3,558.00 $25,538.00 $11,639.00 £1,282.00 £9,411.00 £4,131.00 $3,116.00 $22,345.00 $10,186.00 rise in the number of people covered by PMI is good news. PMI gives people the peace of mind that they are able to get access to the treatment they need, at the time they need it, where they need it. “PMI is good for companies and the economy because it enables employees to get back to work after illness or injury as quickly as possible. This is why there has been a continued rise in the number of people covered by corporate policies.” And the British expatriate community, perhaps even more than its onshore peers, shows no sign of a slacking off in interest in PMI – this global group’s peace-of-mind factor is particularly vulnerable to an unexpected health scare or emergency. Which is why paying close attention to premiums is as important as ever. It’s an inevitable fact of life that prices movement is rarely downwards, and healthcare insurance premiums are no exception to that rule. An initial consideration when taking out international medical insurance should focus on what you really want the insurance to cover. Secondly, always shop around to make sure you keep an eye on the level of cover you are getting. InterGlobal explains that International Private Medical Insurance (IPMI) premiums are based on two factors: first, the cost of medical treatment, and second, the value of claims that the company predicts it will have to pay out. As InterGlobal expands new treatments are expensive – but can offer a massively improved medical outcome to planholders. “Technological advances in medicine are improving very quickly, meaning that many more conditions can be treated more quickly and more successfully than even a few years ago. This means that medical treatment costs are currently increasing at a rate that is greater than average inflation due to technological advancements. New treatments, drugs and technologies are more expensive today than when they first come onto the market. While this means that IMPI premiums are increasing, planholders are also benefiting from better quality care. “Improvements in technology and increased choice for patients also means that planholders are more likely to make claims on their international healthcare policies as a far wider range of conditions can be treated successfully. An increase in claims also means an increase in premiums.” MediCare Unlike the recession in the early 90s, business today has become increasingly global in its outlook. Jobs are no longer limited by national boundaries and people continue to go wherever they can find work or wherever their company posts them. The fluidity this working model brings has changed the way in which employers can and do take on staff, too. Companies are no longer obliged, nor is it necessarily in their interests, to take on employees on a long-term basis, and the idea of a career for life with one company certainly seems consigned to history for most of us. With recession now a reality in many countries, working patterns are likely to change. We speak 34 different languages Whatever you’re doing, wherever you are. We’re right behind you ready and waiting. 12 EXPAT INVESTOR ? July/August 2009 expatinvestor.com Bupa International Healthcare. Everywhere. +44 (0) 1273 718 304 www.bupa-intl.com
May June 2009
September October 2009