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Expat Investor : July August 2007
HEALTHCARE July/August 2007 EXPAT INVESTOR 17 AXA PPP Healthcare 66420 BUPA International 66421 InterGlobal 66422 MediCare International 66423 William Russell 66424 For more information just enter the above numbers on the Reader Reply Ser vice coupon on page 20 or visit www.expatinvestor.com FAST FACTS reason, it is included as standard on all InterGlobal's plans. However, we strive to keep our cost-base and, therefore, our premiums low. We also like to reward those customers who do not claim through our no claims discount scheme and those who are prepared to foot more of the bill themselves by offering premium discounts when a voluntary excess is selected." MediCare International confirms the immediate impact inflation has on the insurance industry. Senior executive director David Pryor, sees it continuing to run at levels far above ordinary consumer retail price inflation. "For the current year, annual inflation estimates vary between 8% and 12%. This will inevitably have a knock on effect with insurance premium levels, so we would expect to see industry average rises of around 10% this year. "At MediCare International, our cost base is smaller than many other companies in the industry, so traditionally, our premium rate rises are lower than the industry average. This gives us some of the lowest premiums in our specialist areas. Mr Pryor goes on to say expats can reduce costs further by shopping around and insisting their brokers go into the market to seek genuine comparisons. "All too often, brokers simply pass on the renewal without necessarily checking if it is still the best overall package." Another way clients can reduce costs, says Mr Pryor, is to see what cover they really need. "In some countries, a basic free level of cover exists, so private insurance is only needed for top-up protection. Our International Plan, the cheapest we offer, can be ideal in such circumstances." William Russell expresses every sympathy with expats researching the international medical insurance market, saying it can be a minefield. But, the company stresses, "Balancing cost against cover is a delicate but important battle. As medical technology and know-how advances, the resulting premium increases of 8--10% industry average look likely to continue for the foreseeable future. The need to be shrewd will increase." William Russell's first piece of advice to expats is to check their cover requirements carefully and ensure that the benefits are relevant to their needs. "A re maternity, compassionate home travel and dental care necessary, for example? By carefully choosing the essential elements of cover you can find the right policy at the right price. Where the costs of outpatient GP visits and prescriptions are low, it is often more advantageous to pay the bill and select a plan without the cover, greatly reducing the premium." Fast Facts 66012 Authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. © AXA PPP healthcare 2007 Lines are open from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 1pm Saturday (UK time). Calls may be recorded. For great British healthcare -- worldwide -- join us now and we'll give you up to two months' cover free Call +44(0)1892 550814 quoting reference EI5555 or visit www.axappphealthcare.co.uk/media When you're living, working, travelling or retired away from home you deserve quality healthcare insurance from a well grounded company that really knows their way around the world of healthcare cover! AXA PPP healthcare has an International Health Plan to suit most needs. Join us and you can rely on quick, easy access to private medical treatment; a choice of hospitals; emergency evacuation or repatriation; plus an English-speaking health information line that's on call for you around-the-clock. All claims will be assessed against the terms and conditions of the chosen product and any individual exclusions placed on your policy at joining. Wherever you put your feet up AXA PPP healthcare is right there with you William Russell points out it offers "a wide range of plans to cover varying budgets and requirements including the recently launched Essential plans -- cost effective, 'no frills' cover that protect against the more expensive aspects of healthcare like inpatient hospital treatment. Other ways to reduce the premium, says William Russell, is to include excess discounts and child friendly policies. "Higher excesses such as £250 could offer a 15% discount on the premium and a number of insurers, including William Russell, offer discounted rates for families with two or more children." And, as a final point, William Russell concludes, "Although not truly a discount, it is often worth checking for hidden costs on a policy for non-annual payments and credit card fees as these fees can vary between providers. Striking differences in the type of healthcare needed by expats around the world have been revealed by BUPA International. Colonoscopies topped the league table of the most common procedures carried out on BUPA International's eight million members worldwide, followed by Caesarean births. Caesareans are most popular in Africa where expats there are 30 per cent more likely to have a Caesarean delivery than their counterparts in Europe. Investigative procedures such as scans are the most common operation in Europe. Expats in this region have more colonoscopies than those in Africa, Asia and the Middle East combined. Gastroscopies (an examination of the gullet, stomach and small intestines) follow closely behind as the second most common procedure in Europe; however, they are rare elsewhere and do not feature at all in the most popular procedures in the Middle East. BUPA's associate medical director Dr Sneh Khemka, tells Expat Investor, "It's clear that expats around the world have different health needs. The climate, culture and cuisine of the country they live in is likely to affect their health and well being over time, but these figures show that certain procedures are more common in some parts of the world than others. This could be because of trends in medical practice in the region or it could be down to local factors such as accessibility to specialist hospitals and treatment centres." The survey also shows that: expats in Africa have more operations to remove their appendix than those in any other region of the world. expats in the Middle East have more operations to remove their gall bladder than those in any other region of the world. operations to repair a hernia are common in the Middle East but rare everywhere else. operations to remove skin lesions and moles are common in most regions of the world. operations to remove cataracts feature in the top ten procedures in every region of the world. Top ops for expats