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Pacific Prime releases new medical insurance report on inflation

Ever since 2014 and the implementation of major healthcare reforms in Dubai, people in the Emirate have become more familiar with the world of health insurance than ever before. Employers across the board have had to educate themselves on group health insurance plans in order to be compliant with the mandatory health insurance provision set forth by the Dubai Health Authority. Similarly, workers that had never had health insurance coverage in their lives suddenly were presented with medical insurance policy documentation and left to figure out how their health insurance could help them.

Now that all people in Dubai have been required to be insured for a considerable amount of time, they have likely all gone through the health insurance policy renewal process, even if they haven’t realized it. Of course, if they had paid attention to the costs of their medical insurance plans, Dubai residents will likely have noticed that their premiums have gone up each year. This type of insurance inflation is par for the course on a global scale, and Dubai is certainly no different; especially considering the growing pains the Emirate is going through due to the relatively new health insurance laws.

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As it happens, Pacific Prime has just released our International Private Medical Insurance Inflation Report 2018, which has information that may be of interest and value to Dubai residents that want to know more about why the cost of their health insurance has gone up. Here, we discuss what can be found within the insurance report, and give some details on international private medical insurance (IPMI) inflation both in Dubai and around the globe.

What’s in the insurance report

Pacific Prime has been producing the IPMI Inflation report for a number of years now. During this time it has evolved in scope to cover the inflation rates seen in 10 countries worldwide. While we examine the topic of IPMI inflation in many countries, we still largely focus on the locales where our offices are located, which includes our headquarters in Hong Kong, as well as locations in Shanghai, Beijing, Singapore, Bangkok, and, of course, Dubai.

Taking the data generated from the plans monitored over a long period of time, the report presents not just the inflation seen over the past year, but also longer-term trends seen in each country since 2009. So not only can you know who performed well in 2017, but you also can see who has established a track record of being able to capably manage premium inflation.

The report also contains valuable analysis of the reasons for why inflation is what it is in each region, trends that are currently be seen in each territory, and what we can expect from the near future of IPMI inflation.

Inflation in Dubai

Being the only office that Pacific Prime has in the Middle East, Dubai has been the primary representative of IPMI inflation within our reports for some time now. However, as you will see from the graph below, 2016 was a somewhat tumultuous period for insurance in the Emirate. Due to the new requirements implemented and therefore new health insurance plans launched, we did not have inflation data available for 2016 which led to us excluding Dubai from the last report.

However, now that the industry has adjusted to doing business under the new law, we are now able to resume including recent data for Dubai in our insurance report.

Looking at the numbers, we see that Dubai’s average IPMI inflation rate in 2017 was 9.6%, which is only a tenth of a percentage point higher than the rate seen in 2015. This is not a particularly low inflation rate, especially when one considers that the average global IPMI inflation rate listed in the report is 7%, but the fact that we are not seeing a double digit inflation rate so close to the DHA reforms if encouraging.

The report mentions some of the drivers of IPMI inflation that we have been seeing over the past year. One that is highlighted is the imbalance of medical resources in the Emirate. For example, diabetes is becoming an increasingly prevalent concern for medical professionals in Dubai. This issue has become a burden on the local medical system that has increased medical costs, as hospitals try to rebalance their budget to better counter such a health threat.  This, in turn, has driven inflation rates.

For more specifics on IPMI inflation in Dubai, check out the insurance report today at this link.

Global inflation

Again, the global IPMI inflation rate seen in 2017 was 7%. As it happens, this has turned out to be a strong rate. This is because the global average inflation rate from the years 2009 through 2017 is 7.8%. Furthermore, a flat 7% inflation rate is the lowest single-year global rate Pacific Prime has seen since this report was first created. 2014 was a strong year as well, with an inflation rate of 7.1%, but the rate jumped up to 9.2% in both 2015 and 2016.

As far as the global insurance providers surveyed by the insurance report, the lowest single-year inflation rate in 2017 belonged to Cigna Global. How low was their inflation? Well, actually Cigna Global  was the only insurer covered that had a negative inflation rate! Their premiums fell worldwide by 2% in 2017. Over the previous five years, however, Aetna International has proven to have had the lowest inflation, showing that they have been able to manage their premiums consistently and effectively.

Want to find out which companies have had the highest inflation rates in recent years? Check out the report today to find out.

Addressing rising premiums

Inflation of medical costs, and subsequently the inflation of medical insurance premiums, is a fact of life. While there is occasionally a downtick in costs in these areas, by and large yearly price increases should be expected. With this in mind, we can also admit that some insurers will raise their rates more than others, depending on a number of different factors. From time-to-time, this can leave some policyholders looking for a plan that better suits their budget. What’s the best way to find the best available plan on the Dubai insurance market, though? By partnering with an experienced insurance broker like Pacific Prime Dubai, of course!

If you are unhappy with any aspect of your current health insurance coverage, please feel free to contact us today to see how our professional insurance advisers can help. Not only can they analyze your current insurance plan and answer any questions you may have, they will also provide you with a comparison of plans from major insurers and a free price quote at zero cost to you.

In the meantime, be sure to visit our 2018 IPMI Inflation Report download page, and find out more about insurance inflation in Dubai and beyond!

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