Insurance industry experts have hinted that expatriates could be impacted by premium rises of up to 15% over the forthcoming year as a result of new scanning procedures and rises in the number of claims made.
A number of international insurers have indicated that they will be increasing the price of premiums after April this year, with many of them foreseeing rises between 12 and 15%.
Speaking to UK newspaper The Times, a representative from Bupa gave an indication of their expected increases: “The 12 to 15 per cent figure is the range we are expecting.”
When questioned on the reasons for the premium increases, Andrew Apps, direct of UK insurer ALC Healthcare commented: “People are expecting value for money; that’s going to be the issue through 2011. There’s greater use of plans. Instead of saying, ‘I can’t be bothered to make a claim,’ they are saying ‘I’ve got the insurance, I might as well use it.”
Mr Apps also indicated that a new approach to setting the prices of premiums may be employed, which took into consideration the location of the insured and the cost of healthcare within that region: “More insurers will look at places with very high costs – such as Hong Kong – and adjust prices. It’s beneficial all round. People will be paying the right premium for the right risk.”
According to an online article by Mr Apps, the changes in premiums will exert additional pressure on health insurance providers who will be expected to provide higher levels of customer service in order to retain their expatriate customer base. The expatriates themselves will be more likely to shop around in order to try and get better deals and value for their money.
If you’re looking for advice on insurance then please see our free guide to expat medical insurance. It contains a great deal of useful advice on how to choose a health insurance provider as well as a medical insurance checklist that you can use to ensure you have considered all the relevant issues before you sign on the dotted line.