Insurance trends are constantly changing, thanks to advancements in science, life expectancy, digital innovations and a variety of other factors. In fact, Pacific Prime’s latest State of Health Insurance Report 2021-2022 found that in the last two years alone, health insurance in Singapore has been heavily affected by the pandemic and the growing demand for private medical care, and the shorter wait times and other perks associated with it. Here, the Pacific Prime Singapore team shares more about their findings, including four of the top health insurance trends in Singapore.
#1 Individual private medical insurance premiums continue to increase
In Singapore, private medical care is among the most expensive in the world. That’s why securing medical insurance is a must. However, insurance itself can be quite costly. Singapore is the world’s third most expensive country for medical insurance, following the USA and Hong Kong, in 2022. And, with inflation affecting most economies worldwide, Singapore is taking a hit, with effects reflected in higher international private medical insurance (IPMI) premiums.
There are many factors that can be attributed to why international private medical insurance premiums are so expensive. Not only are people living longer, but the number of people needing medical care is increasing, too. This, in turn, means insurers must adjust their premiums to accommodate the rise in medical needs.
What’s more, there’s a high utilisation of medical services post COVID. Once the country opened up again, people began resuming elective medical treatments, leading to a surge in IPMI premiums.
And, of course, telemedicine and digitalisation were major during the pandemic, and will continue to be in the foreseeable future. However, enabling telemedical consultations, lab test collection, medication delivery and online claims filing services are expensive for medical institutions. This, in turn, can impact the IPMI premiums.
#2 Demand for international health insurance is on the rise
Despite the higher premiums, international health insurance is what policyholders are after these days. Designed to cover policyholders on a worldwide basis, international health insurance for expats and frequent travellers is ideal. While travel insurance is certainly key for short-term and one-time trips, international health insurance tends to offer higher coverage limits and a wider range of benefits in your country of residence. This ensures that you have access to the highest quality healthcare possible. This is especially important now that we have seen that anything can happen to anyone and anywhere in the world. As an expat, having an international health insurance policy can offer peace of mind knowing you’ll have global healthcare coverage in a time of need.
What’s more, international health insurance plans are typically guaranteed lifetime renewable. They also tend to offer more options for pre-existing condition coverage – for example, via an additional premium or waiting period. So, while these plans might be more costly than local ones, the long-term benefits can be totally worth it.
#3 Individual policyholders want portability and specific coverage
With so much expat movement due to the pandemic, it appears that policyholders have become more conscious of the value of “portability” when it comes to insurance and potential plans for future relocation. Portability allows policyholders to take their insurance coverage with them no matter where they go, even if they leave their jobs.
Other in-demand plans for expats in Singapore include:
- COVID-19 coverage;
- travel insurance, now that travel restrictions have been eased; and
- maternity insurance, as it’s not usually included in local or employer-provided policies.
#4 Insurers are investing in new technologies
Like healthcare providers, insurers in Singapore are progressively digitising every aspect of their operations and adopting new technologies in their product offerings that can save costs and promote efficiency. Among some of the most popular “Insurtech” offerings are subscription-based and customisable insurance options.
Many insurers are also increasing their investments in the areas of AI (artificial intelligence), cloud computing and storage, and data privacy, according to Deloitte’s 2022 Insurance Industry Outlook report. AI applications enable insurers to save on costs associated with claims processing while also helping to improve the customer experience through prompt claim settlement and efficient administration.
A number of Singapore-based insurers have even invested in technologies such as chatbots to promote better and more effective customer service. These chatbots provide 24/7 assistance, check billing information and answer common questions, helping insurers to communicate effectively with potential clients.
Find out more about health insurance trends
Work-from-home and hybrid work arrangements, mental health insurance benefits, flexibility and holistic employee wellness are just four of the top health insurance trends in Singapore and around the world. For a more detailed look at emerging health insurance trends, download a free copy of the State of Health Insurance Report 2021-2022. You’ll learn about the key factors influencing the insurance world and get exclusive insights from industry leaders!
About Pacific Prime
With over 20 years of experience in the insurance industry, Pacific Prime can help individuals and corporates find the right insurance plan. Pacific Prime has a solution for all your requirements, from individual health insurance to group insurance. So, get in touch with Pacific Prime Singapore today to learn more about the country’s insurance trends or to get a free quote!
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