1. Medical Inflation
Medical inflation is the rate at which medical costs are increasing year by year. There are a number of factors that impact medical inflation such as the cost of new drugs and new treatments or medical procedures.
Inflation in general has an impact on doctor’s wages and hospital running costs, which in turn affects medical inflation. For example, a basic operation that may have cost $20,000 US Dollars last year could easily cost $25,000 - $30,000 in the same hospital in some cases this year.
It is important to note that medical inflation varies around the world, so your location will play a part in how much medical inflation has an affect on your international expat medical insurance premium. For example, medical inflation in Asia is currently much higher than Europe – this is because an increase in demand means there are many western doctors moving to practice in Asia and new hospital facilities are being built.
2. Expat Health Insurance Plan design and coverage
Changes in your international expatriate medical insurance plan design, or the coverage of your plan (especially when new benefits are added), can also drive up your renewal premium. This is due to the fact you are now paying for the extra expat medical insurance cover options that you did not have before.
3. Getting Older and Age Bands
It is a known fact that as we get older we are more likely to become ill or have an accident. In addition to this, it can often take longer and be more expensive for us to recover as we get older. Getting old is a fact of life, and as such international medical insurance companies will charge a higher premium the older we get - so as to help cover the increased risk and cost.
Many expat health insurance companies group their premiums into age bands - this means that, for example, somebody aged 32 and somebody aged 34 could pay the same premium in the 30-35 age bracket. Sometimes at renewal you may not realise you have crossed an age band, so you may have jumped from the 30-34 age bracket to the 35-39 age bracket. This is a common reason as to why you may sometimes see a large jump in your renewal premium every few years.
4. Your Expat Health Insurance Claims
Your claims history can play a role in your international expatriate health insurance renewal premium. Some international medical insurance providers will take your claims history into account when calculating your renewal premium. This means if you have had a large claim, or are claiming frequently, your premium may be higher then someone with fewer (or no) claims. Some policies will reward people who have low or no claims by offering a discount off your renewal premium – ask us to find out for you!