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5 things that will happen to international private medical insurance post COVID


By Damien Walsh - October 06, 2020

I recently read the Milliman white paper on International Private Medical Insurance (IPMI) in a post COVID-19 world.

It was fascinating.

But if the thought of reading an 11-page technical report on IPMI fills you with dread...

You're not alone.

In this blog, I share with you my 5 key takeaways.

Like many, you’re probably wondering what effect the global pandemic will have on your organisation and on your role personally.

Everyone is becoming increasingly impatient with the whole situation.

It feels like it’s been this way forever with no end in sight, and more lockdowns looming.

As a business owner or financial decision maker, you may also be considering the impact on your business’ group health insurance...

Not to mention changes to premiums in 2021.

It’s very difficult to say what will happen in the next few months.

However, here are a few takeaways from the report that can help you plan ahead:

1. The lack of claims may lead to a possible price adjustment for 2021 renewals.


During the initial lockdown at the peak of the pandemic, we saw the UAE government restrict access to non-emergency treatments.

This undoubtedly reduced the number of claims made by employees across organisations.

We could find that elective treatments that didn’t take place as they usually would are going to be postponed into the later part of 2020, or even early 2021.

As we covered in the UAE Medical Insurance Report, any temporary market conditions like the impact on your organisation’s claims data are short-term in nature.

Cost benefits enjoyed now (if insurers look favourably on the situation) will be a problem later.

2. Costs may drop, but the ill-health of your employees isn’t going away.


We know lifestyle-related diseases are on the up in the UAE, as are respiratory conditions from heightened construction and transport emissions.

Claims are rising.

They will continue to.

You need to consider your longer-term strategy to look after your employees, mentally and physically.

3. There will be increased demand for comprehensive cover.


In the longer term, the pandemic could lead to additional demand from employees for more comprehensive cover to protect against similar situations.

The future workforce wants to know they’re protected should something like this happen again.

Further potential costs you need to consider.

4. Bargain shopping is a quick fix to a wider problem.


It’s tempting for organisations to make cut-backs to reduce costs when things aren’t going so well.

My advice is to avoid this as much as you can.

Managing your insurance costs is best done through proper planning and a prevention strategy.

Reducing your cover now may fix a short-term expense issue, but won’t work to contain costs for long.

5. Data and analytics are becoming more important.


Tracking your claims data and drawing the insights from that is an area for you to consider.

Ignoring this information is easy.

In reality, having a better understanding of what is impacting your employees could pay dividends cost-wise...

But only if you implement a well-being strategy to tackle these.

2020 has forever changed us. 

Both businesses and employees alike. 

I anticipate we’ll see these changes in the healthcare industry next year as people’s habits and behaviours change. 

Businesses will be looking for better quality solutions as they become more conscious of the impact these have on the bottom line. 

At the same time, they’ll be looking to manage their costs to make up for any revenue shortfalls felt this year. 

It’s going to be an interesting balance. 

Healthcare insurance providers who lack the flexibility and innovative solutions to keep up...

Will find it hard to stay competitive. 

Download the UAE medical insurance report to find out how to limit the impact of annual premium inflation. 

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