News eDaily03 Aug 2017

Half of ASEAN among world's top 20 most costly locations for international health insurance

03 Aug 2017

Five Southeast Asian countries are ranked among the top 20 most expensive locations for international health insurance this year, according to Pacific Prime's latest "Cost of Health Insurance Report". All five have become more expensive than in 2016.

They are Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Pacific Prime, an international insurance intermediary, says that major drivers fuelling the general increase are:

  • economic growth, especially in the big five ASEAN countries of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. In tandem, there has been an increase in the number of local High Net Worth (HNW) individuals. They and, to a certain extent, the middle class have been increasingly demanding care from private health care providers.
  • the increasing popularity of some nations as major medical tourism destinations. While Singapore has traditionally been a major destination for international tourists seeking medical care, countries like Thailand and Malaysia are becoming increasingly popular as well. This increased demand has resulted in higher prices being charged for care.
  • the changing demographics in the region, including an increasing younger, mobile, and wealthy population in several ASEAN states and an aging population in others.

According to Statista the average age in Southeast Asia in 2015 (excluding Thailand and Singapore) was below 30. This younger average population is expected to have a large impact on economic growth.

Furthermore, the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community has opened up the ability for younger professionals to be more mobile in the region. In the past year alone, Pacific Prime has seen a marked increase in the number of professionals looking for international cover in the region due to job moves.

An aging population is also contributing to higher cost ranking, especially in more established nations like Thailand and Singapore.

The ASEAN countries, ranked in order starting with the location with the most expensive international health insurance cost, are:

Country Rank in 2017 Rank in 206
Singapore 3 5
Thailand 13 32
Vietnam 14 36
Indonesia 19 24
Malaysia 20 86
Cambodia 52 37
Myanmar 53 37
Laos 53 39
Philippines 63 54
Brunei Not listed Not listed


The Pacific Prime report presents a ranking of the average premiums in 100 countries, with findings based on combined data from 10 major insurers, which each offers three levels of health insurance plan: inpatient only, inpatient + outpatient, and inpatient + outpatient + maternity. The four demographics used to generate the premium data for the report are: individuals, couples, families, and retirees.

The top five most expensive locations in the world for international health insurance in 2017 are: the US, Hong Kong, Singapore, China, and Canada.

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