Issue Q2 2020

18 APAC / Issue Q2 2020 , Competitive Landscape of Private Healthcare Insurance Industry Three type of plans are generally available in the private healthcare insurance market: medical insurance, income protection, and disease insurance. Disease insurance provides coverage and benefits for certain types of diseases and conditions, including cancer, heart attack, multiple sclerosis, paralysis, coma, and renal failure. Such plans reimburse patients for everymedical expense incurred and every day spent at a hospital. These benefits can be availed upon the disease occurrence, after diagnosis, or during treatment. Similarly, the medical insurance plans offered by the private healthcare insurance industry players reimburse a part of the several costs incurred, such as those for hospital beds, ambulatory patient services, and emergency services. Such plans offer cover for prescription drugs, hospitalization, laboratory services, substance use and mental health disorder services, and pediatric services. Different from both these types of coverages, income protection offers policyholders regular financial assistance, if they are unable to work due to a disease or injury and suffer loss of income. The private healthcare insurance market in Germany, the U.S., Italy, France, the U.K., Spain, China, Switzerland, India, Japan, Brazil, Australia, and Mexico is characterized by the presence of players such as AXA Group, Allianz SE, Cigna Corporation, Aetna Inc., British United Provident Association Limited, Aviva plc, Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A., Zurich Insurance Group, Continentale Krankenversicherung a.G., and GIE BNP Paribas Cardif, though not every player operates in each of these countries. In the U.S., the demand for private healthcare insurance is increasing on account of the rise in the geriatric population, surging medical expenses, growing incidence of chronic diseases, and government funding for such policies. As per the Aging in the United States report published by the Population Reference Bureau, the number of people in the country above the age of 65 will cross 98 million by 2060. As the elderly are hospitalized quite often, due to their susceptibility to various diseases and physical injuries, the demand for insurance is rising. Similarly, in Europe, the private healthcare insurance industry is growing on account of the increasing pool of patients with chronic diseases. For instance, the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), within the University of Washington, says that cardiac diseases are the major cause of human death in France. Such conditions drastically raise the financial burden of patients, which is why they are opting for insurance to mitigate healthcare expenses. Additionally, most private healthcare insurance firms offer separate plans for chronic diseases, which is another reason behind their rapid popularity. In the coming years, the growth of the private healthcare insurance market would be the most rapid in Asia-Pacific (APAC). This progress will be especially robust in Japan, China, Australia, and India, owing to the growing medical insurance industry, surging awareness of people about healthcare, and rising number of people suffering from chronic diseases. Other reasons for the prosperity of the players in the regional industry are the rise in the medical tourism activities, increase in the healthcare expenditure, and enhancements in the medical infrastructure. Additionally, several private and public companies are hosting seminars, conferences, and training sessions, which are leading to the rising awareness of the populace in the regional countries about medical insurance and its importance in today’s scenario. For instance, a healthcare insurance conference was organized in Hong Kong in November 2018 by Insurinnovator Connect. It was attended by a large number of insurance providers, primarily those with customers in the APAC region. Hence, with the growing geriatric population, prevalence of chronic diseases, and healthcare costs, an increasing number of people are opting for private insurance.