Pacific Prime Clients in the Middle East Paired with Now Health International will see Higher Premiums after February

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Health insurance premiums will increase for Pacific Prime clients attached to Now Health International policies after the insurer has released their February 1st premium increases.

Pacific Prime

Pacific Prime

With so much growth occurring in the Middle East region, premium rates may take some time to settle down in comparison to the global average.

Pacific Prime clients attached to Now Health International (NHI) policies in the Middle East will see above average premium increases after the insurer has announced their February 1st increases. While increases of either 5 or 6 percent were reported across some of the other countries NHI works out of, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and the UAE will all see an increase of 8 percent.

Similar to many health insurers, NHI premiums are altered twice a year and, if the rate of medical inflation continues to remain the same or increase in these Middle Eastern counties, Pacific Prime analysts believe a 16 percent annual increase could be possible for clients at the end of 2013.

Reasons behind higher premium costs in this region illustrate an ongoing issue with fraudulent behaviour, demonstrated by both medical facilities and policyholders. January 2010, for example, witnessed 39 doctors and patients taken to court by the Abu Dhabi Health Authority for their involvement with fraudulent insurance schemes, according to an article produced by the Middle East Insurance Review.

According to the article, insurers in the area have to deal with the risk of medical facilities charging providers more than once for the same treatment, charging for non existent treatment and increasing costs of certain treatments. Policyholders on the other hand, have been known to also commit fraudulent behaviour by using fake policy cards, or by not disclosing their full medical history.

However, these cases of fraudulent behaviour are not the sole contributors to high premium increases. A boom in the general industry sector has lead to an increase in expatriates relocating to the area and this, as well as a continuously growing number of high net worth locals, has resulted in a greater demand for high standard hospitals and therefore, more expensive care.

Pacific Prime cannot say for certain what this means for its clients right now but it is likely that with so much growth occurring in the Middle East region, premium rates may take some time to settle down in comparison to the global average.

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Sergio Ulloa
Pacific Prime Insurance Brokers Ltd.
3588 2979
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