Expats Get Better Health Coverage

by rbipremium on July 13, 2011

New Membership Program Beats Medical Insurance Companies on Price and Protection

FINDING THE RIGHT MEDICAL INSURANCE coverage is not easy nowadays, as expatriates all across Asia and the Middle East are faced with multiple policies, variable premiums and long lists of fine print to read. There are good products on the market, but they are difficult to find and expensive, making it easy for consumers to get confused, and often leaving them with imperfect coverage.
With more than 2 million away-from-home people across Asia and the Middle East buying policies every year, the expatriate medical insurance industry is growing rapidly.

Although many travelers and long stay visitors choose to remain uncovered, most expatriates purchase health insurance and find the process a difficult one.
“When I came here from Texas, I had been used to automatic cover back home, but knowing which policy to choose was not easy,” said David English, an IT specialist who has resided in Bangkok for more than 10 years. “I am covered now but paying a fortune for pretty basic inclusions.”

Individual Price Comparison
 Family Price Comparison
The larger insurance companies that provide coverage for expatriates are well known and well established, with global backing and solid reputations. However it appears that traditional health insurance policies are not evolving like the clients they represent, with restrictions, exclusions and difficult claims processing creating customer frustration.

But a new membership program is set to shake up the industry by giving free medical, dental and travel insurance to its members, as well as a host of other free benefits, whilst membership costs around 40% less than normal health coverage.
Offering memberships rather than separate policies, Rbi Premium is a trust facilitated card based membership program that offers its members multiple free benefits and services, such as fully inclusive worldwide health and travel insurance, 100% in and out patient cover, no exclusions on cover, no age related premiums and a cash-back reward bonus for claim-free members.

“Our inspiration to create Rbi Premium came from research we conducted where we discovered that for more than a decade expatriates have been highly dissatisfied with the type of health insurance cover made available to them,” CEO and Founder of Rbi Premium, Mr. Blair commented.

“Surveys show that despite thousands of complaints, loyal customers are paying more but getting less each year. People just want better cover for their money,” said Mr. Blair.

This new concept of free health, travel and dental cover wrapped in a membership created by Rbi Premium has not been seen before and it seems that expatriates are on the winning end of what will be an inevitable shake up of the entire expatriate health and travel insurance industry.

Underwritten by an A-Rated UK insurance giant, Rbi Premium is based in Hong Kong and is represented by BBK Partners a marketing company based in Bangkok, with plans to open more offices worldwide.

“Our members are the most important element of our program and we are confident we will expand quickly. People will realize they are paying too much for health coverage and will realize they get complete peace of mind and convenience as Rbi Premium members,” added a confident Mr. Blair.

Health insurance should be an important item on every expatriateís to-do list and individuals and families who previously went without health cover can now take advantage of the comprehensive yet simple, and less expensive options offered by Rbi Premium who seem to have the jump start on its rivals.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Lisa B Kolman August 9, 2011 at 10:52 am

The medical inflation myth can be defined as follows:

Firstly, if medical costs were rising at 10% p.a. then the medical insurers would also need to increase the amount of insurance coverage they provide by 10% p.a. to maintain the level of benefits for the growth in costs. In reality, international medical insurers have not increased the amount of the coverage they provide and only the premium prices have risen at 10% per annum. The increase in costs is clearly disproportionate.

Secondly, if you were to increase the premium price for medical inflation it would not cost 10% p.a. even if medical inflation was running at 10% p.a.. The reason for this is that only a small proportion of the insurance premium paid by the insured is actually allocated towards medical costs. The brokers are paid a commission, that clearly has no correlation to medical costs, the insurer has overheads which also have nothing to do with medical inflation, and all the other unrelated expenses too that are incurred have noting to do with medical inflation. If premium prices were to be adjusted for medical inflation it should therefore be only the proportion of the premium that is used to pay claims that should be adjusted and the adjustment should take into account the expectation for the coming year ahead with adjustments for the increase/decrease in exposure to such costs from any demographical changes in the insured population and any increase/decrease in the size of the population itself. A 10% medical inflationary increase should perhaps trigger an actual cost increase of around 3% of the overall cost of an average international health insurance portfolio. The industry standard approach, however, has been to increase insurance premiums by 10% p.a. which is well in excess of the required adjustment to keep up with medical inflation.

Finally, owing to the very increasing costs, insurers have been introducing optional excesses which are counterproductive to any insured person. The reason for that is because the level of savings offered relative to the liability accepted are disproportionate. An insured may save hundreds of dollars in exchange for assuming thousands of dollars in liabilities. Those who take the high excess options who are stricken then end up being substantially out of pocket which undermines the purpose of taking out medical insurance and potentially harms the industry. With the high excess an insured person first has to pay out of their own pocket before their insurance comes into effect and when you add the combined out-of-pocket expenses with the discounted price of the insurance it simply doesn’t stack up well for the insured.

At the end of the day all private insurers operate their business at the expense of those they insure for the financial benefit of their shareholders which means that they will always seek to maxmise shareholder returns.

Rbi Premium have designed and developed what we believe to be a more equitable alternative…


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