Medical insurance inflation in Dubai
Quotes and Advice for you
We provide health insurance plans for expatriates.
Ask questions or fill in the information for a quote, we're here to help.

Medical insurance inflation in Dubai

Pacific Prime, UAE Medical Insurance's global partner, has officially released their latest report. Titled: International Private Medical Insurance Inflation - 2017, this report focuses on the inflation of medical premiums for International Private Medical Insurance (IPMI) plans in 10 of the most popular locations around the world, including Dubai, for this type of insurance.

About the report

The main goal of this report is to provide an overview of IPMI premium inflation. This is done by including the inflation figures from 8 major insurers offering plans in 10 locations where IPMI plans are popular. The 2017 report is actually the latest in a series of reports that has looked into inflation and focuses primarily on inflation seen from between 2009 and 2016.

As with the other reports, the 2017 report is available for FREE and can be found here. In order to make the report as digestible as possible, it has been split into four different sections:

  • Average global inflation of IPMI premiums in 2016.

  • An overview of inflation based on insurers.  

  • Important and emerging drivers behind the inflation of private medical insurance premiums.

  • A regional overview of IPMI inflation which is further broken down into a country-by-country analysis.

In keeping with the other reports, the report has been released in two formats: a downloadable PDF and an interactive website, both of which are free.  


Key findings

From the sections of the report there were a number of key findings uncovered. The three most prevalent being:


Average IPMI inflation in 2016

Each of the reports on IPMI inflation Pacific Prime has produced take a look at the average inflation at a global level. For this report, it was found that the IPMI premiums inflated by an average of 9.2% in 2016.

This is fairly interesting due to the fact that the average inflation reported in 2015 was also 9.2%. Historically, we have seen a year-on-year increase in inflation, however, in 2016 the average inflation did not in fact increase. There are a number of reasons as to why this increase did not actually happen with the most important being discussed in the report included in the inflation drivers section (more on that below).  

While we did not see an increase in the average IPMI inflation in 2016, we did see another trend continue: the fact that IPMI inflation is usually 5 percentage points higher than the Consumer Price inflation of the countries included in the report. In this report, the difference holds true on a global scale.


The insurers with the lowest year-on-year inflation figures

Change is a common trend in many industries and in 2016 the IPMI industry certainly saw a number of changes introduced. As such, Pacific Prime adjusted the insurers and plans used in the report so as to give a more accurate picture of the industry.

The insurers used in this report include:

  • Aetna International

  • Aetna International

  • Allianz Worldwide Care

  • AXA PPP Healthcare

  • Bupa Global

  • Cigna Global

  • William Russell

  • IntegraGlobal

Across all locations included in this report it was found that the top four insurers with the lowest average premium increase in 2016 were:

  • Allianz Worldwide Care — 3.86%.

  • William Russell — 6.17%

  • Bupa Global — 7.00%

  • AXA PPP Healthcare — 7.17%

Beyond ranking of insurer based on their year-on-year increases, the report also ranks insurers by their increases over five years. It should be noted here however, that some of the insurers included in the report have not actually offered the plans used in the report for five years or are new to the market meaning five years of premium data is not currently available.

With this in mind, the three insurers with the lowest five-year increase are:

  • Aetna International – (InterGlobal) — 5.29%

  • Allianz Worldwide Care — 6.66%

  • William Russell — 7.53%


Emerging drivers of IPMI inflation

The last IPMI report published identified four major drivers behind IPMI inflation that are, for the most part evergreen. They will continue to play a part in inflation for the foreseeable future. But, 2016 was not a normal year with a number of important things going on that had an impact on medical insurance inflation resulting in the same inflation as the previous report. Due to this, three emerging inflation drivers were identified:

  • Global economic uncertainty - Globally, economies in 2016 were turbulent. This uncertainty certainly had an impact on inflation.

  • Changing population dynamics - A number of locations have seen a shift in population dynamics demanding IPMI coverage. Historically it was almost all expats who purchased this type of insurance, however, in some locations expat numbers are dwindling. This demand has not slacked, in fact it has largely increased primarily due to an increasing number of local and regional high net worth individuals purchasing plans.

  • Insurers leveraging technology - Technology has certainly played a major part in helping insurers to better manage inflation. This section of the report provides an in-depth analysis on how insurers are using it.


What about IPMI inflation in Dubai?

Dubai presents a very interesting case when it comes to health insurance. As of the summer of 2016, all residents in the city were required to secure private health insurance that met requirements set out by the Dubai Health Authority.

These mandatory coverage requirements were actually above what most international insurers offered in their plans, e.g. plans secured by residents of Dubai now have to cover maternity and pre-existing conditions in order for the resident to be deemed to have secured viable coverage. Many international plans do not actually cover this with all plan types forcing insurers to introduce new Dubai-specific plans.

As such, inflation data was not actually available for these plans at the time the report was written. But, Dubai remains an integral location for IPMI insurance so a study into the changes mandatory health insurance have brought to the city and what the future will look like.

In short, Pacific Prime believes that IPMI inflation will continue to track the global average or it may even increase beyond the global average. This means that in 2016 it should have been around 9.2%.


Where can I get my copy of this report?

If you would like to read more about inflation, Dubai, or the insurers included in this report, you have two options available:

  • A downloadable PDF – Available as a free download here.  

  • An interactive and mobile optimized website – This site presents the same information as the PDF but with interactive graphs and charts.

And, should you have any questions regarding health insurance premiums in Dubai and the UAE, contact UAE Medical Insurance today.



UAE-Medical-Insurance is owned and operated by Pacific Prime Insurance Brokers LLC who is regulated and licensed by the UAE Insurance Authority (license number 266).

Registered Office: PO Box 391195, Dubai, UAE