How much expats should pay for private health insurance is revealed in a snapshot of cover available in 95 countries.
The most expensive private health care is in the USA, where a policy costs $8,848 a year for one person to $17,524 for someone past retirement age.
The cheapest is in Mali, Africa. The same cover as in the USA is priced at $3,668 for an individual and $8,815 for a retiree.
Private medical cover prices are rising the fastest in Dubai and Canada.
Generally, insurance in South America and Japan is more expensive than many other worldwide locations.
Hospital costs for 95 countries
The company producing the figures – Pacific Prime – explains private healthcare developments in Dubai are a sign of things to come for the industry.
“Premiums have increased relatively drastically in Dubai. The government has changed health insurance requirements and Dubai has a large concentrations of expats make the emirate an influential location in terms of international health insurance,” said a spokesman for the company.
“This makes Dubai an important case study of where the industry may be heading.”
The company’s report Cost of International Health Insurance Report 2016 took the cost of inpatient, outpatient and maternity plans offered by 10 major health insurers and worked out the costs o for singles, couples, families and retirees.
Besides the USA topping the rankings, the other most expensive countries for private healthcare included China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Canada and Dubai.
US a third more expensive than anywhere else
The cost is relative – for instance, the US private healthcare rates were on average 32% higher than in second-placed Hong Kong.
The cheapest five were Madagascar, Poland, Ethiopia, Angola and Mali, which were around 54% less expensive than the US.
Private medical insurance in Dubai averages around $10,213 a year and is 41% cheaper than in the USA.
Pacific Prime data showed that the number of inpatient visits to hospitals and clinics in Dubai is rising out of synch with the population – with more visits that expected.
“Inpatient procedures are more expensive than those for outpatients,” says the report. “Cost of care is increasing and this puts pressure on insurers to recover the costs. Our research has also found that the number of claims is increasing each year in Dubai.”