Posted on Nov 22, 2012 by Sergio Ulloa
Globalsurance continues to witness the falling rates of global health insurance inflation in the high-end sector, typically referred to as International Private Medical Insurance (iPMI). Average rates of inflation per year have typically hovered at around 11% over the past 5 years, but this year, AXA PPP has published an annual increase of just 8%.
As a key player in the health insurance sector, AXA PPP
has the competitive advantage of being one of the largest and longest-running insurers in the world and they set a standard for different areas in the industry, including international health insurance inflation rates. One of the most influential factors for determining the cost of health insurance premiums is the cost of claims, and with that, the increase in premiums is typically a good indicator for the monetary changes in the cost of care and treatment.
Globalsurance has maintained a strong relationship with AXA PPP and year-on-year sales of the insurer's policies are up almost 300% during the last 12 months. Analysts attribute this to the increase to AXA PPP's ability to manage premiums, as the company has a long-standing reputation of offering health insurance policies that are considered to be of good value and offer exceptional benefits. The release of lower inflation rates for their premiums is expected to only add to the company's reputation as a top health insurance provider with affordable policies.
"AXA PPP has always been an iPMI provider that seemed to be focused on the UK but was great value for money, they continue to deliver cost effective solutions but now they are more outward looking in our opinion. They historically had a few critical weaknesses with their plans but they have also addressed this problem in the past 12 months," said Mr. Neil Raymond, the CEO of Globalsurance.
In addition, AXA PPP has made some crucial adjustments to some important areas of their plan over this past year. Many of these changes have caused a significant impact for Globalsurance in terms of offering opinions and rankings for AXA PPP plans and, in turn, the sales of the plans.
One of the most notable changes AXA PPP has made is the company's removal of the restrictions surrounding chronic condition coverage
. In the past, AXA PPP was not strong in their coverage of chronic conditions and considering this is one of the most crucial points of any health insurance policy, this was an obvious weakness.
Chronic conditions refer to those illnesses that cannot be cured and where symptoms are only able to be managed. Some examples of chronic conditions include diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
In the past AXA PPP would only offer coverage for listed conditions for a very limited period of time. Yet, as AXA PPP has moved to eliminate these exclusions, they've become more competitive globally.
Another change for AXA PPP is the inclusion of a new dental plan for the company's Comprehensive and Prestige plan. This increases the already existing $510 benefit to $1,600 for Comprehensive plans, and increases the benefit on the Prestige plan from $800 to $2,4000. Additionally, the Standard plan will now offer an optional out patient rider, covering out patient procedures for up to $1,200.
Analysts at Globalsurance believe that as service standards continue to improve for AXA PPP plans, the company will gain even more customers. While this is hard to quantify, Globalsurance's head of operations, Mr Owen Ryan offers his opinion, saying, "AXA PPP has improved its service standard quite a lot in the past 12 months and we have really noticed this. They are still not near the top when we benchmark on the service metrics but we are encouraged that they are listening, investing and delivering on these issues and so we expect even better results in the future".
Finally, AXA PPP recently announced that residents in Greece will be subject to extended waiting periods for maternity benefits whereas previously, this plan used to have a 12-month waiting period for reimbursement and coverage of maternity expenses. Globalsurance analysts suspect that this is the result of high unemployment rates in Greece. Mr. Raymond commented that "the effect of unemployment on the birth rate (or power cuts) has been documented before and we suspect that AXA PPP are trying to reduce their exposure to this is Greece. Is Spain next?".
In spite of these events, AXA PPP has made the necessary changes and is expected to keep their strong performance throughout 2012 and well into the future.