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Health Insurance Market: Get Industry Insights

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Health Insurance Market Research

Health insurance, which belongs to both the healthcare industry and the insurance market, provides for the payment of benefits during sickness or following injury. Cover provides protection for medical expenses. The benefit is administered by a central organization such as a government agency, private business or not-for-profit entity.

Zurich Insurance Group, ING Group, AIA Group Limited, Allianz SE and Nippon Life Insurance Company are some of the largest health insurance providers.

Key Segments

There are four major types of medical cover plans.

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans are one of the most popular types with a broad network of health care providers offering services. This plan covers most types of preventive care, including specialist visits. HMOs are usually best suited for individuals and families that plan to see their primary care provider on a regular basis for check-ups.

Short-term health policies are often for periods from 30 days up to 12 months. They offer more limited benefits than major medical schemes, excluding coverage for preventative care such as vaccines, dental, or vision and are nonrenewable.

Catastrophic insurance schemes are designed to provide an emergency safety network for unexpected medical costs, such as critical illness and accidents.

Ancillary dental and vision plans are for dental and ophthalmology related issues that are not normally covered under other health insurance policies.   

Regional Market Shares

The key geographies for the health protection industry include the USA, Europe, Asia and Australia.

The USA has the largest health care system in the world and one of the biggest health insurance markets and spends more than 16% of its GDP on health care. Private health insurance alone is an $884-billion industry. According to the trade association America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), about 90% of insured Americans are enrolled in healthcare plans by managed care organizations and UnitedHealth Group Inc., Anthem Inc. and Humana Inc. are the leading players in this.

The US industry is being impacted by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), colloquially Obamacare, a US law aimed at reforming the American health care system. The PPACA was enacted to increase the quality and affordability of health insurance, lower the uninsured rate by expanding public and private insurance coverage, and reduce the costs of healthcare for individuals and the government.

European health cover is mainly supplied by governments and therefore private health care spending and growth are low in most European countries. AXA PPP, Aviva plc and BUPA Health Insurance are some of the companies in this industry.

Asia share of the global health cover industry is small, but the market is growing due to the increasing popularity of health insurance products and rising disposable incomes. China, Japan and India are the largest health insurance markets. Asian healthcare spending is expected to grow to more than $2,000 billion over the next few years. Low levels of public funding coupled with the increasing cost of healthcare are expected to create an expanding market for voluntary health insurance.  China Life Insurance Company Limited, GlobalHealth Asia International Group and United India Insurance Company Limited are among the largest companies in this market.

Australia spends about 6% of its GDP on healthcare. Most funding is provided by the state through Medicare. Over the past decade the Australian government has encouraged consumers to buy private health insurance to help reduce Medicare costs; however, there has been no substantial growth in this. Currently the country has 36 private health care funds; the largest is Medibank Private, which accounts for about 33% of the market.

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