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How Our Health Plans Are Changing for 2021

Home Blog How Our Health Plans Are Changing for 2021

David Cottrell

Underwriting & Product Manager

The headline changes to our international health insurance plans for 2021 include: –

  • Merging the BronzeLite plan with Bronze
  • Low average inflationary premium increases for new customers
  • Improvements to our cancer benefits on the Gold plan
  • More flexibility with local nationals

Our values

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We believe
in people

Some insurers rely on AI and Big Data to do their work for them. We think differently. Healthcare is a highly personal experience, so it deserves a personal service. We’re a team of real people, at the end of a phone call when customers really need us. We don’t hide behind call centres or bot webchats.

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Committed
to fairness

Healthcare is expensive, and— sadly—costs are on the up. We do everything possible to spread this inflation fairly. We calculate premiums with a long- term pricing model, and we give customers tailoring tools to help reduce their premium without significantly compromising their cover.

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Transparency
matters to us

Insurance is about trust, so we believe in being fair and open. This belief informs our idea of healthcare as a partnership between our customers and us. That’s why we’re completely upfront with our health plans, and we want customers to understand precisely what they’re buying.

Some housekeeping

Higher maximum age of entry

We can accept applicant customers up to and including age 75 on both personal plans and plans for businesses. Customers applying over age 69 are subject to full medical underwriting.

More flexibility with local nationals

We can accept local nationals on personal plans in the following countries: Botswana, Kenya, Nigeria, Mauritius, Estonia, and Malawi. Outside these countries, only 10% of our policyholders can be local nationals. In all countries around the world, we can accept plans for business where up to 50% of employees are local nationals.

Zone 2 includes cover in Thailand

Customers with Zone 2 have cover for medical treatment in Thailand. There are some restrictions. For customers with Zone 2, we will not cover elective treatment they receive in the Bangkok Hospital Group or the Bumrungrad Hospital.

We’re merging BronzeLite with Bronze

We’re adding a semi-private room option to Bronze, so there’s no longer much difference between Bronze and BronzeLite. For this reason, we’ve stopped selling BronzeLite. We’re switching existing customers with BronzeLite to Bronze from renewal.

Optional travel plan

We’re withdrawing the optional travel plan from 01 January 2021 for new business and renewal.

Optional personal accident plan

From 01 January 2021, Allianz will underwrite the optional personal accident plan. For customers resident in the UK, AWP P&C SA UK will be the insurer. For customers elsewhere, AWP Health & Life SA will be the insurer.

New options for the SilverLite plan

Private accommodation

Customers with SilverLite can now choose private hospital accommodation by paying a premium loading of 8.02%.

A choice of annual out-patient benefit limits

Customers with SilverLite can now choose from several annual benefit limits for out-patient treatment and primary medical care.

SilverLite plans starting in 2020SilverLite plans starting in 2021
Annual benefit limit of US$7,500 for out-patient treatment & US$2,500 for primary medical careChoice of annual benefit limits:

  1. US$5,000 for out-patient treatment & US$1,500 for primary medical care
  2. US$7,500 for out-patient treatment & US$2,500 for primary medical care
  3. US$10,000 for out-patient treatment & US$3,500 for primary medical care

 

Medevac Plus

Customers with SilverLite can now add Medevac Plus to their plan.

Dental Basic

Customers with SilverLite can now add US$500 cover for routine dental treatment to their plan, subject to 20% co-insurance (10% on plans for businesses).

Maternity

Customers with SilverLite can now add US$5,000 cover for routine maternity care, subject to 10% co-insurance. This option is only available on plans for businesses.

General benefit changes

Private & semi-private hospital accommodation

Customers can now choose between private and semi-private rooms on the Bronze and SilverLite plans.

Plans starting in 2020Plans starting in 2021
SilverLiteSemi-private rooms onlyA choice between semi-private or private rooms
BronzePrivate rooms onlyA choice between semi-private or private rooms

 

Cancer benefits

We’ve added cover for mental health treatment under the counselling benefit of each plan. We’ve also made some changes to differentiate the cancer benefits under Silver and Gold.

Plans starting in 2020Plans starting in 2021
Wig benefit
(Gold)
US$150*US$250*
Counselling benefit
(Gold)
US$500*US$750*
Dietitian benefit
(Gold)
US$100*US$250*
Counselling benefit
(all plans)
10 consultations with a psychologist/counsellor10 consultations, plus drugs prescribed for mental health treatment*

*Lifetime limit

Treatment for congenital conditions or hereditary conditions for newborn babies

We’ve changed the name of the emergency medical treatment for newborn babies benefit. It’s also no longer linked to hereditary and congenital conditions elsewhere in the table of benefits. Children who are added to the plan without this cover will still have cover under their own plan once they are added.

Waiting periods for mental health benefits

Mental health is an increasingly important focus for our health plans. We’re halving waiting periods for mental health benefits, and we’re including consultations with counsellors in the benefit for out-patient mental health treatment.

Waiting period for the well-child benefit

The 6-month waiting period applies to the parents’ plan, not the child’s plan. This means that newborn babies and other children added to the plan will have cover in their first 6 months, provided we’ve insured one of the parents for at least 6 months.

Frames in the optical benefit (plans for businesses)

We’ve added frames into the optical benefit available with health plans for businesses.

Changes to our pricing model

Average inflationary premium increase

The average inflationary premium increase from 2020 to 2021 is 4.65%. We’re funding this increase in different ways across our portfolio. The inflationary premium increase is in addition to the normal age-related premium increases.

Geographical variance

Inflationary premium increases depend greatly on the country of residence. For our target markets in Africa and Southeast Asia, the inflationary premium increase from 2020 to 2021 may be as low as 2%. In more expensive regions such as the Orchid countries*, the inflationary premium increase may be as high as 7%.

*China (incl. Hong Kong), Taiwan, Macau, Singapore, Japan.

Changes to child discounts

We’re reducing the discount we give to second and subsequent children on health plans. The discounts apply to new business and renewals.

Discounts for plans
starting in 2020
Discounts for plans
starting in 2021
First child0%0%
Second child10%5%
Third child onwards15%7.5%

 

Changes to exchange rates we use for legacy customers

Legacy customers who joined us before 2019, and who pay their premiums in pounds sterling or Euros, may experience higher than average premium increases as we continue to normalise currency exchange rates.

Dollar exchange rates
for plans starting in 2020
Dollar exchange rates
for plans starting in 2021
Legacy GBP renewals1.481.42
GBP new business & renewals1.301.28
EUR new business & renewals1.201.18

Customers with a US$250 excess

Legacy customers who joined us before 2019 and who enjoy a higher discount with the US$250 excess may experience higher than average premium increases as we continue to normalise the excess discounts.

Age-related premium increases

The inflationary premium increases detailed above are subject to the usual age-related premium increases for existing customers: around 3% up to age 65, and around 6% up to age 80.

Our country rating model

Country rating refers to the premium loading or discount we apply to a country or group of countries. In 2019, we only had 11 country ratings. In 2020, we had 35 country ratings. In 2021, we have 100 country ratings. This reflects our increasingly sophisticated pricing model. We’re capable of giving more accurate premiums to our customers in different countries.

Moving towards modular pricing

We are moving towards a modular pricing model. This means departing from the current percentage-based approach for certain pricing levels. This transition will take time, and—for 2021—we have only applied it to the well-being and dental optional benefits. We’ll no longer see pricing anomalies such as the price for a well- being option exceeding the benefit limit.

Our plan for customers with Essential

We are closing the Essential health plans at the end of 2021. We’ll be encouraging customers to switch to Bronze or SilverLite throughout 2021.

Changes to plan options

Changes to excess discounts

The following excess discounts and loadings apply to health plans starting in 2021.

BronzeSilverLiteSilverGoldEssential CareEssential Care Plus
Personal
Nil excess0.00%20.00%20.00%20.00%0.00%20.00%
Business
Nil excess1.00%9.00%9.00%10.00%0.00%9.00%
Per claim
US$50n/a4.50%4.50%5.00%n/a4.00%
US$100n/a0.00%0.00%0.50%n/a-1.00%
US$400-3.50%n/a-8.50%-8.50%n/an/a
US$800-8.00%-13.00%-13.00%-13.00%n/an/a
US$1,600-17.00%-26.00%-26.00%-26.00%n/an/a
US$5,000-33.00%n/a-41.00%-40.00%n/an/a
US$10,000-53.00%n/a-53.00%-51.00%n/an/a
Per annum
US$250-1.50%-1.50%-1.50%-1.50%-1.50%-1.50%
US$250 (legacy)-2.50%-5.00%-5.00%-4.00%-2.50%-5.00%
US$500-4.00%-5.50%-5.50%-5.00%-4.00%-5.50%
US$1,000-11.00%-16.00%-16.00%-15.00%-11.00%-16.00%
US$2,500-18.50%-28.50%-28.50%-26.00%-13.50%-28.50%
US$5,000-23.00%-33.00%-33.00%-33.00%-20.00%-33.00%
US$10,000-34.00%-44.00%-44.00%-44.00%-24.00%-44.00%

 

Medevac Plus (both personal plans & plans for businesses)

For all plans (including SilverLite), Medevac Plus now comes at a 5% premium loading.

Enhanced well-being (personal plans)

Enhancing the well-being benefit on Silver or Gold now costs an age-related, fixed price.

 

Silver

Increase in well-being limit from US$300 to US$500

Gold

Increase in well-being limit from US$750 to US$1,300

0-17US$0US$0
18-40US$130US$215
41-50US$170US$320
51+US$190US$520

 

Enhanced well-being (plans for businesses)

Enhancing the well-being benefit on Silver or Gold costs a fixed price.

SilverGold
Increase in well-being limit toUS$500US$1,300
Price on SilverUS$130n/a
Price on Goldn/aUS$280

 

Dental Basic & Dental Plus (personal plans)

The dental options on Silver or Gold now cost an age-related, fixed price.

Age groupSilver

Dental Basic
(20% co-insurance, 6-month waiting period, US$1,000 limit)

Silver

Dental Plus
(20% co-insurance, 6-month waiting period, US$1,500 limit)

Gold

Dental Plus
(20% co-insurance, 6-month waiting period, US$2,000 limit)

0-17US$120US$200US$120
18-30US$300US$175US$500
31-40US$350US$210US$600
41-50US$485US$300US$850
51-60US$650US$500US$1,100
61+US$900US$1,000US$1,500

Other changes to optional benefits available on plans for businesses

There are changes to the optional benefits available on plans for businesses, the main ones of which are summarised here:

  • Optional maternity benefits now available on SilverLite
  • Changes to prices for dental options for both adults and children

Changes to exclusions

We’re making the following changes to the exclusion section of the plan agreements for health plans starting in 2021.

Accidents or injuries resulting from
your failure to adhere to local motoring laws

Plans starting in 2020Plans starting in 2021
n/aYou are not covered for accidents or injuries arising from: –

  • travelling in, or on, a motorised vehicle as a driver or passenger if the driver does not have a valid license and insurance, as required by the law of the country where the accident or injury occurred
  • failure to wear the relevant safety equipment (including but not limited to helmets and seat belts), as required by the law of the country where the accident or injury occurred

 

Drugs prescribed for out-patient mental health treatment

 

Plans starting in 2020Plans starting in 2021
You are not covered for drugs prescribed for out-patient mental health treatment.You are not covered for drugs prescribed
for out-patient mental health treatment. However, there may be some cover under the Cancer treatment, Counselling section of the table of benefits.

 

Eyesight

Plans starting in 2020Plans starting in 2021
You are not covered for: –

  • treatment to correct your eyesight, such as laser treatment, refractive keratotomy and photorefractive keratotomy
  • upgraded lenses as part of an eye operation, such as cataract surgery spectacles, and other visual aids, treatment of strabismus (squint) or amblyopia (lazy eye)
  • sight tests (unless covered under your plan in the well-being benefits section of the table of benefits)
You are not covered for: –

  • LASIK eye surgery or any other surgical correction of short-sightedness (myopia), long-sightedness (hyperopia) or irregular- shaped cornea (astigmatism)
  • any lens other than a standard mono-focal replacement lens as part of an eye operation, such as cataract surgery
  • spectacles, and other visual aids, treatment of strabismus (squint) or amblyopia (lazy eye)
  • sight tests (unless covered under your plan in the well-being benefits section of the table of benefits)

 

Professional sports and motorised
racing as an amateur or a professional

Plans starting in 2020Plans starting in 2021
You are not covered for treatment for an illness or injury related to: –

  • participation, to include training for or practising for, in any kind of professional sport or professional racing (by professional we mean sport where you are being paid to participate)
  • participation, to include training for
  • or practising for, in any kind of racing (whether amateur or professional) which involves the use of a motorised vehicle
You are not covered for treatment for an illness or injury related to: –

  • participation in (including training for or practising for) any kind of professional sport or professional racing (by professional, we mean sport where you are being paid to participate and/or you are receiving sponsorship or other benefits as a result of your participation)
  • participation in (including training for or practising for) any kind of racing (whether amateur or professional) which involves the use of a motorised vehicle

 

Nasal septum deviation

Plans starting in 2020Plans starting in 2021
You are not covered for treatment related to nasal septum deviation and nasal concha resection.Removed

 

War and terrorism

Plans starting in 2020Plans starting in 2021
You are not covered for treatment arising directly or indirectly from war, foreign enemy hostility, terrorism, rebellion, civil war, revolution, military coup, riot, strike, martial law, state of siege or attempted overthrow of a government, in a country or region that the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office has advised its citizens to leave, or advised its citizens against all travel to, unless you are an innocent bystander.You are not covered for treatment arising directly or indirectly from war, foreign enemy hostility, terrorism, rebellion, civil war, revolution, military coup, riot, strike, martial law, state of siege or attempted overthrow of a government, unless you are an innocent bystander.

 

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders

Plans starting in 2020Plans starting in 2021
n/aYou are not covered for treatment of disorders of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) including any related condition.

 


William Russell is a trading name of William Russell Ltd, which is authorised and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority, and William Russell Europe SRL, which is registered in Belgium with the Financial Services & Markets Authority. We provide insurance plans on behalf of AWP Health & Life SA, an Allianz group company registered in France, and AWP P&C SA UK, an Allianz group company registered in the UK. We’re here to help our customers, but we don’t offer insurance advice.

Article published: 09/12/2020 at 12:00.