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Changes to Our Health Insurance Products for 2022

William Cooper

Marketing Director

Introduction

We’re pleased to share with you our new range of international health insurance products for 2022.

Headline changes include:

  • Revamped areas of cover
  • 0% average premium inflation across our global membership portfolio
  • New benefits such as out-patient mental health medications

These changes take effect for all existing members with a renewal date of 01 January 2022 or later, and all new members purchasing a health plan with a start date of 01 January 2022 or later.

Some general housekeeping

We’re retiring Essential Care and Essential Care Plus for good

We closed the Essential health plans to new members in 2021. From 01 January 2022, we’re closing the Essential health plans to renewing members. Throughout 2022, we’ll renew members who were previously insured on an Essential health plan onto a similar plan (e.g., Bronze, SilverLite) with no further underwriting.

Changes to where we can (and cannot) sell health plans

We can now provide health plans to members living in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo.

We can no longer provide new health plans to members who are permanently resident in Lebanon.

Introducing our new areas of cover

Changes to Zone 1

As standard, Zone 1 now includes restricted cover in the USA. Restricted cover means up to US$50,000 cover for accident and emergency treatment per member per year, received during temporary trips of up to 45 days

Zone 4 [New]

We’ve developed a new zone for members who want cover across Africa and the Indian Subcontinent (India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka).

With Zone 4, members have full cover across Africa and the Indian Subcontinent, but restricted cover everywhere else. Restricted cover means up to US$100,000 cover for accident and emergency treatment per member per year. Members have no cover at all in the USA.

Zone 5 [New]

Zone 5 is very similar to Zone 4, but we exclude South Africa from the definition of Africa.

That means with Zone 5, members have full cover across Africa (except South Africa) and the Indian Subcontinent, but restricted cover everywhere else (including South Africa). Restricted cover means up to US$100,000 cover for accident and emergency treatment per member per year. Members have no cover at all in the USA.

Benefit changes

We now pay more towards treatment under the benefit for congenital and hereditary conditions

On all health plans starting in 2022, we’ve improved cover for congenital and hereditary conditions.

Plans starting in 2021 Plans starting in 2022
Bronze US$20,000 or £13,300 or €15,000 for treatment after discharge from hospital* US$50,000 or £33,300 or €37,500 for treatment after discharge from hospital*
SilverLite US$20,000 or £13,300 or €15,000* US$60,000 or £53,300 or €60,000*
Silver US$40,000 or £26,600 or €30,000* US$80,000 or £53,300 or €60,000*
Gold US$80,000 or £53,300 or €60,000* US$100,000 or £66,600 or €75,000*

*Lifetime limit

We now cover mental health medication prescribed for out-patient treatment

On all health plans (except SilverLite) starting in 2022, we’ve added cover for medications that a medical doctor or registered psychiatrist prescribes to treat a mental health condition.

Plans starting in 2021 Plans starting in 2022
Bronze No cover US$500 or £333 or €375 for treatment after discharge from hospital*
Silver No cover US$500 or £333 or €375*
Gold No cover US$500 or £333 or €375*

*Subject to 20% co-insurance

We’ve made some changes to the benefit for home nursing care

In the 2021 health plans, we limited the benefit for home nursing care to a certain number of weeks. In the 2022 health plans, we’re limiting the benefit to a monetary value.

Plans starting in 2021 Plans starting in 2022
Bronze 12 weeks* US$5,000 or £3,330 or €3,750*
SilverLite 2 weeks* US$8,000 or £5,300 or €6,000*
Silver 12 weeks* US$10,000 or £6,660 or €7,500*
Gold 12 weeks* US$15,000 or £10,000 or €11,250*

*Per medical condition per period of cover

We now pay more towards the accommodation expenses of a companion following an emergency medical evacuation

On all health plans (except Gold) starting in 2022, we’ve increased the benefit for accommodation expenses of a companion following an emergency medical evacuation.

Plans starting in 2021 Plans starting in 2022
Bronze US$72 or £48 or €54* US$75 or £50 or €56*
SilverLite US$50 or £33 or €38* US$100 or £67 or €75*
Silver US$96 or £64 or €72* US$150 or £100 or €113*

*Per night (maximum of 15 nights per period of cover)

The SilverLite plan now covers advanced diagnostic tests in full

The 2021 SilverLite plan covered advanced diagnostic tests only up to the annual limit for out-patient treatment. The 2022 SilverLite plan covers advanced diagnostic tests in full, irrespective of the annual limit for out-patient treatment.

The Gold plan now pays an accident benefit to a beneficiary in the event of the member’s death by accident

No-one likes to think about death, but we can all agree that it’d be nice to leave something behind to family members or friends in the event of our untimely death. The 2022 Gold plan includes an accidental death benefit of US$15,000 or £10,000 or €11,250. In the event of a member’s death in an accident, we’ll pay the death benefit to their nominated beneficiary(ies). We’ll be in touch with renewing members to help them nominate a beneficiary for the benefit.

We’re reducing the waiting period for the Dental Plus option

We’re reducing the waiting period on the Dental Plus option from 12 months to 10 months.

How we’ve developed our pricing model for health plans starting in 2022

Overview

We’re investing in our long-term pricing model for health insurance premiums. Our aim is to produce simpler pricing levers, fairer and more accurate premiums for members, and far more competitive premiums in our key markets.

Our work continues behind the scenes all year, and—in conjunction with our projects to digitise our insurance products and include innovative benefits—will power a compelling product suite for the coming years.

0% average premium inflation

From 2021 to 2022, the average premium inflation for members is 0% (zero per cent). In conjunction with our New Member Discount, which we’ve extended until the end of 2022, the 0% average premium inflation makes us super competitive on pricing over the next 24 months.

A reminder: the average premium inflation is an average. It doesn’t take into account age-related increases and, while some members will experience premium inflation, others will experience negative premium inflation.

Further changes to child discounts

We’re reducing the discount we give to second and subsequent children on health plans starting in 2022. The new discounts apply to both new members and renewing members.

Plans starting in 2021 Plans starting in 2022
First child 0% 0%
Second child 5% 5%
Third child onwards 7.5% 5%

How we’re renewing members with an Essential plan

We’re renewing members with an Essential plan onto a Bronze plan or SilverLite plan. For Essential plan members living in Thailand and renewing between the dates 26 October 2021 and 31 December 2022, we’re offering a 15% discount in Renewal Year One and a 7.5% discount in Renewal Year Two.

We’re changing the loading for nil excesses on personal health plans

For individuals and families with a nil excess on their health plan, we’re reducing the loading from 20% to 15%. This change means a nil excess is more reasonably priced for 2022.

We’re making further changes to the US$250 per annum excess

We’re continuing our long-term plan to normalise the discounts for the US$250 per annum excess. We’ve reduced the legacy discount for the US$250 per annum excess (see table below) to bring it closer to the discount for new members.

We’ve finished making changes to the exchange rate we use for legacy members paying in pounds sterling

We’ve normalised the premium exchange rate we use for legacy members paying in pounds sterling (GBP) with the premium exchange rate that new members use. 2022 is the last year that legacy members paying in pounds sterling will experience a sharp increase in their renewal premium.

Changes to our country-rating model

We’ve increased the premium loadings for members living in Thailand (+2%) and the UK (+1%). We’re making these changes because of our portfolio experience in these countries over the last 2 years. At their 2022 renewal, members in Thailand and the UK may experience higher-than-usual premium increases. We’re using the increased premium loadings in Thailand and the UK to fund reductions to the premium loadings for other countries (e.g., most countries in Africa).

Changes to excess discounts

The following excess discounts and loadings apply to health plans starting in 2022.

Bronze SilverLite Silver Gold
Personal
Nil excess 0.00% 15.00% 15.00% 15.00%
Business
Nil excess 1.00% 9.00% 9.00% 10.00%
Per claim
US$50 n/a 4.50% 4.50% 5.00%
US$100 n/a 0.00% 0.00% 0.50%
US$400 -3.50% n/a -8.50% -8.50%
US$800 -8.00% -13.00% -13.00% -13.00%
US$1,600 -17.00% -26.00% -26.00% -26.00%
US$5,000 -33.00% n/a -41.00% -40.00%
US$10,000 -53.00% n/a -53.00% -51.00%
Per annum
US$250 -1.50% -1.50% -1.50% -1.50%
US$250 (legacy) -1.50% -3.50% -3.50% -3.50%
US$500 -4.00% -5.50% -5.50% -5.00%
US$1,000 -11.00% -16.00% -16.00% -15.00%
US$2,500 -18.50% -28.50% -28.50% -26.00%
US$5,000 -23.00% -33.00% -33.00% -33.00%
US$10,000 -34.00% -44.00% -44.00% -44.00%

We’re changing how we price the Dental Plus option (personal plans)

We’re halfway through a three-year plan to fix the pricing of the Dental Plus option on personal health plans. For health plans starting in 2022, we’re slightly increasing the price.

Summary of our pricing changes

We’re investing heavily in our pricing model, and it’s helping us produce premiums that are highly competitive and are fairer for our members. The average premium inflation is 0% (zero percent) from 2021 health plans to 2022 health plans. Yes, this figure is an average. The exact premium inflation that members experience depends on how their plan is designed and where they live.

Individuals and families with personal health plans, living in our key target markets such as Africa, will experience very favourable renewal premiums. Members living in Thailand, paying in pounds sterling, will experience the sharpest increase in their renewal premiums.

Find out how we can help your members reduce their renewal premium

We’ve put together a guide on how members can reduce their renewal premium. It shows the discounts available for the plan options available in 2022. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help your customers, please get in touch with us.

Changes to terms & conditions of the plan agreements

We’re making the following changes to the terms & conditions of health plans starting in 2022.

We’ve removed the exclusion for out-patient mental health medication

The 2022 health plans now cover drugs prescribed for mental health treatment on an out-patient basis, so we’ve removed the exclusion for out-patient mental health medication that features in the 2021 plan agreements.

We’ve changed the title of the exclusion for vitamins, dietary supplements, natural substances and creams

In the agreements for the 2022 health plan, this exclusion has a new title: commercially available substances.

We’ve changed the exclusion for cosmetic surgery/treatment and the removal of healthy tissue

Plans starting in 2021 Plans starting in 2022

You are not covered for investigations or treatment related to:

  • cosmetic or aesthetic treatment to enhance your appearance, even when
    medically prescribed
  • the removal of fat or surplus tissue
  • breast enlargement or reduction
  • sclerotherapy for spider veins, treatment of superficial varicose veins
  • Botox, dermal fillers, or treatment of vitiligo or any skin pigmentation disorder
You are not covered for investigations or treatment, even when medically prescribed, related to:

  • cosmetic or aesthetic treatment to enhance your appearance, even when medically prescribed
  • the removal of fat or surplus tissue, including fat, skin or breast tissue
  • breast enlargement or reduction
  • sclerotherapy for spider veins, treatment of superficial varicose veins
  • Botox, dermal fillers, or treatment of vitiligo or any skin pigmentation disorder (other than the treatment you are eligible for under the reconstructive surgery benefit)

If a member joined William Russell before 01 January 2007 and they benefit from the No Claim Incentive

Members can no longer upgrade their cover under their health plan without losing their no claims discount. We’ve also added a clause into the agreement for the 2022 health plans whereby we reserve the right to make changes to the terms of the no claims discount in the future.

We’ve added an exclusion for periodontic treatment

The 2022 health plans no longer cover members for periodontic treatment.

We’ve clarified what happens if a member has the semi-private option but they receive treatment in a private room

If a member selects the semi-private hospital room option for their plan, but only a private room is available, we’ll only pay reasonable and customary charges for their private room.

Want to learn more about our changes? Speak to our business development team

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