Tag Archives: health insurance

Equalising risk in global healthcare systems

Health insurance, like most insurance, can be priced using risk ratings, where premiums are set based on the relative risk of insured lives and the propensity to claim. This may result in unaffordable health insurance for the most high-risk members of society. As a result, many governments restrict the use of risk ratings in health insurance markets in favour of “community rating.”

In a community-rated system where all consumers are charged the same premium, many high-risk consumers are protected from paying unaffordable premiums. Other consumers, such as healthier or younger individuals, will generally pay a higher premium to subsidise sicker and often older individuals. Consequently, premium revenue collected by insurers or other risk-bearing entities may no longer truly reflect the underlying risk associated with their insured populations.

In many healthcare systems and health insurance markets around the world where risk rating is not allowed, risk equalisation is used to enhance consumer protection and market stability. Its aim is to compensate for the risk profiles of different groups of the population such that the additional medical expenses associated with high-risk members are shared amongst healthcare providers or insurance companies.

In this paper, Milliman consultants have set out a “how-to” guide to risk equalisation, or risk adjustment. They use illustrative examples from around the world to explain the challenges and practicalities that should be considered in the design and management of a risk equalisation program.

What does the health insurance landscape look like in China?

China ranks only behind the United States in total healthcare expenditures. It has at least 95% of its 1.4 billion people covered by basic, government-sponsored health insurance. But China’s annual per capita health expenditure is relatively low at around $425, or just over 5% of GDP, though it has been on the rise over the past decade.

In China, there are three types of publicly financed basic medical insurance: For the urban employed population, for the urban non-employed population, and for rural residents regardless of employment status. Funding of health coverage comes from the central government, local governments, employers, and the participants, and the level of funding varies by geographic area. On average, out-of-pocket spending accounts for 32% of China’s total health expenditures and varies greatly by geographic area.

China’s public insurance programs are facing pressure from all sides of the healthcare ecosystem. Population aging, urbanization, environmental issues, increasing disease burden due to chronic conditions and cancers, escalating unit cost in healthcare, waste, and low-value services are all adding to the growing demand for better and more efficient healthcare.

At the same time, the growth in social insurance funding, part of which is used to fund basic medical insurance, has slowed due to an aging population. And the role of commercial health insurance in China has changed significantly over the past 15 years and continues to evolve as the Chinese government implements reforms that affect the overall healthcare ecosystem.

To learn more about the health insurance market in China, read this article by Milliman’s Rong Yi and Sharon Huang, which discusses recent trends and how data and analytics could be used to address some of the challenges and support market growth.





Brief study of UK health insurers’ second SFCRs

This analysis by Milliman consultants compares information provided in Quantitative Reporting Templates (QRTs) and Solvency and Financial Condition Reports (SFCRs) and draws conclusions about the balance sheets and risk exposures of 15 UK private medical insurance and health cash plan providers. The analysis also highlights noteworthy trends between the 2017 and 2018 publications.





Analysis of health insurers’ Solvency and Financial Condition Reports in Europe

Under Solvency II, European insurers are required to publish their Solvency and Financial Condition Reports (SFCRs). Two sets of SFCRs have been published, with the first publication for most entities occurring in May 2017 and the second one in May 2018.

The SFCRs contain a significant amount of information including details of the company’s performance over the reporting period, system of governance, risk profile, valuation basis and capital requirements. In addition, the SFCRs include a number of Quantitative Reporting Templates (QRTs) providing details of the company’s financial position under Solvency II.

This analysis by Milliman consultants compares information provided in the QRTs and SFCRs and draws conclusions about the balance sheets and risk exposures of European health insurers. It also highlights substantial trends between the 2017 and 2018 publications.





Considerations for product governance risk management

A key focus of the insurance regulatory authorities around the world has been the protection of policyholder interest. This has resulted in more emphasis on product governance and product life-cycle management. The insurance directive launched under the European Union insurance law has issued guidelines for insurers to embed product oversight and governance into their risk management frameworks.

A robust product governance process can help reduce mis-selling and complaints, and increase policyholder confidence in the market. It can also ensure internal and regulatory compliance for the products offered by the insurer.

The core components of a robust product governance process are:

• Product governance policy
• Product development
• Pricing and value
• Distribution and sales
• Legal, compliance and risk management
• Ongoing assessment of the product

To read more about building a strong product governance policy, read Neha Taneja’s article here.





Brief study of UK health insurers’ first SFCRs

Solvency and Financial Condition Reports contain a number of Quantitative Reporting Templates (QRTs). They are an important source of information on a company’s financial position under Solvency II. This report by Milliman’s Joanne Buckle and Didier Serre compares and contrasts the information in selected QRTs of 13 health insurers in the United Kingdom.