A high net worth individual (HNWI) is a wealthy person with US$1 million or more in liquid financial assets. According to Capgemini’s 2021 World Health Report, the global number of HNWIs increased by 6.3 per cent in 2020 compared with 2019, bringing the total to more than 20 million. The international health insurance needs and considerations of this growing demographic are unique, owing to the risks, challenges and, of course, benefits that come with high net worth. For example, their financial standing may mean that they can be globally mobile with ‘international lifestyles’ and can invest in more comprehensive coverage and care, with access to a broader range of services.
Looking at spending patterns, Bupa Global’s Executive Wellbeing Index found that 59 per cent of HNW customers are now investing in their health and wellbeing more than tangible luxury goods, such as handbags and cars. Therefore, it is likely that they will be looking for premium cover and service. The Index also found that 66 per cent of HNWIs considered purchasing additional cover in the coming year; 35 per cent expect plans to focus on preventing ill health and improving health and wellbeing; and 32 per cent expect greater cover for mental health support. Fortunately, there are iPMI policies specifically designed for HNWIs.
Choice and personalisation
ITIJ spoke with David Eline, who is Founder and CEO of iPMI technology platform Health Compass, which seeks to bring patient-centric, affordable, interoperable healthcare management to all. “HNWIs expect high-quality service that matches their lifestyle and reflects the cost of iPMI cover,” he explained. “This is the key reason why some insurers have created a Concierge Service, featuring dedicated account managers who take a personalised approach to triaging customers on their top-tier covers to the next stage of care. HNWIs want peace of mind from a policy they pay a lot of money for. That includes the best treatment and the ability to choose their doctor/hospital, without network limitation. Some will also expect (and receive) the US as standard in their geographical area of cover, should the best treatment available be there.”
Choice and personalisation are two important considerations for HNWIs. Eline continued: “Bupa, for example, has developed a product called ‘Ultimate’, specifically aimed at HNWIs. It’s an excellent example of the service levels and cover insurers can develop for this sector of the market.”
HNWIs expect high-quality service that matches their lifestyle and reflects the cost of top-quality iPMI cover
Anthony Cabrelli is Managing Director for Bupa Global, who shared further details: “Benefits for customers on our top-tier Ultimate Health Plan range from private maternity cover and Genetic Cancer Screening, to proactive health checks and treatments to help them stay healthy,” he said. “For those with families, our plans cover customers’ children to the same level. And it provides access to extensive mental health benefits, including for conditions like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and addiction, which are often excluded.”
Diversifying iPMI needs
Cabrelli also emphasised shifting requirements: “For over 50 years, Bupa Global has been a leading provider of iPMI. Over this time, customer needs have continued to evolve and change, particularly towards wellbeing. Recently, we have seen customers seek a more personalised, hands-on approach to managing their overall holistic wellness and prevention, along with reassurance that high-quality care is at their fingertips in times of need,” he said. “Recognising this, Bupa Global redefined its offering, pioneering a fresh, new iPMI proposition – Private Client by Bupa. This is an exciting, first-to-market step into a ‘lifecare’ category of health insurance, offering a concierge-type service to manage complete holistic wellness and needs. It goes further than facilitating treatment or just paying the bill, instead acting as a healthcare partner.”
Cabrelli additionally explained how ʿlifecareʼ works for Bupa customers: “Clients are appointed a Lifecare Concierge Manager that handles all aspects of the customer’s plan. This helps them maximise the benefits they can gain from premium health insurance,” he added.
They want peace of mind from a policy they pay a lot of money for. That includes the best treatment and the ability to choose their doctor/hospital, without network limitation
Joe Thomas, Managing Director, APRIL International UK, has seen iPMI diversification: “APRIL International has long realised that the market for iPMI is not homogenous – needs vary by demographic, location, and increasingly by income band,” he explained. “HNWIs are encompassing younger individuals, such as Millennials and Generation Z, who are often digitally savvy and globally mobile. They seek personalised services and tailored support to meet their evolving personal and family needs and lifestyles. That’s where our physical global network comes in. We have fully owned subsidiary offices in major expat centres, as well as offices with joint venture partners covering the most important expatriate destinations.”
The message is that products and care must continue to evolve to meet changing and increasingly digitised demands. “As a more tech-oriented segment of the market, HNWIs are more likely to want simplified digital experiences and solutions, such as online medical consultations,” Thomas continued. “APRIL International meets that demand through both its award-winning app, Easy Claim – which delivers paperless transactions and enhanced approval of medical claims – and our online TeleHEALTH virtual doctor consulting services.”
Similar to Bupa Global, APRIL International delivers on choice. “We focus on personalised service and constantly strive to exceed client expectations. We recognise that for the HNW, care provision must fit around lifestyle and travel demands, so we offer both a wide choice of medical facilities and the ability to choose where treatment is delivered, wherever possible,” said Thomas. “We believe HNWIs will continue to seek highly personalised solutions, which will push insurance providers to continue their investment in more customised, digital and connected services. As this group will often have an ability to work and conduct business remotely in several locations, we offer a variety of underwriting options. For APRIL International, the HNW segment is a growing one, but it is also one we are perfectly positioned to support with our extensive digitisation initiatives.”
Emphasis on excellence
The London Clinic brings together internationally renowned consultants and multi-disciplinary teams with world-class technology and medical resources, to ensure excellence in patient care on a massive scale. It works with numerous global insurance providers and has an on-site international team to help overseas patients feel at home straight away. “We are proud to have treated some of history’s most influential people, including royalty, politicians and actors, but above all we exist to support a diverse healthcare community,” Elizabeth Boultbee, Head of Global Markets, The London Clinic, said. “What sets The London Clinic apart is our personalised approach to patient care. Our nurses, clinicians and support teams are dedicated to a smaller number of patients, and we tailor care specifically around their individual needs. Broadly, our HNW offering encompasses the principles of discretion, choice and comfort. For VIPs and HNWIs, there is discreet pathway management in entering and exiting the hospital; access to top consultants in their specialist fields; and personalised security services with VIP rooms, specific to the requirements of these patients and their families.”
Boultbee shared further details of what HNW patients can expect: “Personalised care begins with our in-house International, Translation and Patient Experience teams, ensuring that needs are understood from the outset,” she said. “We then customise our services, such as our award-winning menu and concierge. For ultimate comfort, we provide enhanced services and environments, whether that’s a larger hospital bed, bespoke personal items to make patients feel comfortable, and therapy services while at our hospital. Or the offer of nursing, GP and aftercare support from the comfort of home, or one of our premium hotel partners.”
Customers seek a more personalised, hands-on approach to managing their overall holistic wellness
Choice is a key desire for this globally mobile demographic, with a growing awareness of the importance of prevention and increasing emphasis on mental health being reflected in top-tier plans. Younger, tech-savvy individuals are a growth market, so insurers provide digital solutions such as apps and telehealth. Importantly, the needs of HNWIs are continually ever-changing and diversifying, but it appears that healthcare providers are ensuring these wants are being met.