Health in growth markets

Major demographic and socio-economic trends are driving higher demand for health insurance in Asia and the Americas.

While the reach of our health propositions is global, our strategic focus for incremental growth is in high growth markets in Asia. There we project healthcare costs will increase by 8.2% annually, reaching USD 2.7 trillion by 2020. We are also focused on the Americas, where demographic and socio-economic trends are driving higher demand.

In mature markets, reinsurance opportunities for long-term health risks predominate, mainly disability and critical illness. The US is a notable exception: there, the bulk of the market for health re/insurance is in major medical expense risks. The US health market is expected to expand further with the implementation of healthcare reforms. In developing insurance markets, much of the insured health risk is meant to protect against out-of-pocket healthcare costs. Our clients typically seek reinsurance protection to reduce their exposure to pricing uncertainty and to access Swiss Re’s risk management capabilities.

The role for private re/insurance in the overall financing of healthcare and disability costs varies markedly between countries. We always seek to understand the local context for healthcare financing and delivery to provide the most appropriate advice and solutions.

In response to opportunities in high growth markets in Asia – where we calculate that the health protection gap could reach USD 197 billion by 2020 – we are committing significant additional resources to expand our health reinsurance business segments. For an example from South Korea, see the 2012 Business Report.