inflation in Singapore is expected to remain at 10 percent outpacing general
inflation of 1 percent.
SINGAPORE - Media OutReach - 14 November 2018 - Medical plan costs paid
by employers around the world are set to rise nearly 8 percent in 2019, far
outpacing average general inflation of nearly 3 percent, according to the 2019
Global Medical Trend Rates Report released by Aon plc (NYSE: AON), the leading global professional
services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions.
expected average increase before plan changes in medical and pharmacy cost for
employer-sponsored medical plans in 2019 of 7.8 percent is slightly lower than
the 8.4 percent in 2018 due to employer cost containment measures, tighter
procurement of medical goods, new health improvement initiatives and lower
rates of projected inflation worldwide.
Tim Dwyer, CEO, Health Solutions, Asia Pacific, Aon.
Medical trend rate in Asia Pacific will decrease from 8.9
percent in 2018 to 8.6 percent in 2019. This rate is higher in Singapore at 10
percent and is expected to remain the same in 2019 -- despite a lower projected
general inflation of just 1 percent. On the other hand, medical inflation in
Hong Kong is expected to rise from 6.2 percent in 2018 to 8.3 percent in 2019.
In China, medical trend rate will increase from 5.5 percent
in 2018 to 6 percent in 2019. The Chinese government's regulation to limit the
number of intermediaries in the distribution of pharmaceutical and medical
products to two is expected to temper medical inflation in future. Medical
trend rate in India is at 9 percent and is expected to remain the same in 2019.
Insurers there are now required to set premium rates based on portfolio claim experience
and avoid artificially low fees for competitive advantage.
In Singapore, cancer and cardiovascular issues are the top
medical conditions driving up medical plan costs -- while increasing levels of
stress and respiratory infections are core contributors to rising costs in Hong
Kong. To minimise these costs, organisations continue to introduce design
measures such as co-payment, dollar limits in plan, limiting certain benefits,
and referring employees to cost-effective providers.
Tim Dwyer, CEO, Health Solutions, Asia Pacific, Aon said, "By
focusing only on cost containment, companies are treating the symptoms instead
of the underlying causes in relation to the health of their employees. Against
the backdrop of an ageing workforce and increasing prevalence of sedentary
lifestyles, the time is right for employers across Asia to develop sustainable
wellbeing programmes. This will increase employee engagement, lead to a
healthier and more productive workforce and, ultimately, improve business
trend rates vary significantly by region. Countries in the Middle East/Africa
and Latin America regions will experience the highest average medical premium
rates of any region at 13.7 percent and 13.2 percent respectively. In contrast,
Europe and North America are projected to see average medical premium rate
increases in the single digits, with Europe seeing the lowest rate of increase
at 5.1 percent.
"While the 2019 medical
trend rates are at their lowest compared to prior years, these are still
extremely high. We expect continued cost escalation due to global population ageing,
poor lifestyle habits in emerging countries, cost shifting from social health
care programmes and the increased prevalence and utilisation of
employer-sponsored health plans in many countries," said Wil Gaitan, senior
vice president and global consulting actuary at Aon.
Poor Health Habits
Primary Driver of Cost Increases
report confirmed the increasing impact of non-communicable diseases on health
care costs worldwide. Cancer and cardiovascular ailments, such as high blood
pressure, diabetes and respiratory conditions, were the most prevalent health
conditions driving health care claims around the world. Aon's report also
confirms the growing prevalence of risks from unhealthy personal habits around
the world, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, physical inactivity,
bad nutrition, and obesity.
of the global risk factors often lead to chronic conditions with long medical
cost tails that make them expensive to treat and result in long term medical
cost increases," noted Tim Nimmer, chief health care actuary at Aon.
report reflects the medical trend
expectations of employer-sponsored medical plans in 103 countries based on
reported data from Aon professionals, clients and carriers represented in the
portfolio of Aon medical plan business in each country.
Aon plc (NYSE:AON) Aon is a
leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk,
retirement and health solutions. Our 50,000 colleagues in 120 countries
empower results for clients by using proprietary data and analytics to deliver
insights that reduce volatility and improve performance. Aon has five specific global solution
lines: Commercial Risk Solutions, Reinsurance Solutions, Retirement Solutions,
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