Singapore Medical Benefit Trend Growth to Drop in 2021: Aon Survey


SINGAPORE – Media OutReach – 29 October, 2020 –
 Aon plc (NYSE: AON), a leading global professional services firm providing a broad
range of risk, retirement and health solutions, today announced that a nationwide
decrease in medical plan utilisations due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)
pandemic is likely to decrease medical trend rates in Singapore next year. Growth
in employer-provided medical benefit costs are expected to drop 30% in 2021
compared to the previous year’s forecasts made prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Aon’s 2021 Global Medical Trend Rates Report.

Health plans
saw significantly less utilisation in 2020 as people avoided hospitals in fear
of COVID-19 infection and delayed their elective procedures. This
community-wide decrease in plan utilisation is expected to reduce Singapore’s 2021
medical trend costs to 7% from the previously projected 10% in 2020. The
expectation for the new year is that inpatient care will spike back up whereas
outpatient care will return to approximately 70 percent of pre-COVID-19 levels,
and eventually normalise.

In Asia Pacific,
medical trend costs will drop to 8% in 2021 from the 8.7% projected for 2020. However,
projected medical trend rates vary significantly by location in the region.
Hong Kong is projected to see the lowest at 5.3% in 2021. This, too, is due to
a decrease in elective surgeries and outpatient routines.

In China, the
medical trend rate in 2021 is expected to be 7%. COVID-19 has resulted in better
self-protection measures taken by patients, decreasing the incidence ratio of
common diagnoses. Additionally, outpatient utilisation has depreciated while
online consultations have dramatically increased during the pandemic.

Forecasted
Health Care Benefit Cost Growth

Location

2020

2021

China

7.5%

7.0%

Hong Kong

8.1%

5.3%

India

8.5%

9.0%

Indonesia

13.0%

13.0%

Japan

1.5%

0.0%

Malaysia

14.0%

14.0%

Philippines

9.2%

8.0%

Singapore

10.0%

7.0%

South Korea

8.0%

7.5%

Taiwan

8.0%

8.0%

Thailand

13.9%

6.6%

Vietnam

11.0%

8.7%

 

In Asia
Pacific, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and musculoskeletal diseases,
cancer, and ear, nose & throat (ENT) issues are the most prevalent health
conditions driving healthcare claims.

Leading Medical Conditions Driving Medical
Plan Costs

Asia Pacific

1)

Cardiovascular

2)

Cancer/Tumour Growth

3)

Gastrointestinal

4)

Musculoskeletal/Back

5)

ENT/Lung
Disorder/Respiratory

 

Aon’s report
also confirms the growing prevalence of health risk factors in Asia Pacific, including
high blood pressure, physical inactivity, and bad nutrition, which may drive
future medical plan costs.

Leading Health Risk Factors Driving Future
Medical Plan Costs

Asia Pacific

1)

High Blood Pressure

2)

Physical Inactivity

3)

Ageing

4)

Bad Nutrition

5)

High Blood Glucose

 

Tim Dwyer, CEO
of Health Solutions, Asia Pacific, Aon said, “COVID-19 has underscored the need for better
design and management of employee health and benefit programmes. To mitigate
medical costs by reducing chronic conditions, employers in Asia Pacific must
invest in wellbeing programmes to promote mental health, physical activity,
healthy eating, and preventive strategies like physical check-ups and
screenings. This could supplement traditional strategies, such as controlling
unreasonable plan utilisation, adjusting plan designs, narrowing networks and
adding flexible benefit plans.”

To view the
report, visit 2021 Global
Medical Trends Report
.

Methodology

The survey was
conducted among 107 Aon offices, each one representative of a country, that
broker, administer, or otherwise advise on employer-sponsored medical plans in
each of the countries covered in this report. The survey responses reflect the
medical trend expectations of the Aon professionals based on their interactions
with clients and carriers represented in the portfolio of the firm’s medical
plan business in each country.

About Aon

Aon
plc
(NYSE: 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.

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