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Employer Medical Benefit Costs in Asia Pacific to Grow 8.7 Percent in 2020, Aon Survey Forecasts

SINGAPORE - Media OutReach - 19 September
2019 -
 Medical costs in Asia Pacific are forecasted
to increase from 8.6 percent in 2019 to 8.7 percent in 2020, according to the
2020
Global Medical Trend Rates Report
released by Aon
plc

(NYSE: AON)
.




In Singapore, employer-provided medical benefit costs
will increase by 10 percent in 2020, outpacing average general inflation of 1.4
percent. This is due to a combination of factors such as an ageing population
and a rise in chronic diseases including diabetes and high blood pressure.


However, projected medical trend rates vary significantly
by location. In Asia, costs are expected to increase the most in Malaysia and Thailand,
with average medical trend rates forecasted at 14 percent and 13.9 percent respectively.


In contrast, China and Hong Kong are projected to see an
average medical trend rate increase of 7.5 percent and 8.1 percent
respectively. Due to the adoption of advanced technology, the prices of medical
goods and services are increasing at a level two to three times of general
inflation. The penetration of mobile applications for online claims management has
also contributed to the increase in claims reported by supplemental medical
plans in China. In Hong Kong, the medical trend rate is driven by increasing
levels of stress and respiratory infections.


Tim Dwyer, CEO of Health Solutions, Asia Pacific, Aon
said, "Cost containment strategies are no longer enough to address medical
inflation. Organisations in the region must introduce comprehensive programmes
that address the physical, emotional, social and financial wellbeing of their
employees. A proactive people strategy focusing on all these factors will lead
to a healthier, engaged, and more productive workforce."


Health
Care Benefit Cost Growth from 2019 to 2020

 

2019

2020

China

 

6.0%

7.5%

Hong Kong

 

8.3%

8.1%

India

 

9.0%

8.5%

Indonesia

 

13.0%

13.0%

Malaysia

 

16.0%

14.0%

Philippines

 

10.0%

9.2%

Singapore

 

10.0%

10.0%

Thailand

 

9.0%

13.9%

Vietnam

 

12.0%

11.0%


Aon's report confirms the increasing impact of
non-communicable diseases on health care costs globally. In Asia Pacific, cardiovascular,
cancer, musculoskeletal, ENT and gastrointestinal were the most prevalent
health conditions driving health care claims.

Leading Medical Conditions in Asia Pacific
and the World

Asia Pacific

Global

1)

Cardiovascular

Cardiovascular

2)

Cancer

Cancer

3)

Musculoskeletal

Diabetes

4)

ENT

High blood pressure

5)

Gastrointestinal

Musculoskeletal

Aon's report also confirms the growing prevalence of
risks in Asia Pacific due to high blood pressure, obesity and ageing and
unhealthy personal habits such as physical inactivity and bad nutrition.

Leading Health Risk Factors in Asia Pacific and
the World

 

Asia Pacific

Global

1)

High blood pressure

High blood pressure

2)

Physical inactivity

Physical inactivity

3)

Bad nutrition

High cholesterol

4)

Obesity

Bad nutrition

5)

Ageing

Poor stress
management

"Many of the risk factors lead to chronic conditions
with long-term medical costs that make them difficult to treat and result in
long-term medical cost increases," said Tim Nimmer, Aon's global chief actuary for
Health Solutions. "As a large portion of our waking hours are spent on the job,
the workplace is a logical place to create a healthier culture and change
behaviours. Our goal is to guide employers as they become more critical in helping
individuals and their families to take a more active role in managing their
health, including participating in health and well-being activities and better
managing chronic conditions."

To view the report, visit https://healthresources.aon.com/reports-2/2020-global-medical-trend-rates-report.


Methodology


The survey was conducted among 105 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) 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,
Health Solutions and Data & Analytic Services.


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