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Global insurer survey report

MMB Health Trends 2023

Navigating cost trends and using innovation in employer-provided healthcare.

Discover the top trends shaping employee benefits programs. 

The latest Mercer Marsh Benefits Health Trends global survey of 226 insurers — including 93 in Asia — identified five key themes driving costs and risks in employee health benefits.

Five key trends

Top trends driving the future of employer-provided healthcare and employee benefits programs:

Per-person medical cost increases are back to pre-pandemic levels

68% of insurers (73% in Asia) expect plan sponsors to prioritise improvements to help address attraction, retention and engagement, despite forecasted double-digit medical trend rates in some markets.

COVID-19 is impacting claims experience

55% of insurers report an increase in later-stage diagnosis of illness due to deferred care.

Plan modernisation has begun

1 in 2 insurers has changed or expects to change eligibility requirements and eligible expenses to make coverage more inclusive for part-time or flexible working.

Mental health gaps persist

16% of insurers report not providing plans that cover mental health services (versus 26% in 2022). The gap in access to mental health prevention, management and treatment as part of insured medical plans is highest in Asia.

Plan management requires greater rigor

More than 1 in 4 insurers in Asia are adjusting medical plan premiums based on COVID-19 vaccination status.

What do these trends mean for plan sponsors in Asia?

Understanding these trends will be crucial for employers – helping them to design healthcare plans that meet the needs of a business and its employees.

Generally higher than average forecast medical trend rates in Southeast Asia 

The 2023 medical trend rates in Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and The Philippines are expected to be higher than the Asia average of 11.5%. Taiwan’s medical trend rate is forecast at 15.8% — the highest in the region.

Significant focus on prioritising competitive, valued benefits

73% of insurers in Asia expect plan sponsors to make plan improvements to help address employee retention, engagement and attraction, compared to 68% globally.

Employers lagging behind in adjusting plans in line with inflation

In Asia, only 19% of companies have automatically adjusted deductibles/excesses and/or co-payments in line with inflation for group insurance, compared to the global average of 24%. 6% of companies plan to make adjustments in the next six months.

Want to be the employer of choice? Download our MMB Health Trends 2023 report for data-driven insights on how to optimise your benefits design, manage employee well-being and drive benefits-cost efficiencies.

Full report

Get an in-depth look at the latest medical trends and learn how you can respond to them by downloading the full report.

Asia Infographic

A bite-sized overview of the key findings from this year’s research.

Download previous report