Skip to main content

Global insurer survey report

MMB Health Trends 2024

Getting the right balance between managing costs and meeting employee needs.

The pressure to manage employee health program costs grows ever stronger

Medical trend rates are beginning to exceed pre-pandemic levels. And while the rate of increase is forecasted to drop slightly in 2024, the rate will put pressure on employer budgets.

To help guide employers managing health and benefits plans, we surveyed 223 insurers, including 100 in Asia, across 58 countries. We identified four key themes driving costs and risks in medical insurance and share how employers can effectively balance meeting employee needs while managing workforce risk.

The top trends shaping employer-sponsored healthcare

Explore the top trends shaping employer provided healthcare, and learn how to effectively balance cost containment, but not at the expense of inclusivity and quality.

Four key trends

Top trends driving the future of employer provided healthcare

Over half of markets face double-digit cost increases:

86% of insurers globally (vs. 84% in Asia) believe medical inflation had a significant or very significant impact on the 2023 medical trend.

Health systems are facing disruption from skills shortages with digital healthcare still at any early stage:

70% of insurers expect AI to transform first-line diagnosis and/or navigation within five years.

Insurers are responding to employers’ needs for cost containment:

42% of insurers have not updated deductible/excesses and co-payments and have no plans to do so. However, there is a need for employers to actively manage plans.

Gaps around mental health, women’s health and inclusive benefits continue to persist:

56% of insurers do not currently cover targeted mental health, socialization and learning issues for children, teenagers and families.

What do these trends mean for employers in Asia?

Generally higher than average forecast medical trend rates in Southeast Asia 

The 2024 medical trend rates in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam are expected to be higher than the Asia average of 11.4%. The Philippine’s medical trend rate is forecast at 18% — the highest in the region.

Quality of public and private healthcare have improved in Asia

48% of insurers in Asia (vs. 29% globally) found the quality of public healthcare and 59% (vs. 50% globally) found the quality of private healthcare had improved compared to before the pandemic. 

More action is needed on mental and women’s health benefits gaps 

In Asia, just slightly more than half of insurers (54%) cover psychological and/or psychiatric counselling sessions, as compared to the global average of 69%. Provision of women’s and reproductive health benefits lag behind global averages. 

Insurers expect plan improvements to take precedence over cost containment measures, but this is less pronounced than last year.

In Asia, 53% of insurers think that employer will prioritize making plan improvements to help address attraction, retention and engagement over the next year — greatly reduced from 73% in 2023. Meanwhile, 47% of insurers believe employers will reduce plan coverage to manage cost — a significant increase from 27% in 2023.  

Are you achieving the right balance between business costs and employee needs?

Understanding these trends and their impact are crucial for employers in order to design healthcare plans that meet the needs of your business and your employees.


MMB Health Trends 2024 report

Get an in-depth look at the health trends and strategies that will help your business and your employees to succeed by downloading the full report.

Use this report to:

  • Get a clear view of the top trends for employer sponsored healthcare as you plan for 2024.
  • Learn the four key areas requiring HR professionals attention to better prepare for the year ahead.
  • Take action to effectively address issues around cost mitigation and how to create greater value for your business and your employees.