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.