HEALTHCARE | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Medical trend rate outpaced inflation 10 times in 2019

It is expected to rise by 0.1% in 2019.

Singapore’s medical trend rate of 10.0% outpaced inflation ten-times in 2018, and is expected to rise by 0.1% in 2019, as stated in the Mercer Marsh Benefits (MMB) 2019 Medical Trends Around the World report.

Consequently, insurers are generally predicting further increases in 2020, MMB said.

“As the cost of health benefit plans continues to rise, employers have the potential to control cost through well-prepared plan designs and accessible quality-focused healthcare benefits for its employees,” they said, adding that 63% of insurers provide education, tools and incentives to drive positive behaviour.

In a previous report, tax experts are pushing policymakers to take into account providing tax deductions for individuals who are paying for health-related insurance policies. Enabling a tax write-off for health insurance premiums also offer taxpayers greater access to preventive and emergency healthcare, said Wu Soo Mee, Partner, People Advisory Services – Mobility (Tax), Ernst & Young Solutions LLP.

Also read: Residents should get tax deductions for health insurance policies, experts say

In response, the number of insurers investing in initiatives to enable quality-focused care, to better guide members to the right care options for them more quickly, has more than doubled, MMB noted. Globally, 29% now name this type of investment as a top strategic priority. 

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