Alliant Insurance Services in concert with the global Asinta Partnership presents this 2022 global employee benefits medical trends report to help multinational employers better forecast premium trends for 2022. The report identifies both the expected gross medical trend rate and the clinical health trend in 49 countries.
The specific approach for this report provides a comprehensive view to employers with three significant data points that would be significant in evaluating population health needs:
- Health Trend value
- Disability-Adjusted Years of Life Lost due to Death and Disability (DALYs) may be useful in understanding how insurance products may be rated or evaluated
- Top 5 Risk Factors for Death and Disability which can create opportunities for a global well-being strategy
Jacquie Fritsch, Asinta’s Partner in Canada representing Cowan said, “My aha moment when reading this report was the staggering statistic that 4 out of 10 adults have delayed or canceled going to seek medical care due to COVID – the loss in preventative care will have significant impacts on chronic disease, mental health and well-being of our populations that will impact benefit plan costs in the future. As consultants and employers, we need to be diligent in ensuring that our employees and their families have access to care through virtual programs and are supported through education and programs that support preventative healthcare measures and mitigate increases in costs.”
She adds that this year she sees increases to costs within paramedical practitioners (part of medical plans) and dental services whereby they have passed on the costs associated with strict PPE and sanitization regulations.
Howden in the UK reports that the issues impacting medical/healthcare renewal rates this year include overuse of care due to medical practitioner recommendations, overuse of care by insured members, albeit, this would have dropped slightly during the COVID-19 pandemic and underuse of preventive services, and poor health habits. Anne Terry, Head of Global Benefits Management for Howden says, “Medical inflation was around 6.5% last year, a marginal increase from the previous year, and it is interesting to see Alliant is suggesting it’s around the same this year for the U.S.
She adds that UK employers also need to take account of their aging workforce as well as increased demand for private health care as a result of challenges with accessing the national health service (NHS) and high-cost treatments such as next-gen cancer drug therapies.
Cassio Giometti, Asinta’s Partner in Brazil representing SCIATH says, “We are expecting an increased trend in the Financial and Technical Readjustments to be applied upon the Brazilian policies in the year of 2022, and we are considering two major factors for this increase.
“The first factor that will influence the Financial Readjustment is the inclusion of new procedures, for treatments in general and the ones related to the new Coronavirus, in the Brazilian Health Agency’s Minimum Mandatory Coverage List. This should then cause an impact on the local medical inflation, which results in the Financial Readjustment, expected to be around 14%. This readjustment is meant to balance and recover the medical costs.”
He states that the second factor influencing utilization readjustment, locally known as Technical Readjustment, is the high increase in the number of elective procedures after 2020’s backlog of patients during the pandemic lockdown periods. As some restrictions were lifted and/or eased, the beneficiaries returned to scheduling their elective procedures again, and this, in turn, increased utilization.
In 2021, most of the local contracts received the Financial Readjustment only, as the analyzed utilization reflected the pandemic period of 2020. However, because of the utilization increase, this scenario is likely to change for the renewal rates of 2022.
It is important to point out that the Financial Readjustment is mandatory, but the technical one will only be applied if the utilization result of the corporate contract and/or risk pool is above the established breakeven (normally 70%).
“In Canada, we are seeing the introduction of more wellness-focused initiatives and prevention. Employers are taking a more active approach in educating and supporting employees in their quest for health and well-being,” says Fritsch. “Due to the pandemic, we have seen a positive trend in the move to virtual care and online wellness that is supported through gamification. We have also seen an increase in the focus on mental health support and preventative care that has a dramatic impact on potential chronic disease.”
For more information about the 2022 global employee benefits medical trends report please contact Asinta and will put you in touch with our global employee benefits consulting Partners at Alliant.