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2018 Medical Trends Around the World


  • Global medical costs increased on average 9.5% in 2017, almost 3 times the estimated inflation rate
  • Mental health is now the 3rd highest risk factor influencing group medical costs
  • Investing in data analytics and adopting a whole system approach to wellbeing will help employers, employees and insurers to manage cost and improve health outcomes

The Mercer Marsh Benefits (MMB) Medical Trends Around the World report provides information about the cost of healthcare and top claims in markets around the world to help plan sponsors understand medical plan costs and design their overall health and well-being strategies. Medical trend rates are an essential element in MMB’s insurance rate analysis as we help clients design plans that control cost and meet the needs of their diverse workforces.

This is the fourth consecutive year of this research. From February to March this year we surveyed insurers around the world. A total of 225 insurers across 62 countries provided responses that are included in our survey results; 40% of the participating insurers are network affiliates of multinational pooling providers. Survey coverage excludes U.S.

Watch the video introducing our 2018 report:

The MMB Medical Trends Around the World research validates our thinking that there is a race within the insurer community to create the best stores of data and use this effectively.” - Andrew Perry, International Mercer Marsh Benefits Leader, Marsh

Given the digital health revolution underway, we are seeing progressive employers redefine health and benefit principles and question traditional medical insurance designs, many of which were based on receiving crisis treatment in a hospital setting.” - John Deegan, International Mercer Marsh Benefits Leader, Mercer