Research: 2019 Global Medical Trends Survey Report

This study into global medical trends from Willis Towers Watson find that, although trends have remained relatively stable and there are only modest increases, there are enough exceptions to be a source of genuine concern.

Key findings

  • Europe continues to have the lowest level of gross medical trend increase for private medical insurance. However, in some countries such as Hungary, the public health care system is under much greater strain, which results in more patients utilising the private sector.
  • Insurers are predicting that pharmacy costs will become an increasingly significant part of medical expenses over the next five years.
  • Overuse of services and care are identified as being the top two factors driving medical costs per person. 70 per cent of insurers worldwide identified an overuse of care due to medical practitioners recommending too many services, while 52 per cent of insured members were seen to be overusing available care.
  • The high cost of new medical technologies is increasing medical costs.

This research collates responses from 307 leading insurers from 77 countries. These global results have been weighted using GDP per capita. The U.S. medical trend data is drawn from other Willis Towers Watson research on this highly developed market with unique characteristics.