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Employer Medical Benefit Costs Continue to Triple the Rate of Inflation Globally in 2022, Aon Survey Forecasts

CHICAGO, Oct. 11, 2021 – The costs of employer medical benefits across the world are forecasted to rise 7.4 percent in 2022, outpacing general inflation by 5 percent, according to the 2022 Global Medical Trend Rates Report released today by Aon plc (NYSE: AON), a leading global professional services firm.

The average annual increase for employer-sponsored medical plans is expected to rise 0.2 percent, mainly due to medical utilization returning to pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels, increased chronic disease, expanded benefits and higher unit costs for medical services.

“Looking ahead to next year, most countries are expecting medical utilization levels to be higher than they observed since the start of the pandemic,” said Ed Cwikla, Aon’s chief global actuary for Health Solutions. “Preventive and outpatient care are the medical services that are projected to increase in usage the most in 2022. Utilization of telehealth services is also expected to rise, continuing the strong increase observed during the pandemic.”

Projected medical trend rates vary significantly by region. Costs are expected to increase the most in Middle East/Africa regions, with average medical trend rates forecasted at 11.1 percent. In contrast, Europe is projected to see the lowest average medical premium rate increase, at 5.6 percent.

Forecasted Health Care Benefit Cost Growth from 2021 to 2022









North America




Latin America and Caribbean




Asia Pacific








Middle East/Africa




Aon's report confirms the increasing impact of non-communicable diseases on health care costs globally, which also play a role in the severity of COVID-19 outbreaks. The top conditions that will drive health care claims are cardiovascular disease, cancer, high blood pressure and diabetes. The report also confirms the growing prevalence of risk factors from unhealthy personal habits such as high blood pressure, physical inactivity, poor stress management, high cholesterol and bad nutrition. The disease and risk rankings differ significantly throughout the world.

To mitigate costs, Aon’s report revealed that employers are turning to wellbeing programs--such as preventive strategies like physical check-ups, screenings, healthy eating and physical activity promotional programs--to reduce chronic conditions. Employers also continue to use traditional strategies, such as controlling unreasonable plan utilization, adjusting plan designs, narrowing networks and adding flexible benefit plans to cap overall benefit costs.

“Poor stress management and physical inactivity continue to gain relevance as a top risk factor driving future adverse medical costs, with 20 percent more countries reporting poor stress management as a top risk factor,” said Rui Silva, vice president of global benefits for Aon. “Targeted wellness interventions to address these risks are more relevant than ever; hence, we expect the increased demand for behavior and mental health services to continue.”

To view the report, visit

The survey was conducted among 108 Aon offices, each one representative of a country, that broker, administer, or otherwise advise on employer-sponsored medical plans in each of the countries covered in this report. The survey responses reflect the medical trend expectations of the Aon professionals based on their interactions with clients and carriers represented in the portfolio of the firm’s medical plan business in each country.

About Aon
Aon plc (NYSE: AON) exists to shape decisions for the better — to protect and enrich the lives of people around the world. Our colleagues provide our clients in over 120 countries with advice and solutions that give them the clarity and confidence to make better decisions to protect and grow their business. 

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Media Contact:
Robert Elfinger
+1 312 381 0071

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