March 2018

2018 Health Care Trends – Another Year of Change

2018 is already proving to be another year of disruption, innovation, and transformation in the health care industry, as it strives to create a model that better meets the needs of all its stakeholders. Here are some of the trends that will be impacting the industry this year. Some of them have been around for years, but their prevalence in the marketplace and related costs continue to make them the trends you’ll want to watch.

  • Continued rising medical costs - According to PwC’s Health Research Institute, 2018 medical costs will grow at a slightly faster rate than 2017.1 The study projects 2018’s medical cost trend to be 6.5% – the first uptick in growth in three years.1
  • Cost of prescription drugs continues to rise - In 2018, the price for prescription drugs for use in both hospital and non-acute settings is expected to rise 7.61%.2
  • Opioids and substance use disorders - It is estimated that the yearly economic impact of substance use disorders is over $442 billion dollars.3 Workplaces bear a significant portion of those costs due to absenteeism, increased health care expenses and lost productivity.
  • Health care consumer inertia - We live in a nation where 190 million people have at least one chronic condition.4 Still, most people believe they are significantly healthier than they are, lessening their interest in taking action to improve their health.4
  • Technological impacts on health care access and delivery - Every day, new digital solutions are being created to monitor and improve consumer health experiences – from helping them pay a claim to better managing a health condition.

Click here to download the Change flyer and if you want to learn more about the trends throughout the year be sure to register on the Cigna Broker Portal.


1. Medical cost trend. Behind the numbers 2018, PwC’s Health Research Institute, 2017. 2. Kuehner K,
2 main reasons drug costs are expected to rise in 2018, Benefits Pro, July 26, 2017.
3. The Real Cost of Substance Use to Employers, The National Safety Council and national nonprofit Shatterproof in collaboration with NORC at the University of Chicago, 4. Resnick L, 6 healthcare marketing trends for 2018, Managed Healthcare Executive, December 13, 2017.