The average cost of health insurance is rising globally on a significant level and not just in the United States. Aon Hewitt did some tracking and found on a planet-wide basis rates will rise 9.1% this year. To give you a comparison, the predicted global inflation rate is 3.6% — or 5.5% higher.
A 5.7% increase in the United States is smaller than the global average.
Health care costs continue to be a huge concern for employers in the 90 countries where executives were surveyed. A different study from Deloitte found:
• In the United States 53% of executives say health insurance costs is the number-one reason their company is not growing.
• 34% say it is the number two issue just behind an uncertain economy.
Things are better in some countries and areas than others. Employers in the Middle East and Latin America are seeing double-digit hikes. In Europe and — as noted earlier — the U.S. rate increases are below 6%. And everywhere and in every instance, health insurance rates topped the inflation rate by at least four-points.
Escalating medical costs are the reason. They are:
• Declining health overall
• Poor lifestyle habits — mostly in emerging countries
• Cost-shifting from social programs
• An increase in the use of employer-sponsored health plans
When it comes to health care claims, cardiovascular, cancer and gastrointestinal illness are the most prevalent. High blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol, inactivity on a physical level and stress are the top risks for insurers around the globe.
Aon Hewitt’s senior vice president Wil Gaitan said, “Regardless of the underlying medical insurance system, employers around the world are continuing to experience added organizational cost and lost workforce productivity as a result of these factors.”
Source link: Employee Benefit Advisor