Employee healthcare costs 'rising and stabilising'

Although healthcare costs paid out by employers around the world are continuing to increase, there are signs that prices are beginning to stabilise, according to new research.
The 2012 Towers Watson Global Medical Trends Survey found that this year alone, employee medical benefits are forecast to rise by 9.6 per cent, British expats moving overseas will be curious to learn.
This is, however, a slowdown when compared with last year’s increase of 9.8 per cent and 2010’s costly 10.2 per cent rise, respectively.
“The news is not all gloom and doom. Across all regions, we are seeing projections increase at a slower rate than in the recent past — perhaps evidence of the global economic slowdown,” explained Francis Coleman, director of international consulting at Towers Watson.
“Nevertheless, with trend rates expected to continue rising, even if less quickly, employers will be compelled to look for innovative solutions to manage their medical costs. In particular, many will investigate how a strategy of holistic health promotion can help curb long-term costs effectively.”
According to the study by Towers Watson, a leading global professional services company that helps organisations improve performance through effective people, risk and financial management, there are three main “drivers” causing escalating prices.
This includes new medical technologies resulting in overuse of care, the proliferation of health services as recommended by practitioners and medical providers’ “profit motives”.
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