Increases in the world Health Care Benefit costs are expected to reach their highest levels in nearly 15 years, according to a new survey of insurance companies, conducted by Willis Towers Watson. Worldwide, a 10% increase is expected for 2023.
The WTW Global Medical Trends 2023 Survey found that 78% of global insurance companies Prepare to significantly increase or rise in cost in the next three years. These forecasts vary by region: Europe can expect an 8.6% increase next year; Cost increases for Latin America are expected to reach 18.9%. North America is the missing country, with cost growth expected to decline to 6.5% compared to an increase of 9.4% in 2022. But for employers struggling to manage costs while prioritizing talent retention, this expected easing may seem unattainable.
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“Health care affordability remains a top priority for insurers, employers and employees,” Francis Coleman, managing director of integrated and global solutions at WTW, said in a statement. “As we move into the next year, we see a challenging year for employers trying to balance the convergence of the rising medical trend, salary pressures The need to continue to make progress DEI initiatives globally, all while dealing with potentially sluggish markets.”
Global Medical Trends: Healthcare Benefit Cost Growth, 2021-2023
* WTW: Global and regional trends rates are weighted based on GDP per capita. Due to the hyperinflationary nature of the Venezuelan economy, Venezuela has been excluded from the regional and global totals of Latin America.
In addition to challenging economic factors, the ongoing impact of the pandemic is also driving up costs, as the relationship of many consumers and employees to healthcare has changed in recent years.
“General inflation around the world, general instability in the global economy, increased use of healthcare in the wake of the pandemic and a dynamic job market, require employers and the insurance company to think and act differently to address these issues in a meaningful way,” said Eric McMurray, President Global Health and Benefits at WTW, said in a statement. “Old solutions will not work. Cost shifting is not an option. There is a dire need for innovation, strategy, and new solutions to have any substantive impact. Those who do not lead will fall behind in their ability to manage cost and retain key talent.”
According to 74% of insurers, this increase in use of care also reflects overuse of care, due to providers overprescribing and making too many health care recommendations.
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Cancer, cardiovascular disease and diseases of the musculoskeletal system are major drivers; Respondents identified MSK cases as the number one case by occurrence of claims this year, in contrast to last year’s ranking, where it ranked fifth. Positive side: Telehealth continues to prove its value in both providing care and managing costs.
“To help manage and improve benefits spending in 2023, we anticipate that employers will need to consider more innovative options, such as new digital point solutions, that are expanding globally,” Coleman told EBN. “Many of these or virtual health options can be incorporated into traditional health benefits to improve access to care and outcomes for areas with higher claims such as musculoskeletal or better mental health options. When adding these options, employers will also need to review health and risk designs to ensure that no There is a duplication of coverage to ensure full value is achieved. Employees should also welcome these virtual and digital solutions to help improve their speed and ease of access to services.”
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