According to new research from human resources solutions firm Aon Hewitt (AON), corporations outside the U.S. are dealing with increasing healthcare costs—as much as 20 percent. This can be attributed to the fact that a patient’s health care needs are only partially covered by the U.S. government, the employer has to pick up the remaining fare, according to the AON report.
These medical cost figures represent up to three times the rate of inflation in regions like Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East. A 9.1 percent increase is expected for government- sponsored medical plans. Employers inside the U.S. pay just half of that projected rate.
Many non-U.S. countries provide government programs for their citizens, taking the burden off of employers when it comes to expenses per employee. The costs begin to escalate for global employers who are charged separate health care costs that impact their expenses.
According to Wil Gaitan, senior vice president at Aon Hewitt, an aging population is just one of the factors affecting costs. You also have “financial strains on the social programs. The employer plans tend to have a role to fill in gaps left by the social programs.”
Despite these factors, AON research suggests that poor diet and health habits also contribute to the cost increase.
Gatan added: “We expect medical costs to continue to escalate around the world due to global population aging, overall declining health, poor lifestyle habits particularly in emerging countries, continued cost shifting from social programs and an increase in utilization of employer-sponsored health plans. 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 for Today’s Article:
Japsen, B., “Health Costs Soar For Employers Outside The U.S.” Forbes web site, January 18, 2016; http://www.forbes.com/sites/brucejapsen/2016/01/18/as-universal-health-systems-lag-global-employers-see-high-health-costs/#2715e4857a0b4478be693a0e.