Global healthcare benefits costs expected to rise by 7.8%

Global healthcare benefits costs are expected to rise by 7.8% in 2017, according to research by Willis Towers Watson.

Its 2017 Global medical trends survey, which surveyed 213 health insurance providers across 79 countries, also found that UK health insurance costs are forecast to rise by 5% in 2017. This follows annual increases of 5% in both 2015 and 2016.

The research also found:

  • Healthcare costs are forecast to rise by 4.5% in Europe in 2017, compared to 4.3% in 2016.
  • The region with the highest estimated annual increase in health insurance costs is Latin America (11.5%), followed by the Middle East and Africa (9.8%), North America (8.6%), and Asia Pacific (8.6%).
  • Health insurance costs in the United States are expected to rise by 7.5% in 2017, compared to 7.8% in 2016.

Cecil Hemingway (pictured), health and benefits executive at Willis Towers Watson, said: “Controlling rising medical costs is without question a top priority for insurers and employers around the world. While progress is being made in some regions to stem costs, the vast majority of respondents continue to grapple with how to rein them in. And it’s not for a lack of effort or innovation. In fact, more employers are implementing both traditional and innovative approaches to managing rising costs.”