Health benefits costs to rise 11.55 per cent in 2019

Medical cannabis only offered by 5 per cent of employers: Survey
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 05/02/2019
health care, benefits
Drugs are the biggest area driving the employee benefits renewal rate (11.57 per cent) followed by health (11.55 per cent) and dental benefits (5.62 per cent), salaries (2.6 per cent) and inflation (1.9 per cent), found a survey. Shutterstock

Health benefit costs are forecast to rise by 11.55 per cent in 2019, according to a survey released by Acccompass, a division of Gallagher Benefit services (Canada) Group.

The weighted average health trend factor has remained in the 11.1 per cent to 11.7 per cent range for the past eight years, said 2019 Guide to Insurer Health Trends, which captures data from 10 of the group insurance providers in the country.

The rates range from 10.5 per cent to 13.5 per cent for the carriers (Desjardins, Equitable life, Great-West life, Green Shield Canada, iA Financial Group, Manulife, Medavie Blue Cross, RBC Insurance, SSQ Insurance and Sun Life Financial).

Drugs are the biggest area driving the employee benefits renewal rate (11.57 per cent) followed by health (11.55 per cent) and dental benefits (5.62 per cent), salaries (2.6 per cent) and inflation (1.9 per cent), found the survey.

The top drugs claimed on a cost basis are Remicade, Humira and Stelwara, which treat conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, plaque psoriasis and Crohn’s disease.

As for medical cannabis, employers have been slow to adopt this as part of their coverage, said Accompass, with fewer than five per cent including this treatment.

And when it comes to pharmacogenetics — which help improve the efficacy of prescription medication for specific diseases — eight in 10 carriers have integrated this kind of testing.

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