Canadian Rx Cost Hikes Still Lead Health Coverage Trends

March 26, 2007 ( - A new Canadian survey by ACS/Buck indicates continued double-digit cost increases in 2007 for prescription drugs, medical plans, and hospital coverage in that country.

Although the 2007 cost increase for prescription drugs (14.26%) dropped slightly from the 14.31% seen last year, prescription drug costs still represent the largest portion of Canadian employer health care costs, according to a news release about the survey.

The overall health care cost trend (including prescription drugs, medical plans, hospital coverage, and dental care) increased to 13.33% for 2007 from 13.20% in 2006. The cost increase for medical plans alone (excluding prescription drugs) has risen to 13.43% for 2007 from 12.52% in 2006, the survey said.

“Our survey results show a stabilization in the rate of total health care cost increases in Canada,” said Jackson. “However, we still expect benefit plan costs to increase at a greater rate than other business costs. Canadian employers need to control this cost of human capital through longer-term wellness strategies and plan design changes in the shorter term.”

The poll analyzed responses from 11 insurers representing approximately 91% of the Canadian group insurance market, the news release said. The complete survey report is available here .