A press release said prescription drug costs still
represent the largest portion of Canadian employer health
care costs. “Medications for the treatment of cancer,
depression, rheumatoid arthritis and cardiovascular
conditions in an aging workforce are the main contributing
factors to this upswing,” said Michele Bossi, practice
leader in Buck’s Health and Productivity consulting
practice, in the press release.
The overall health care trend (including prescription drugs, medical plans, hospital coverage, and dental care) continues to increase at just under 15%, up from 13.76% in 2008. The cost increase for medical plans (excluding prescription drugs) has climbed to 14.14% for 2009 from 13.09% in 2008.
The survey found many employers, having already implemented plan design changes to curb cost trends, are beginning to shift to a proactive approach to health care cost containment. “Wellness programs continue to gain momentum as a way not only to control costs, but to reduce absenteeism, increase productivity, and improve employee engagement,” Bossi said in the announcement.
The 2009 Canadian Health Care Trend Survey, the firm’s
ninth annual study, analyzed responses from 11 major
The complete survey report will be available at www.bucksurveys.com .
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