Health insurance costs in Latin America expected to grow by 11.5% in 2017

Costs for the social benefits related to health insurance that companies contribute to their employees is expected to rise. A global survey conducted shows the highest increases are projected this year (11.5%) in Latin America, due to high inflation rates in some countries.

Asia-pacific and North America are expected to rise by 8.6% while Europe by 4.5%.

High cost of investment in technology followed by high profit margins of suppliers were cited as the prime reason for the rise. The study also shows that the prospects of controlling costs in short term are not optimistic.

Most insurers in all regions except for Middle East and Africa expect an upward trend in medical costs over the next three years. The study reveals that three out of four insurers surveyed (74%) pointed out the excessive use of medical services coming from a high prescription by doctors, as the factor affecting costs.

More than half (54%) pointed to excessive and inappropriate use of medical services by employees. According to the survey, increasing number of companies are offering their employees prevention plans, encouraging them to take responsibility for their own health.

Globally, four out of ten respondents offer welfare programs. In the US, three-quarters of insurers have these programs, while only half of European insurers provide these services. The supply of these services / programs is expected to grow.

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