Skip to main content

Private health care inflation falls -- to 14.4%

Miracle!  A new study from Buck Surveys reports that insurance companies providing group private health care insurance expect costs to increase only 14.38% this year, down from a 15% increase last year. "This is a significant shift downward after two years of almost steady increases."

Prescription drugs represent 60-70% of the private payer health care spend and insurers have dropped their inflation factors for prescription drugs from 15.8% to 14.2%, due to "generic drug pricing reforms" in several provinces and the expiry of patent protection for several major drugs, such as Lipitor, Canada’s top selling drug.

Buck adds:
"Hospital inflation factors have declined significantly since 2007. A continuing shift from inpatient to outpatient treatments, combined with improvements in drug therapies, have been reducing employers’ spend on hospital accommodation."
Private group health insurance costs increased 13.94% in 2007, 13.76% in 2008, 14.81% in 2009, 15.0% in 2010, and now 14.38% in 2011.

These increases far outstrip public health care costs increases.

Private group insurance is primarily provided by employers to employees and often figures in collective bargaining negotiations.  The survey reflects average cost increases. The cost increases are reflected in benefit premiums, but the actual increase faced by any specific employer will vary due to factors such as usage, recovery of prior period loses, etc.

“This year’s survey results are welcome news for employers,” Michele Bossi , a leader of  Buck’s Canadian business, told Canadian HR reporter.

The Buck Survey can be found by clicking here.


Popular posts from this blog

Health care funding falls, again

Real provincial government health care funding per-person has fallen again this year in Ontario, the third year in a row.  Since 2009 real funding per-person has fallen 2.6% -- $63 per person. 

Across Canada real per person funding is in its fourth consecutive year of increase. Since 2009, real provincial funding across Canada is up $89 -- 3.6%.
In fact the funding gap between Ontario and Canada as a whole has gown consistently for years (as set out below in current dollars).

Ontario funds health care less than any other province -- indeed, the province that funds health care the second least (B.C.) provides $185 more per person per year, 4.7% more.  
Provincial health care spending in the rest of Canada (excluding Ontario) is now  $574 higher per person annually than in Ontario. 

 Ontario has not always provided lower than average health care funding increases-- but that has been the general pattern since 2005.
Private expenditures on health care have exceeded Ontario government increases …

Ontario long-term care staffing falls far short of other provinces

CUPE and others are campaigning for a legislated minimum average of four worked hours of nursing and personal care per resident per day in long-term care (LTC) facilities.  New research indicates that not only is LTC underfunded in Ontario, it is also understaffed compared to the other provinces. 
LTC staffing falls short:  The latest data published by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (and based on a mandatory survey undertaken by Statistics Canada) indicates that staffing at long-term care (LTC) facilities falls far short of other provinces. 
Part of this is driven by a low level of provincial funding for LTC.

Ontario has 0.575 health care full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) per bed staffed and in operation.[1]  The rest of Canada reports 0.665 health care FTEs.[2] The rest of Canada has 15.7% more health care staff per bed staffed and in operation than Ontario.[3] 

No other province reports fewer LTC health care staff per resident (or per bed) than Ontario.[4]

Occupancy r…

Six more problems with Public Private Partnerships (P3s)

The Auditor General (AG) has again identified issues in her annual reportwhich reflect problems with Ontario health care capacity and privatization.   First, here are six key problems with the maintenance of the 16 privatized P3 ("public private partnership") hospitals in Ontario:
There are long-term ongoing disputes with privatized P3 contractors over the P3 agreements, including about what is covered by the P3  (or “AFP” as the government likes to call them) contract.The hospitals are required to pay higher than reasonable rates tothe P3 contractor for  maintenance work the contractor has deemed to be outside of the P3 contract. Hospitals are almost forced to use P3 contractors to do maintenance work the contractors deem outside of the P3 contract or face the prospect of transferring the risk associated with maintaining the related hospital assets from the private-sector company back to the hospitalP3 companies with poor perf…