UK health insurance costs are expected to rise by 6.5% in 2016, according to research by Willis Towers Watson.
Its 2016 Global medical trends report, which surveyed 174 health insurance providers operating across 55 countries, also found that the average price of health insurance globally is estimated to rise by 9.1% this year.
The research also found:
- Health insurance costs are forecast to increase by 5% in Belgium, 3.5% in France, and 1.2% in Spain in 2016. Increases of 4.7%, 2.1% and 0.8% are expected in Greece, Portugal, and Italy, respectively.
- Health insurance prices are estimated to rise by 15% in Russia this year, compared to 10% in Norway and 8% in Sweden.
- Over the last five years, there has been an annual increase in UK health insurance prices of between 5.1% and 6.4%, which compares to annual increases of between 8% and 9.6% in 2007-2011.
Jeremy Hill (pictured), director in Willis Towers Watson’s Global Services and Solutions business, said: “Health insurance remains a key employee benefit in the UK, but the effect of aging workforces, costly and complex treatments, and technological advancements is that health insurance inflation in the UK is higher than in most of Europe.
“Employers continue to keep health costs under review, with many looking at cost-sharing mechanisms to contain cost, as well as looking at health and wellbeing approaches to improve the underlying health of employees.”