UK employers set to pay 4.3% more for employee health insurance in 2020

Employers in the UK will see a 4.3% rise in the cost of employee healthcare insurance, in 2020, according to new research by Willis Towers Watson. 

The Willis Towers Watson 2020 Global Medical Trends Survey of 296 leading medical insurers operating in 79 countries between July and September 2019, found that the UK’s projected increases are on a par with most of Europe, with the average price hike levelling at 4.3% across the continent.

This is 2.5% below the overall average globally which peaks at 6.8%. Employers in Latin America, excluding Venezuela, will be feeling the pinch, seeing the highest rise of costs world-wide of 11.7%, 4.9% higher than the average global rise in 2020.

In addition, the research also found over one-quarter of respondents (27%) are predicting that mental health conditions will be one of the three most common conditions affecting insurance claims for the next five years. However, the top three conditions that are still the highest cost drivers are cancer (83%), cardiovascular diseases (55%), and conditions affecting musculoskeletal and connective tissue (46%).

In addition, seven in ten (70%) respondents surmised the high cost of medical technology was driving costs upwards, as well as provider profits (47%). Almost three-quarters (73%) cited that overuse of care due to medical practitioners offering too many services is the most signficant factor drivings costs related to employee and provider behaviour, while 66% stated that overuse of care due to employees seeking inappropriate care was an issue.

Francis Coleman, managing director, health and benefits, global services and solutions at Willis Towers Watson, said “The potential impact of mental health conditions is getting the attention of insurers and employers worldwide. As the demand for mental health services increases, employers can expect upward pressure on costs and challenges to existing health care models.”