The major Canadian private insurance companies expect a significant drop in inflation for private health care insurance premiums this year.
They are going to wrestle the price increases down to 11.7% in 2012 according to a new report from Buck Consultants, a Xerox company. In 2011, premium prices increased 14.2%.
Now with progress like that, who wouldn't want to replace public health care insurance with more private health care insurance?
(According to the OECD, overall health care spending, public and private, increased by 3% in Canada in 2010. Public expenditures increased by 2.7% in 2011.)
The fastest growing aspect of private health care insurance is for drugs, with premium inflation set at 12.1% this year. That is down from 14% last year due reportedly to the implementation of government led generic drug pricing reform and the expiry of patents for several major drugs. Apparently, however, this will be offset in the future by the rise in expensive 'biologic' and specialty drugs.
Premiums covering dental costs should continue to increase in the 8% range, as will premiums for hospital costs.
The sharply rising costs for private health care insurance premiums are likely to spur employers to try to offset those costs by squeezing coverage.