Costs of Employee Health Insurance Soar Across Europe

April 4th, 2011
Costs of Employee Health Insurance Soar Across Europe

It’s been reported that the costs of insurance paid out to cover employees has rocketed across Europe. A survey was carried out asking employers what it now costs them to provide insurance benefits, including health insurance for their employees. The answer was a staggering 4.9% increase in 2010. The average was 3.3% overall.

The survey was carried out on 556 employers in 14 European countries, and the benefits offered by them covered a number of keys areas including private medical insurance, critical health insurance and income protection insurance.

When asked why they thought the costs had risen, most believed it was connected with a rise in inflation.

Interestingly, the survey also revealed that in the UK, employers expected just 8% of its employees to contribute to the cost of private medical insurance. In France however, 80% of employees are expected to pay something towards the cost, while on average 46% of employees across Europe were expected to contribute towards the total cost of any package.

Speaking with reporters, Steve Clements a partner for Mercer, who carried out the survey said: “Cost sharing might appear a logical manner in which to mitigate rising bills. That it isn’t widely used reflects not only diverse and established market practices but also employer reward strategies, union negotiations and industry-wide competitiveness.”

He added: “In some countries, tax efficiency and the deductibility of health expenses and insurance premiums affect employer decisions regarding contribution level.”

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