It is no secret the cost of health care is on a steady, if not expediential increase in Canada—Globally for that matter.

Canadian Health Care Cost Drivers include:

  • Demographics, population growth and aging
  • Price Inflation
  • Technology
  • Utilization

As we have focused on the technology and utilization previously, this will concentrate on the first two: demographics and price.

Health care costs now exceed, for the most part, the rate of economic growth. Prescription drugs continue to grow at a rate of more than 10% per year. In the next 10-15-years, as the baby boomers enter their mid-to-late 70’s—the age when usage of the health care system begins to rise dramatically, we can expect even more burden placed on this floundering system.

The “Health Care Cost Drivers: The Facts” report released from the Canadian Institute for Health Information illustrates how Canada spends more on health care than the average for Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development member countries, but not by much. Average annual health spending in the 34 industrialized countries was $3,590 per capita in 2012, or 9.4 per cent of gross domestic product.

Physician spending has been amongst the fastest-growing health category in recent years, increasing at an annual rate of 6.8% per year from 1998 to 2008. More than one–half of this growth, 3.6% per year, is attributed to increases in physician fee schedules.

Much of the focus on the health care needs of Canada’s aging population surrounds the shortage of physicians with expertise in geriatric care. But the country’s 75,000 licensed physicians represent only a small part of the Canadian health care workforce. By contrast, there are approximately 360,000 regulated nurses, 35,000 social workers, 30,000 pharmacists, 17,000 physiotherapists, 13,000 occupational therapists and 10,000 dietitians in Canada.

Improving care for Canadian older adults will undoubtedly require educating and engaging the entire health care workforce.

Offering or finding benefit solutions for this segment of the population continues to be a hot topic.

  • To what age can seniors continue to have coverage under the group benefit plan when they are actively at work?
  • What benefits are they entitled to?
  • What are the retirement options for these valued employees?
  • How can “boomers” plan for the additional costs into their ‘golden’ years?

These are great questions with excellent answers. Find out more by calling today.

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