Employer medical cost trend has plateaued. PwC’s Health Research Institute projects employer medical cost trend will be 6% for 2019, the same as 2018. Cost reduction efforts will shift to prices.
Every June, PwC’s Health Research Institute (HRI) projects the growth of medical costs in the employer insurance market for the coming calendar year and identifies the leading factors expected to impact the trend.
Heading into 2019, medical cost trend remains stable yet unsustainably high as healthcare costs continue to rise.
- HRI projects 2019’s medical cost trend to be 6%. This is consistent with the previous five years, which have seen trends between 5.5% and 7%.
- Efforts to cut utilization have run their course. Prices have continued to grow.
- To drive medical cost trend down, employers should tackle prices. These efforts should address more than just drug prices, which have been the focus of attention in the last several years.