A new report from Aon Hewitt, the global talent, retirement and health solutions business of Aon, estimates that the average cost increase for employer-sponsored medical plans globally will dip slightly in 2015, but continue to significantly exceed general inflation levels.

Aon Hewitt's report reflects the medical trend expectations of employer-sponsored medical plans in 84 countries, based on reported data from Aon professionals, clients and carriers represented in the portfolio of Aon medical plan business in each country.

The report shows that in 2015, medical costs are expected to increase by 10 percent before plan design changes and vendor negotiations, 6 percentage points higher than the average inflation rate.

While the global average medical trend is expected to decline, three regions: Asia Pacific, Europe and Latin America, are projected to see an increase in rates for 2015.

"There are three fundamental factors driving what is now a long-established pattern of high medical plan cost increases for multinational companies, including ever increasing utilization of private medical plans, especially in emerging markets, the aging of the world population and a higher incidence of chronic conditions for the working population," said Wil Gaitan, SVP of Global Benefits at Aon Hewitt.

"The problem goes far beyond the financials of medical plans; absenteeism due to these factors is resulting in mounting losses in output levels and drains in employee productivity," Gaitan said.

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