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P.R. among jurisdictions making advances in workplace wellness

Aon’s “2020 Global Medical Trend Rates” report identified Latin America and the Caribbean as the most advanced region in terms of well-being in the corporate environment.

Due to the large increases in medical costs in the last 10 years, employers, health care operators and consulting companies such as Aon have realized the importance in adopting disease prevention plans, the report concluded.

After an atypical period of utilization behavior preceded by the 2017 storms and the challenges that, from a macro-economic standpoint, came up in their wake, the Puerto Rican medical trend for 2020 is expected to increase, the report showed.

For next year, the annual medical gross percentage for Puerto Rico is pegged at 2%, while the net cost will grow just slightly by 0.7%, the report confirmed.

“Pharmacy costs are expected to continue to outpace inflation, with specialty drugs every so often representing 50% of pharmacy and technological advances continuing to create new opportunities for specialty medication treatment,” the study noted.

“Furthermore, as a response to the rise of pharmacy costs, insurance carriers will continue to negotiate pharmacy contracts and encourage the use of discount networks, mostly for laboratories, X-rays, and pharmacies,” in Puerto Rico, the study predicted.

In general, employers have become more involved in health matters and have acted both with employees who already need medical attention and with those who do not yet require specific attention, the AON study showed.

“What has been done in the region can serve as an example for multinational companies to implement best practices in other regions,” said Max Maggio, chief commercial officer of Aon for Health and Retirement Solutions in Latin America.

Most of the medical conditions that drive the increase in health care costs in Latin America and the Caribbean can be controlled with concrete preventive actions implemented by employers and with the collaboration of employees, he said.

Regarding medical costs, Latin America expects a reduction in purely medical inflation by 2020. Aon’s study predicts a one-point drop, since the increase will be 7.5%, compared with 8.5% in 2019, above general inflation. For now, gross inflation will continue to be double digits (13.2% in 2019 and 13.1% in 2020).

The countries included in the Latin American and Caribbean region are: Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, and Puerto Rico.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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