For Members: Understanding medical inflation and how it affects the cost of healthcare

Health insurance is an important benefit, but it’s also a costly one. And the price of delivering healthcare, like many services in the world, has increased steadily over the years.

As we work to actively combat macroeconomic factors, a process we undergo each year, some premium rate increases are inevitable. And it’s worth understanding why they happen.


Global Medical Trends 

According to Aon, the global average medical trend rate for 2023 is expected to be 9.2% — up from 7.4% in 2022 - the highest rate since 2015.

While there are several factors driving increased healthcare costs, the top medical conditions that have consistently contributed to these increases include cardiovascular diseases, cancer, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure — all of which are prevalent in Bermuda.


Demographics Trends

The cost of insurance premiums is influenced by demographic factors such as an individual’s age and gender and is calculated based on the number of members of the employee population who fall within the same category.

As Bermuda’s working population ages, there is an increased risk for health events or conditions that will require high-cost medical care. This is compounded by the fact that there are fewer younger, healthier individuals entering the workforce. In small communities like Bermuda, the effects of these demographic trends can be more pronounced, leading to increased insurance use and greater healthcare costs.


Healthcare Usage

Since the global pandemic, healthcare usage has undergone a dramatic transformation that has led to rising healthcare costs in Bermuda. Here are some factors driving these changes:

  • An aging population, resulting in a higher demand for care services
  • Many seeking the care they were forced to delay due to the pandemic (dentist appointments, mammograms, etc.)
  • Lifestyle illnesses such as diabetes and high blood pressure continuing to rise in Bermuda, requiring more care, more often and longer term
  • Increased demand for mental health and substance abuse resources, specifically among adults needing inpatient mental health services
  • Expanded use of virtual healthcare
  • New drugs and technologies on the market
  • Scarcity in the medical supply chain and human resources for health (e.g., nurses, medical technologists, etc.)

Overseas Medical Inflation

As emerging therapies like stem cell transplants and biologics are being successfully deployed overseas to treat a variety of diseases, it’s clear that we are living in a truly remarkable time of innovation. However, breakthroughs that have a significant impact on quality of life often come at a higher cost.

We're Here to Find a Solution

It’s important to note that as these trends continue, our goal at Argus remains the same: to support the ongoing needs of our clients with a focus on prevention and providing access to quality healthcare.

Partners in Care

We firmly believe that by focusing on general health, not just addressing illness as it happens, we can build a healthier Bermuda. Short-term lifestyle changes can lead to long-term payoffs in more ways than one, including enabling members to have a better quality of life to spend more time with friends and family.

Argus offers a wide range of services and benefits to ensure you are supported throughout your health journey.

Resources we offer:

  • Thrive. provides educational health and wellness activities including seminars, wellness challenges and chronic disease management, and preventative care programmes that appeal to a variety of lifestyles to support meaningful and sustainable well-being.
  • One Team Health (OTH), our dedicated team of tenured medical case management experts, work with members, insurers, and providers in tandem to deliver first-in-class overseas care. OTH contracts directly with providers to ensure access while also containing costs.
  • The Diabetes Rewind Programme, our newest initiative, uses proven methods for supporting weight loss, reducing medications, and achieving diabetes remission for some type 2 diabetics. So far, 39 patients have enrolled in our programme achieving an average decrease in HbA1c of 1 point, which is statistically significant.

Depending on your plan, we also offer benefits such as:

  • The Student Mental Health Hotline to support students overseas.
  • A new specialty network for non-solid organ transplants that provides world-class care while reducing costs for bone marrow, stem cell and emerging CAR-T therapies.
  • Greater and more affordable access to specialty prescription drugs (biologics), covering up to 100% for Tier 1 specialty prescription drugs if on the approved list and pre-certified by Argus.
  • Access to our 24/7 Telenurse Hotline. Members can call 441-298-0430 with non-urgent health-related issues, and a registered nurse will answer questions related to acute medical symptoms, mental health, and appropriate level of care for their condition.
  • Specialist consultation at Island Health Services and Family Practice Group that covers 100% of billed charges.

Learn More 

Visit our learning resource centre to understand more about healthcare inflation and its impacts. You can also give us a call Monday through Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., at 441-298-0888, or contact us online.

The information provided in this article is for general informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

DISCLAIMER: The content in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.