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Survey: Health Costs Also Are Soaring Up North

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Canada has a cheaper health finance system than the United States, but costs there appear to be increasing somewhat faster than in the United States.

Researchers at ACS/Buck, a unit of Affiliated Computer Systems Inc., Dallas, have presented that conclusion in a report on 2007 Canadian health care trends based on an analysis of data from 11 Canadian health insurers.

The insurers included handle about 91% of Canada’s group health insurance market.

The overall health care trend, which includes prescription drugs, medical plans, hospital coverage and dental care, increased to 13.33% for 2007, from 13.20% in 2006, ACS/Buck estimates.

Excluding the cost of prescription drugs, the underlying cost of care increased to 13.43%, from 12.52%, ACS/Buck says.

In the United States, the overall health care cost trend for workers with commercial preferred provider organization coverage dropped to 11.4% for 2007, from 12.8% for 2006, according to a separate survey report from the consulting arm of Aon Corp., Chicago.