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To quell rising health care costs, more than a third of employers throughout the world are now offering wellness or well-being programs. (Photo: iStock)

Health care costs are rising throughout the world, but more employers are mitigating those costs by offering preventive care and wellness programs, according to the 2017 Willis Towers Watson Global Medical Trends Survey.

The cost of health care benefits is projected to rise 7.8 percent this year, an increase from 7.3 percent in 2016, according to the survey of 218 medical insurers operating in 79 countries. Moreover, a majority of insurers in all regions except the Middle East and Africa expect higher or significantly higher medical trend costs over the next three years.

Katie Kuehner-Hebert

Katie Kuehner-Hebert is a freelance writer based in Running Springs, Calif. She has more than three decades of journalism experience, with particular expertise in employee benefits and other human resource topics.

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