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Across the U.S., CFOs, HR Directors, and CEOs at companies of all sizes are grappling with what to do in the face of unsustainable health insurance program cost increases. After all, how do you budget for seemingly endless annual premium rate hikes that typically range from a “low” of 7 percent to upwards of 12 percent and beyond? We are not talking small dollars here — a 10 percent renewal increase could represent a six-digit increase in your overall premiums. When does it become unsustainable? Many will say the answer is yesterday.

There are multiple reasons why the annual increases in the cost of medical care persistently outpace general inflation, and why there appears to be no end in sight. The ongoing emergence of groundbreaking gene therapies, specialty drugs, and innovative cancer treatments, together with the increasing power of providers (e.g., via hospital mergers), will continue to put pressure on insurers to pass along the resulting higher health insurance costs to employers.

Related: $11 trillion in health care costs over the next decade? Yep.

This recent headline in the Washington Post, “FDA approves a gene therapy that is the most expensive drug in the world,” perfectly underscores the situation. The gene-therapy, called Zolgensma, comes with a $2.1 million price tag to treat spinal muscular atrophy.

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