Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Some Surprise?: Health Care Costs Escalation Eases

000084_3The News Dash from PlanSponsor.com (free registration required) this morning reports on a slight slowing of health care cost increases in this country:

‘POCKET "CHANGE."  While 2006 average health-care rate increases were 7.9%, Hewitt Associates is projecting a 7.7% average increase for employers in 2007.  The average health cost per person for major companies will increase from $7,744 in 2006 to $8,340 in 2007, while the amount employees are being asked to contribute in 2007 will be $1,678, representing 20% of the overall health-care premium. 

Average employee out-of-pocket costs, such as co-payments, coinsurance, and deductibles, also are expected to increase, and employees' total health-care costs — including employee contribution and out-of-pocket costs — are projected to increase 7.8% from 2006 levels.  Hewitt predicts that increases in employee contributions will continue to offset salary gains for many workers next year. 



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