Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Health Care Cost Surveys

According to a press release issued today "Aon Consulting surveyed more than 70 leading health care insurers, representing more than 100 million insured individuals, and found that health care costs are projected to increase by 10.6 percent for HMOs, 10.5 percent for POS plans, 10.7 percent for PPOs and 10.5 percent for CDH [consumer driven health] plans. These represent the lowest trend rate increases since the study began in 2001, and are slightly lower than one year ago, when HMO cost increases were 10.9 percent, 10.8 percent for POS plans, 11.2 percent for PPOs and 10.7 percent for CDH plans." These are trends before benefit changes are made, and employers sponsoring self-insureds have an opportunity to make benefit changes to bring their increase below the benchmark according to Aon.

According to a San Francisco Chronicle report, "Aon's findings mirror a similar study released late last month by PricewaterhouseCoopers, which estimated a nearly 10 percent increase in health costs for next year. The study pointed out that the percentage rate of increases has
diminished each year since 2003 and attributed some of the deceleration to similar cost-saving programs, including those that encourage people to select generics over brand-name drugs."

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