NU Online News Service, Sept. 7, 12:30 p.m. – Health insurance premiums rose 11% between the spring of 2000 and the spring of 2001 — the biggest increase since 1992, according to results of a survey from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Menlo Park, Calif., and the Health Research and Educational Trust, Chicago.

The increase came as the underlying cost of medical care soared and many employers and consumers decided to shun tightly managed health maintenance organization plans in favor of more loosely managed but more expensive plans, Kaiser says.

Forty-eight percent of employees are now enrolled in PPOs and 23% in HMOs. That compares with 31% in HMOs and 28% in PPOs in 1996.

Premiums across the country rose just 4.8% in 1999 and 8.3% in 2000, Kaiser says.

The Kaiser report cites CIGNA Corp., Philadelphia, Humana Inc., Louisville, Ky., and Aetna Inc., Hartford, as examples of insurers that are expecting to seek double-digit increases from employers again next year.