NU Online News Service, Oct. 29, 3:45 p.m. – U.S. employers will pay an average of 15% more for health coverage in 2002, according to Hewitt Associates L.L.C., Lincolnshire, Ill.
The benefits consulting firm estimates the average cost of the most popular type of commercial coverage, preferred provider organization coverage will increase 13%, to $5,463 per covered employee.
The cost of the second most popular option, the health maintenance organization, will increase 18%, to $5,336, and the cost of traditional indemnity coverage will increase 15%, to $6,817.
Hewitt bases the forecasts on figures from a database of more than 2,000 health plans in 139 communities.
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Hewitt analysts note that 2002 will be be the fourth consecutive year of major coverage cost increases.