NU Online News Service, July 7, 2003, 12:45 p.m. EDT – Rates for vision coverage for active workers may go up only 3.8% in 2004, and rates for dental health maintenance organization coverage may go up only 4.8%, according to the benefits consulting arm of Aon Corp., Chicago.

But Aon, which bases the rate forecasts on a survey of insurance company actuaries, notes that even the relatively moderate increases expected for vision and dental coverage compare with a general inflation rate of just 2.1%.

Average 2004 rate increases for major medical plans that include prescription drug coverage will range from 15.7% for preferred provider plans to 17.2% for indemnity plans, Aon predicts.