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Survey: Tough Tactics Slow '04 Health Rate Increases

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NU Online News Service, Sept. 8, 2003, 1:18 p.m. EDT – Managed care rates may go up about 13% in 2004, according to an informal survey by Corporate Research Group Inc., New Rochelle, N.Y.

Corporate Research, a conference organizer, came up with that figure by surveying five dozen large employers, health plans and coverage purchasing coalitions in 25 states.

The firm came up with increased figures of 15% for 2002 and 15.5% for 2003.

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The rate of increase may be slowing partly because employers are increasing employees’ out-of-pocket costs and making big cuts in health care benefits, Corporate Research says.

The firm points out that the Employees Retirement System of Texas has cut its 2004 rates 5.5% by cutting benefits, and that Ohio is cutting rates for public employees 1% to 5.75% by increasing employees’ out-of-pocket costs.