NU Online News Service, March 18, 2004, 3:43 p.m. EST – Many big employers are trying to hold down health coverage costs this year by increasing workers’ out-of-pocket costs.[@@]
Researchers at the National Business Group on Health, Washington, and Watson Wyatt & Company Holdings, Washington, are basing that conclusion on a survey of 449 large employers that cover more than 8 million employees.
Half of the employers are reporting health care cost increases of 12% or more, compared with a median increase of 13% in 2002.
The researchers found that most employers have given up on trying to hold down costs by switching insurers or health plan administrators. Only 10% of the employers surveyed switched medical vendors this year, down from 30%.