NU Online News Service, June 4, 2004, 12:43 p.m. EDT – Health maintenance organization rate increases may run the gamut for large U.S. employers in 2005.[@@]
Preliminary figures suggest that the average increase might be about 13.7%, but tough negotiators could hold increases for some employers below 10%, according to Hewitt Associates Inc., Lincolnshire, Ill.
The preliminary increase forecast for 2004 was 17.5%, but large employers used plan changes, negotiations and other tactics to hold the actual average increase to 13%, Hewitt says.
Hewitt bases the preliminary increase forecasts on data from about 160 large employers with more than 1 million employees.
Hewitt health market experts are welcoming the drop in the preliminary increase forecast.
“We’re starting to see a moderation in health care premium increases, with the possibility of employers who aggressively manage their health care spending seeing increases in the single digits for the first time in 5 years,” says Ken Sperling, a Hewitt health care consultant.