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HR Firms Find Account Plans Do Little To Control Costs

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Medical costs and prescription drug costs will both increase about 11% in 2008.

Market watchers at Findley Davies Inc., Toledo, Ohio, a human resources consulting firm, have included that forecast in a summary of results from an informal survey of health benefit underwriters.

The firm asked about the trend factors the underwriters will use when pricing Jan. 1, 2008, renewals, according to Findley Davies.

The health care trend factors are about the same for the 2008 renewals that they were for the Jan. 1, 2007 renewals, the firm says.

The trend is only about 0.5 percentage points lower for plans that incorporate health savings accounts and health reimbursement arrangements, and the underwriters also are skeptical about the ability of health risk assessments and medical condition management programs to do much to hold down costs, the firm says.


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