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Aon: Health Cost Increases Slow

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Employer health care costs may rise an average of 11% in the next 12 months.

Consultants at the consulting arm of Aon Corp., Chicago, have included that forecast in a summary of results from a survey of about 70 large health carriers.

The 11% increase would be the lowest recorded since 2001, the Aon consultants report.

Results suggest that increases will average about 10.5% to 11% for all sorts of plans, including health maintenance organization plans, point-of-service plans, paid provider organization plans, and plans that incorporate health savings accounts or health reimbursement arrangements.

A year ago, Aon was forecasting average increases of about 11% for the plans.

The projected prescription drug cost increase is 9.2%, down from a projected increase of 9.5% included in the health cost survey results Aon released a year ago.

The projected increase for retirees over age 65 is 7.3% for Medicare Supplement plans, down from 11%, and 7.7% for Medicare Advantage plans, down from 9.2%.