U.S. employers expect health care costs to rise 6% this year, according to Watson Wyatt Worldwide and the National Business Group on Health.
Employers are expecting the rate of increase to be about the same as in 2007 and 2008, the organizations say in a preview of results from a survey of 489 large U.S. employers.
Average participating employer health care expenditure per employee will increase to about $7,400 this year, from $7,173 in 2008.
Employers paid an average of 20% of premiums in 2008, and that percentage will likely stay the same this year, according to researchers at Watson Wyatt and the NBGH.
More employers said they intend to control rising costs by adopting personal health account plans in 2010, researchers report.
About 51% of the participating employers now offer personal health account plans, up from 47% in 2008, and another 8% of the employers expect to adopt health account plans in 2010.