Health maintenance organization (HMO) plans and other plans with gatekeepers could be doing a better job of holding down medical costs than high-deductible plans are.
Benefits consultants at the Segal Company, New York, have published 2011 health care cost trend estimates in a report based on a survey of about 60 health carriers.
The consultants have come up with separate cost trend statistics for traditional fee-for-service (FFS) plans; high-deductible health plans, whether or not the enrollees have health savings accounts or health reimbursement arrangements; open-access preferred provider organization (PPO) plans; PPO plans with primary care physician gatekeepers; and HMOs.
The 2011 projected trends may be similar to the 2010 cost trends, according to the Segal consultants.
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Excluding the cost of prescription benefits, the project cost increase will be 12.7% for FFS plans in 2011, down from 13.3% this year; 11% for open-access PPO plans, up from 10.8%; 11.2% for gatekeeper PPO plans, up from 10.6%; and 10.2% for HMO plans, unchanged from 10.2%.
The high-deductible plan cost trend will be 11.7%, down from 11.9%.