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.
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%.