Benefits consultants have come out with a new crop of health benefits survey results.
Segal said the underlying medical cost increase trend could fall to the lowest level in 11 years.
Segal, which bases its predictions on a survey of benefits providers and administrators, said it expects the cost trend for a preferred provider organization (PPO) plan with a primary care doctor gatekeeper and prescription coverage to increase 8.8 percent in 2013, down from 9.8 percent this year.
The cost trend for high-deductible coverage could rise 8.6 percent, down from 9.8 percent this year, Segal said.
Segal said the 2011 cost trend was much lower than it expected. For PPO coverage with a gatekeeper and drug coverage, for example, the projected trend was 11.2 percent. The actual trend was just 7.8 percent.
Aon Hewitt came up with health insurance cost projections using a database of benefits information from 466 large U.S. employers.
The Aon Hewitt analysts predicted that premiums will increase 6.3 percent in 2013. That’s up from an actual rate of increase of 4.9 percent this year but down from 8.5 percent in 2011.