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Health Care Costs Continue Double-Digit Pace, But May Start Moderating in 2004

U.S. health care cost increases continued to escalate at a double-digit pace in 2003, but there are indications that rate hikes may begin moderating as early as next year, according to global HR outsourcing and consulting firm Hewitt Associates (NYSE: HEW). For 2004, Hewitt is projecting a 12.6 percent average increase for employers, which is lower than 2003's 14.7 percent rate.

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"Companies are remaining committed to offering quality health care coverage but cannot afford to absorb the rate of these increases alone, which means consumers will also feel the impact," said Bruner. "Even though the employee portion of health care is on the rise, it's important to point out that organizations are still paying for the vast majority of the overall health care pre......

Full article >>> models, mandated low-cost substitution provisions for certain therapeutic classes and generic incentives.

Contracting with plans that offer specialized or disease management programs. To enhance or maintain the health of their workforce, more employers are contracting with organizations that offer specialized or disease management programs that can help manage employees' chronic h......

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'"/> By WTN News 10/14/03

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